The plant hormone abscisic acid regulates gene expression in response to growth stimuli and abiotic stress. Previous studies have implicated members of the bZIP family of transcription factors as mediators of abscisic acid dependent gene expression through the ABRE cis-element. Here, we identify two new maize bZIP transcription factors, EmBP-2 and ZmBZ-1 related to EmBP-1 and OsBZ-8 families. They are differentially expressed during embryo development; EmBP-2 is constitutive, whereas ZmBZ-1 is abscisic acid-inducible and accumulates during late embryogenesis. Both factors are nuclear proteins that bind to ABREs and activate transcription of the abscisic acid-inducible gene rab28 from maize. EmBP-2 and ZmBZ-1 are phosphorylated by protein kinase CK2 and phosphorylation alters their DNA binding properties. Our data suggest that EmBP-2 and ZmBZ-1 are involved in the expression of abscisic acid inducible genes such as rab28 and their activity is modulated by ABA and by phosphorylation.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2005
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