The Arabidopsis SUPPRESSOR OF AUXIN RESISTANCE proteins are nucleoporins with an important role in hormone signaling and development.
Nucleocytoplasmic transport of macromolecules is regulated by a large multisubunit complex called the nuclear pore complex (NPC). Although this complex is well characterized in animals and fungi, there is relatively little information on the NPC in plants. The suppressor of auxin resistance1 (sar1) and sar3 mutants were identified as suppressors of the auxin-resistant1 (axr1) mutant. Molecular characterization of these genes reveals that they encode proteins with similarity to vertebrate nucleoporins, subunits of the NPC. Furthermore, a SAR3-green fluorescent protein fusion protein localizes to the nuclear membrane, indicating that SAR1 and SAR3 are Arabidopsis thaliana nucleoporins. Plants deficient in either protein exhibit pleiotropic growth defects that are further accentuated in sar1 sar3 double mutants. Both sar1 and sar3 mutations affect the localization of the transcriptional repressor AXR3/INDOLE ACETIC ACID17, providing a likely explanation for suppression of the phenotype conferred by axr1. In addition, sar1 sar3 plants accumulate polyadenylated RNA within the nucleus, indicating that SAR1 and SAR3 are required for mRNA export. Our results demonstrate the important role of the plant NPC in hormone signaling and development.