COP1 promotes ABA-induced stomatal closure by modulating the abundance of ABI/HAB and AHG3 phosphatases

Qingbin Chen, Ling Bai, Wenjing Wang, Huazhong Shi, José Ramón Botella, Qidi Zhan, Kang Liu, Hong Quan Yang, Chun Peng Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Plant stomata play a crucial role in leaf function, controlling water transpiration in response to environmental stresses and modulating the gas exchange necessary for photosynthesis. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) promotes stomatal closure and inhibits light-induced stomatal opening. The Arabidopsis thaliana E3 ubiquitin ligase COP1 functions in ABA-mediated stomatal closure. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not fully understood. Yeast two-hybrid assays were used to identify ABA signaling components that interact with COP1, and biochemical, molecular and genetic studies were carried out to elucidate the regulatory role of COP1 in ABA signaling. The cop1 mutants are hyposensitive to ABA-triggered stomatal closure under light and dark conditions. COP1 interacts with and ubiquitinates the Arabidopsis clade A type 2C phosphatases (PP2Cs) ABI/HAB group and AHG3, thus triggering their degradation. Abscisic acid enhances the COP1-mediated degradation of these PP2Cs. Mutations in ABI1 and AHG3 partly rescue the cop1 stomatal phenotype and the phosphorylation level of OST1, a crucial SnRK2-type kinase in ABA signaling. Our data indicate that COP1 is part of a novel signaling pathway promoting ABA-mediated stomatal closure by regulating the stability of a subset of the Clade A PP2Cs. These findings provide novel insights into the interplay between ABA and the light signaling component in the modulation of stomatal movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2035-2049
Number of pages15
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • COP1
  • abscisic acid (ABA)
  • clade A PP2C
  • stomatal movement
  • ubiquitination


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