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Gyeong Mee Yoon

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Assistant Professor
Lilly Hall Room B-474

Dr. Yoon’s research interest lies in understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the key steps in the phytohormone ethylene biosynthesis and its signaling pathway using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. The gaseous hormone ethylene regulates many important plant growth and developmental processes, including fruit ripening, seed germination, nodulation, senescence and response to a variety of developmental and environmental stresses.


Two main research projects are currently under way in the lab. First is to investigate the molecular mechanism regulating protein turnover in ethylene biosynthesis. Specifically, we are aiming to understand the molecular mechanism which controls the protein turnover of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS), a key enzyme in the ethylene biosynthesis and the Ethylene Overproducer 1 (ETO1)/ETO1-like (EOL) proteins, ubiquitin ligases that target a subset of ACS for degradation. Secondly, we are focusing on the elucidation of the roles of Constitutive Triple Response 1 (CTR1), a Raf-like protein kinase that acts as a negative regulator, in the ethylene signaling pathway. Ethylene is perceived by receptors that reside at the endoplasmic reticulum membrane (ER) and negatively regulate the ethylene response pathway; this negative regulation is relieved upon binding of ethylene to the receptors. While the elements in the ethylene signaling pathway have been identified, the detailed mechanisms underlying their function and several fundamental questions still remain to be explored. Among many remaining questions, our lab is interested in exploring following questions: 1) how do the ethylene receptors activate CTR1 in the early step of the ethylene signaling pathway?; 2) how does the ethylene response induced by EIN2, the positive regulator in the pathway, is turned off in the nucleus?; 3) and what are the roles of CTR1 other than phosphorylating EIN2 at the ER? We use the combination of biochemistry, genetics, cell biology and molecular biology approach to address these questions.

Selected Publications

Yoon, G., & Kieber, J. (2013). 14-3-3 regulates 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase protein turnover in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell, 25, 1016-1028.

Yoon, G., & Kieber, J. (2013). ACC as a signaling molecule in plants. AoB PLANTS, Plt017do:1093/aobpla/plt017.

Yoon, G., & Kieber, J. (2013). ACC synthase and Its cognate E3 ligase are inversely regulated by Light. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 8(23), e26478.

Guo, F., Yoon, G., & McCubbin, A. (2013). PiSCP1 and PiCDPK2 localize to peroxisomes and are involved in pollen tube growth in petunia inflata. Plants, 2(1), 72-86.

Ju, C., Yoon, G., Shemansky, J., Lin, D., Ying, Z., Chang, J., . . . Chang, C. (2012). CTR1 phosphorylates the central regulator EIN2 to control ethylene hormone signaling from the ER membrane to the nucleus in Arabidopsis. Proceedings of National Academy of Science, 109(47):19486-9112.

Harpaz-Saad, S., Yoon, G., Mattoo, A., & Kieber, J. (2012). The formation of ACC and competition for SAM. Annaul Plant Reviews: The Plant Hormone Ethylene.

Skottke, K., Yoon, G., Kieber, J., & Delong, A. (2011). Protein phosphatase 2A controls ethylene biosynthesis by differentially regulating the turnover of ACC synthase isoforms. PLoS Genetics, 7, e1001370.

Yoon, G., Dowd, P., Gilroy, S., & McCubbin, A. (2006). Calcium-Dependent Protein kinase isoforms have distinct functions in pollen tube growth, including regulating pol. Plant Cell, 18(4), 867-878.

Naseer, M. I., Ullah, I., Narasimhan, M. L., Lee, H., Bressan, R. A., Yoon, G., . . . Kim, M. O. (2014). Neuroprotective effect of osmotin against ethanol-induced apoptoticneurodegeneration in the developing rat brain. NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 5. doi:10.1038/cddis.2014.53

Lee, S., Yoon, G., Rho, E., Moon, E., & Pai, H. (2006). Functional characterization of NtCDPK1 in tobacco. Molecular and Cells, 21, 141-146.

Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4614

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