Noncell-autonomous HSC70.1 chaperone displays homeostatic feedback regulation by binding its own mRNA.

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The HSC70/HSP70 family of heat shock proteins are evolutionarily conserved chaperones involved in protein folding, protein transport, and RNA binding. Arabidopsis HSC70 chaperones are thought to act as housekeeping chaperones and as such are involved in many growth-related pathways. Whether Arabidopsis HSC70 binds RNA and whether this interaction is functional has remained an open question. We provide evidence that the HSC70.1 chaperone binds its own mRNA via its C-terminal short variable region (SVR) and inhibits its own translation. The SVR encoding mRNA region is necessary for HSC70.1 transcript mobility to distant tissues and that HSC70.1 transcript and not protein mobility is required to rescue root growth and flowering time of hsc70 mutants. We propose that this negative protein-transcript feedback loop may establish an on-demand chaperone pool that allows for a rapid response to stress. In summary, our data suggest that the Arabidopsis HSC70.1 chaperone can form a complex with its own transcript to regulate its translation and that both protein and transcript can act in a noncell-autonomous manner, potentially maintaining chaperone homeostasis between tissues.