When plants are exposed to sulfur limitation, they upregulate the sulfate assimilation pathway at the expense of growth-promoting measures. Upon cessation of the stress, however, protective measures are deactivated, and growth is restored. In accordance with these findings, transcripts of sulfur-deficiency marker genes are rapidly degraded when starved plants are resupplied with sulfur. Yet it remains unclear which enzymes are responsible for the degradation of transcripts during the recovery from starvation. In eukaryotes, mRNA decay is often initiated by the cleavage of poly(A) tails via deadenylases. As mutations in the poly(A) ribonuclease PARN have been linked to altered abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana
, we investigated the role of PARN in the recovery from sulfur starvation. Despite the presence of putative PARN-recruiting AU-rich elements in sulfur-responsive transcripts, sulfur-depleted PARN hypomorphic mutants were able to reset their transcriptome to pre-starvation conditions just as readily as wildtype plants. Currently, the subcellular localization of PARN is disputed, with studies reporting both nuclear and cytosolic localization. We detected PARN in cytoplasmic speckles and reconciled the diverging views in literature by identifying two PARN splice variants whose predicted localization is in agreement with those observations.
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