Genetic and physiological studies have revealed evidences for multiple signaling pathways by which the plastid exerts retrograde control over photosynthesis-associated-nuclear-genes. In this study we have examined the mechanisms of control of transcription by plastid signals, focusing on transcription factors. We have also further addressed the physical nature of plastid signals and the physiological role, in stress acclimation of this regulatory pathway. ABI4, a master Apetala 2 (AP2)-type transcription factor (TF), is targeted by multiple signalling pathways in plant cells, such as abscisic acid (ABA) signals, sugar signals and plastid signals derived from reactive oxygen species (ROS) and chlorophyll intermediates. ABI4 binds the promoter of target genes to prevent their transcription by competing with other competitive TFs. However, we found that once ABI4 bound the element (CCACGT), it may not be bound by other TFs, therefore making the signalling long-lasting. Downstream of ABI4, CBFA (CCAAT binding factor A) is a subunit of the HAP2/HAP3/HAP5 (Heme activator protein) trimeric transcription complex. CBFA however is a redundant HAP3 subunit. When emergency occurs (such as herbicide treatments or environmental stresses followed by ABA and ROS accumulation), the master transcription factor ABI4 down-regulates some TFs, like CBFA, and then some other TF subunits enter the transcription complex and transcriptional efficiency of stress-responsive genes (including the transcription co-factor CBP) is improved instantaneously. abi4, cbfA and cbp mutants showed weaker drought-tolerance after a herbicide norflurazon treatment, which indicated the physiological role of these key transcription factors.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 6, 2013
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