Suppression of MYC transcription activators by the immune cofactor NPR1 fine-tunes plant immune responses.

Mika Nomoto, Michael J Skelly, Tomotaka Itaya, Tsuyoshi Mori, Takamasa Suzuki, Tomonao Matsushita, Mutsutomo Tokizawa, Keiko Kuwata, Hitoshi Mori, Yoshiharu Y Yamamoto, Tetsuya Higashiyama, Hironaka Tsukagoshi, Steven H Spoel, Yasuomi Tada

Plants tailor immune responses to defend against pathogens with different lifestyles. In this process, antagonism between the immune hormones salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) optimizes transcriptional signatures specifically to the attacker encountered. Antagonism is controlled by the transcription cofactor NPR1. The indispensable role of NPR1 in activating SA-responsive genes is well understood, but how it functions as a repressor of JA-responsive genes remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that SA-induced NPR1 is recruited to JA-responsive promoter regions that are co-occupied by a JA-induced transcription complex consisting of the MYC2 activator and MED25 Mediator subunit. In the presence of SA, NPR1 physically associates with JA-induced MYC2 and inhibits transcriptional activation by disrupting its interaction with MED25. Importantly, NPR1-mediated inhibition of MYC2 is a major immune mechanism for suppressing pathogen virulence. Thus, NPR1 orchestrates the immune transcriptome not only by activating SA-responsive genes but also by acting as a corepressor of JA-responsive MYC2.