Science, Vol.371, No.6536, 1350-+, 2021
Molecular mechanism of cytokinin-activated cell division in Arabidopsis
Mitogens trigger cell division in animals. In plants, cytokinins, a group of phytohormones derived from adenine, stimulate cell proliferation. Cytokinin signaling is initiated by membrane-associated histidine kinase receptors and transduced through a phosphorelay system. We show that in the Arabidopsis shoot apical meristem (SAM), cytokinin regulates cell division by promoting nuclear shuttling of Myb-domain protein 3R4 (MYB3R4), a transcription factor that activates mitotic gene expression. Newly synthesized MYB3R4 protein resides predominantly in the cytoplasm. At the G2-to-M transition, rapid nuclear accumulation of MYB3R4-consistent with an associated transient peak in cytokinin concentration-feeds a positive feedback loop involving importins and initiates a transcriptional cascade that drives mitosis and cytokinesis. An engineered nuclear-restricted MYB3R4 mimics the cytokinin effects of enhanced cell proliferation and meristem growth.