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Research article2012Peer reviewedOpen access

Seven zinc-finger transcription factors are novel regulators of the stress responsive gene OsDREB1B

Figueiredo, Duarte D.; Barros, Pedro M.; Cordeiro, Andre M.; Serra, Tania S.; Lourenco, Tiago; Chander, Subhash; Margarida Oliveira, M.; Saibo, Nelson J. M.


Plants have evolved several mechanisms in order to cope with adverse environmental conditions. The transcription factors (TFs) belonging to the DREB1/CBF subfamily have been described as major regulators of the plant responses to different abiotic stresses. This study focused on the rice gene OsDREB1B, initially described as highly and specifically induced by cold. However, here it is shown that OsDREB1B is not only induced by low temperatures, but also by drought and mechanical stress. In order to identify novel TFs that bind to its promoter, a yeast one-hybrid system was used to screen a cold-induced cDNA expression library. Thereby seven novel Zn-finger TFs were identified that bind to the promoter of OsDREB1B. Among them, there were four Zn-finger homeodomain (ZF-HD) and three C2H2-type Zn-finger TFs. Gene expression studies showed that these TFs are differentially regulated at transcriptional level by different abiotic stress conditions, which is illustrative of the crosstalk between stress signalling pathways. Protein-protein interaction studies revealed the formation of homo- and heterodimers among the ZF-HD TFs identified, but not for the C2H2-type. Using a transactivation assay in Arabidopsis protoplasts, all the TFs identified repressed the expression of the reporter gene, driven by the promoter of OsDREB1B. This assay also showed that the dimerization observed between the ZF-HD TFs may play a role on their transactivation activity. The results here presented suggest a prominent role of Zn-finger TFs in the regulation of OsDREB1B.


Abiotic stress; C2H2; cold; DREB1/CBF; drought; mechanical stress; salt; ZF-HD; Zn finger

Published in

Journal of Experimental Botany
2012, Volume: 63, number: 10, pages: 3643-3656

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

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