The TFIIIA-type zinc finger transcription factors are involved in plant development and abiotic stress responses. Most TFIIIA-type zinc finger proteins are transcription repressors due to existence of an EAR-motif in their amino acid sequences. In this work, we found that ZFP182, a TFIIIA-type zinc finger protein, forms a homodimer in the nucleus and exhibits trans-activation activity in yeast cells. The deletion analysis indicated that a Leu-rich region at C-terminus is required for the trans-activation. Overexpression of ZFP182 significantly enhanced multiple abiotic stress tolerances, including salt, cold and drought tolerances in transgenic rice. Overexpression of ZFP182 promotes accumulation of compatible osmolytes, such as free proline and soluble sugars, in transgenic rice. ZFP182 activates the expression of OsP5CS encoding pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase and OsLEA3 under stress conditions, while OsDREB1A and OsDREB1B were regulated by ZFP182 under both normal and stress conditions. Interestingly, site-directed mutagenesis assay showed that DRE-like elements in ZFP182 promoter are involved in dehydration-induced expression of ZFP182. The yeast two-hybrid assay revealed that ZFP182 interacted with several ribosomal proteins including ZIURP1, an ubiquitin fused to ribosomal protein L40. The in vivo and in vitro interactions of ZFP182 and ZIURP1 were further confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation and His pull-down assays. Our studies provide new clues in the understanding of the mechanisms for TFIIIA-type zinc finger transcription factor mediated stress tolerance and a candidate gene for improving stress tolerance in crops.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2012
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