Integration of pluripotency pathways regulates stem cell maintenance in the Arabidopsis shoot meristem.
IF: 12.779
Cited by: 27


In the shoot meristem, both WUSCHEL (WUS) and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM), two transcription factors with overlapping spatiotemporal expression patterns, are essential for maintaining stem cells in an undifferentiated state. Despite their importance, it remains unclear how these two pathways are integrated to coordinate stem cell development. Here, we show that the WUS and STM pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana converge through direct interaction between the WUS and STM proteins. STM binds to the promoter of CLAVATA3 (CLV3) and enhances the binding of WUS to the same promoter through the WUS-STM interaction. Both the heterodimerization and simultaneous binding of WUS and STM at two sites on the CLV3 promoter are required to regulate CLV3 expression, which in turn maintains a constant number of stem cells. Furthermore, the expression of STM depends on WUS, and this WUS-activated STM expression enhances the WUS-mediated stem cell activity. Our data provide a framework for understanding how spatial expression patterns within the shoot meristem are translated into regulatory units of stem cell homeostasis.


Temporal Spatial Gene Expression
WUS–STM interaction
shoot meristem
stem cell regulation

MeSH terms

Arabidopsis Proteins
Cell Line
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Homeodomain Proteins
Protein Binding
Stem Cells


Su, Ying Hua
Zhou, Chao
Li, Ying Ju
Yu, Yang
Tang, Li Ping
Zhang, Wen Jie
Yao, Wang Jinsong
Huang, Rongfeng
Laux, Thomas
Zhang, Xian Sheng

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