ISSN 1021-4437, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 2009, Vol. 56, No. 5, pp. 695–701. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Published in Russian in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2009, Vol. 56, No. 5, pp. 768–775.
Abiotic stresses adversely affect crop growth and
productivity. High and low temperatures, drought, high
salinity, and heavy metals commonly interfere with the
life cycle of higher plants [1, 2]. Among various abiotic
stresses, salinity, drought, and high temperature are
major factors that limit crop productivity . Exposure
of plants to a stressful environment during various
developmental stages appears to induce various physi-
ological and developmental changes . Plant modiﬁ-
cation for enhanced abiotic stress tolerance is based on
the manipulation of either transcription and/or signal-
ing factors or genes directly protecting plant cells .
The cellular and molecular plant responses to envi-
ronmental stresses have been studied intensively [6, 7].
Thus, transcriptome proﬁling of plants subjected to
heat, drought, cold, salt, high light, or mechanical stress
revealed that very few genes respond in a similar man-
ner to all of these stresses [8–10]. The Cys2/His2 zinc
ﬁnger proteins, ﬁrst discovered as the transcription fac-
tor IIIA (TFIIIA) of
, represent an important
class of eukaryotic transcription factors . Some of
them are known to play central roles in development,
This text was submitted by the authors in English.
while others are involved in general transcription .
However, functions of most of these proteins remain
unknown. In a Cys2/His2 zinc ﬁnger, two cysteins and
two histidines tetrahedrally coordinate with a zinc atom
to form a compact structure that interacts with the
major groove of DNA in a sequence-speciﬁc manner.
The cluster-type zinc ﬁnger proteins interact with con-
tiguous sets of triplet sequences, with each zinc ﬁnger
making contact with a triplet [13, 14]. The Cys2/His2
zinc ﬁnger proteins, which have been found in plants,
are QALGGH sequences with only one exception .
The highly conserved QALGGH sequence is located
-helix region surface, with each amino acid
in the sequence being essential for the DNA-binding
This conserved sequence motif has not so far been
reported from any organisms other than plants, suggest-
ing that this type of zinc ﬁnger proteins, which form a
major class of transcription factors in plants, might be
involved in controlling the processes that are unique to
plants. A number of zinc ﬁnger protein genes have been
cloned and characterized in relation to various types of
stresses or developmental stages in various plants.
Overexpression of zinc ﬁnger protein OsISAP1 from
rice confers tolerance to cold, dehydration, and salt
stress in transgenic tobacco [16, 17]. This included pep-
The Influence of Abiotic Stresses on Expression
of Zinc Finger Protein Gene in Rice
M. S. Islam
, J. H. Hur
, and M. H. Wang
School of Biotechnology, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon-do, 200-701, South Korea;
fax: +82-33-241-6480; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Biological Environment, College of Agricultural and Life Science, Kangwon National University,
Chuncheon, Kangwon-do, 200-701, South Korea
Received June 5, 2008
—We investigated the expression pattern of zinc ﬁnger protein gene in rice (
various abiotic stresses. This gene contains an open reading frame encoding a zinc-ﬁnger protein of 171 amino
acids and is induced by various stresses, namely salinity, drought, and cold. Phylogenetic analysis based on
deduced amino acid sequences of
cDNA revealed a signiﬁcant sequence similarity to the zinc ﬁnger
protein from diverse families of plant species. Southern blot analysis of rice genomic DNA suggested that
OsZFP is encoded by a multiple-copy gene. The steady-state levels of
transcripts were found to increase
in response to salinity, drought, and cold stresses. A rice zinc-ﬁnger protein gene,
, encoding the
Cys2/His2-type zinc-ﬁnger transcription factor was isolated from rice using RT-PCR. The expression proﬁling
was constitutively expressed in leaves and roots. The Northern blotting showed that
was strongly induced by high salinity and drought, but only slightly regulated by low temperature (4
These results suggested that the OsZFP may play an important role in rice responses to salinity, drought, and
cold as a transcription factor.
Key words: Oryza sativa - zinc ﬁnger protein - abiotic stresses - expression analysis