Chin Bull Bot ›› 2016, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (4): 565-574.doi: 10.11983/CBB15137

• SPECIAL TOPICS • Previous Articles    

The Updated Functional Study of WOX Protein Family in Regulating Stem Cell Development

Yanjie Yu, Dabing Zhang, Zheng Yuan*   

  1. School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
  • Received:2015-08-03 Accepted:2015-10-13 Online:2016-08-05 Published:2016-07-01
  • Contact: Yuan Zheng
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


The WUSCHEL RELATED-HOMEOBOX (WOX) protein family consists of plant-specific transcription factors and plays an important role in embryonic patterning, stem-cell maintenance and organogenesis. As one of key regulators in stem-cell maintenance, WOX genes regulate the development of shoot apical meristem, root apical meristem and vascular meristem in a similar and specific regulatory network. Here, we reviewed the progress in research of the molecular mechanism of WOX family in regulating stem cell development, especially by comparing their function in Arabidopsis and rice.

Figure 1

Regulatory networks of WOX family in shoot and root apical meristems of Arabidopsis and rice (modified from Gaillochet et al., 2015) (A) The structure of shoot apical meristem (SAM); (B) The WUSCHEL-CLAVATA feedback loop in Arabidopsis: WUS expresses in the organizing center, and WUS protein moves symplastically through plasmodesmata to the overlying domain to determinate stem cell fate, WUS directly promotes the expression of CLV3, which encodes a small secreted peptide that signals through intracellular signal transduction pathways, inducing signaling transduction of CLV1, BAM1 and RPK2 to restrict the expression of WUS; (C) FCP1 and OsWOX4 express in the SAM, and FCP1 represses the expression of OsWOX4 in an unknown pathway; (D) The structure of root apical meristem (RAM); (E) CLE40 expresses in the columella, then this small secreted peptide combines with ACR4 in the columella to transfer signal and repress the expression of WOX5, which expresses specifically in the quiescent center (QC) (left); and involves in the maintenance of the QC (right): in QC, ROW1 specifically binds in the promoter of WOX5 to repress its transcription, and WOX5 suppresses QC divisions that are otherwise promoted by CYCDs, in part by represses CYCD’s expression directly; (F) OsWOX9 expresses specifically in the QC and its expression is specially repressed by FCP2."

Figure 2

WOX4 is involved in the regulation of vascular meristem in Arabidopsis (modified from Hirakawa et al., 2010)"

Table 1

The summary of WOX gene family function in rice"

基因 编号 分支 在已发表文章中的命名(别名) 其它物种中的
表达区域 主要功能 参考文献
OsWOX1 LOC_Os04g56780 进化支 MOC3 拟南芥WUS 主要在地上部分、愈伤组织和幼穗
中表达, 在成熟
对腋芽的形成是必需的, 并与细胞分裂素有着复杂的关系 Lu et al., 2015
OsWOX2 LOC_Os05g02730 进化支 WOX3; GLR1;
玉米NS1 (narrow sheath 1)、NS2和拟南芥PRS (PRESSED
叶毛发育 Dai et al., 2007; Li et al., 2012; Zhang et al., 2012
OsWOX3 LOC_Os11g01130
进化支 NAL2/3;
叶片的横轴生长和维管束形成, 小穗的内外稃形态建成以及分蘖和侧根发育及根毛形成 Cho et al., 2013; Yoo et al., 2013
OsWOX4 LOC_Os04g55590 进化支 拟南芥WOX4 在地上各分生组
营养生长阶段茎尖分生组织的维持; 与细胞分裂素作用相关 Ohmori et al., 2013
OsWOX5 LOC_Os01g62310 进化支 未知 未知 未知
OsWOX6 LOC_Os03g20910 中间支 未知 未知 未知
OsWOX7 LOC_Os01g47710 中间支 DWT1 未知 在幼穗中强表达 参与分蘖发育; 与穂型相关 Wang et al., 2013, 2014
OsWOX8 LOC_Os01g60270 古老支 未知 未知 未知
OsWOX9 LOC_Os01g63510 进化支 QHB 拟南芥WOX5 特异地在根尖组
根尖分生组织的维持 Kamiya et al., 2003; Chu et al., 2013
OsWOX9C LOC_Os05g48990 中间支 未知 未知 未知
OsWOX10 LOC_Os08g14400 中间支 未知 未知 未知
OsWOX11 LOC_Os07g48560 中间支 未知 冠根萌发时表达;
在冠根发育时期直接抑制RR2, 以调节细胞增殖 Zhao et al., 2009
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