A winged bean Kunitz-type chymotrypsin inhibitor (WCI) is expressed in seeds and tuberous roots. In seeds, the expression of WCI is restricted to the period between the mid- and late-maturation stage. To understand the mechanisms that regulate the expression of WCI genes, we analyzed the promoter activity of the upstream region of the WCI-3b gene, which encodes a major WCI protein, in transgenic tobacco plants. By using a series of constructs with 5′ deletions in the upstream sequences, the region between -882 and -623, relative to the transcription start site, was shown to contain multiple sequences which are responsible for high level expression in mid-maturation stage seeds. However, when this region was fused to the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S core promoter in both orientations, the chimeric promoters showed only a weak transcription activity in transgenic tobacco plants. Further analyses using internal deletion constructs revealed that the region between -882 and -174 is required for the transcription activation. Disruption of the RY sequence at -517, which is conserved in many seed protein genes, resulted in a drastic reduction of the transcription activity in seeds. These results suggest that sequences necessary for high level induction of the WCI-3b gene transcription in developing seeds are dispersed in the region between -882 and -174, and that the RY sequence is one of these sequences.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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