A study of the expression of a bean phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) promoter/β-glucuronidase gene fusion in transgenic tobacco has shown that the PAL2 promoter has a modular organization. Expression of the PAL2 promoter in the vascular system involves positive and negative regulatory cis elements. Among these elements is an AC-rich motif implicated in xylem expression and a suppressing cis element for phloem expression. Using radiolabelled complementary oligonucleotides bearing the AC-rich motif, a cDNA clone encoding a DNA-binding protein has been isolated from a tobacco λgt11 expression library. This factor, named AC-rich binding factor (ACBF), showed binding specificity to the AC-rich region. The specificity of ACBF for the AC-rich region was also shown using a gel retardation assay with an ACBF recombinant protein extract. The deduced amino acid sequence from ACBF contains a long repeat of glutamine residues as found in well characterized transcription factors. Interestingly, ACBF shared sequence similarity to conserved amino acid motifs found in RNA-binding proteins. Genomic gel blot analysis indicated the presence of a small gene family of sequences related to ACBF within the tobacco nuclear genome. Analysis of tobacco mRNA using the ACBF cDNA as probe showed that while ACBF mRNA was present in all tissues examined, the highest transcript accumulation occurred in stem tissues. The functional characteristics of the AC-rich sequence were examined in transgenic tobacco. A heptamer of the AC-rich sequence, in front of a minimal 35S promoter from cauliflower mosaic virus (_46 to +4 ), conferred specific expression in xylem.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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