Transient expression and electrophoretic mobility shift assay were used to investigate the cis elements and the DNA-binding proteins involved in the regulation of expression of a 22 kDa zein-like α-coixin gene. A set of unidirectional deletions was generated in a 962 bp fragment of the α-coixin promoter that had been previously fused to the reporter gene GUS. The constructs were assayed by transient expression in immature maize endosperm. There was no significant decrease in GUS activity as deletions progressed from −1084 to −238. However, deletion from −238 to −158, which partially deleted the O2c box, resulted in a dramatic decrease in GUS activity emphasizing the importance of the O2 box in the quantitative expression of the gene. The −238 promoter fragment interacted with Coix endosperm nuclear proteins to form 5 DNA-protein complexes, C1–C5, as detected by EMSA. The same retarded complexes were observed when the −158 promoter fragment was used in the binding reactions. Reactions with nuclear extracts isolated from Coix endosperms harvested from 6 to 35 days after pollination revealed that the 5 DNA-protein complexes that interact with the α-coixin promoter are differentially assembled during seed development. Deletion analysis carried out on the −238/ATG promoter fragment showed that a 35 bp region from −86 to −51 is essential for the formation of the complexes observed. When nuclear extracts were incubated with an antiserum raised against the maize Opaque-2 protein, the formation of 4 complexes, C1, C3, C4 and C5, was prevented indicating that an Opaque-2 like protein participates in the formation of those complexes. Complex C2 was not affected by the addition of the O2 antibody, suggesting the existence of a novel nuclear factor, CBF1, that binds to the promoter and makes protein-protein associations with other proteins present in Coix endosperm nuclei.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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