Cytokinin response factors regulate PIN-FORMED auxin transporters

Mária Šimášková, José Antonio O'Brien, Mamoona Khan, Giel Van Noorden, Krisztina Ötvös, Anne Vieten, Inge De Clercq, Johanna Maria Adriana Van Haperen, Candela Cuesta, Klára Hoyerová, Steffen Vanneste, Peter Marhavý, Krzysztof Wabnik, Frank Van Breusegem, Moritz Nowack, Angus Murphy, Jia Friml, Dolf Weijers, Tom Beeckman, Eva Benková*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Auxin and cytokinin are key endogenous regulators of plant development. Although cytokinin-mediated modulation of auxin distribution is a developmentally crucial hormonal interaction, its molecular basis is largely unknown. Here we show a direct regulatory link between cytokinin signalling and the auxin transport machinery uncovering a mechanistic framework for cytokinin-auxin cross-talk. We show that the CYTOKININ RESPONSE FACTORS (CRFs), transcription factors downstream of cytokinin perception, transcriptionally control genes encoding PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporters at a specific PIN CYTOKININ RESPONSE ELEMENT (PCRE) domain. Removal of this cis-regulatory element effectively uncouples PIN transcription from the CRF-mediated cytokinin regulation and attenuates plant cytokinin sensitivity. We propose that CRFs represent a missing cross-talk component that fine-tunes auxin transport capacity downstream of cytokinin signalling to control plant development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8717
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2015
Externally publishedYes


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