A small family of novel basic leucine zipper proteins that includes abscisic acid (ABA)-INSENSITIVE 5 (ABI5) binds to the promoter region of the lea class gene Dc3 . The factors, referred to as AtDPBFs (Arabidopsis Dc3 promoter-binding factors), were isolated from an immature seed cDNA library. AtDPBFs bind to the embryo specification and ABA-responsive elements in the Dc3 promoter and are unique in that they can interact with cis-elements that do not contain the ACGT core sequence required for the binding of most other plant basic leucine zipper proteins. Analysis of full-length cDNAs showed that at least five different Dc3 promoter-binding factors are present in Arabidopsis seeds; one of these, AtDPBF-1, is identical to ABI5. As expected, AtDPBF-1/ABI5 mRNA is inducible by exogenous ABA in seedlings. Despite the near identity in their basic domains, AtDPBFs are distinct in their DNA-binding, dimerization, and transcriptional activity.
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