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Plant Cell. 1992 Oct;4(10):1295-307.

A maize protein associated with the G-box binding complex has homology to brain regulatory proteins.

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  • 1Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611.


The G-box element is a moderately conserved component of the promoter of many inducible genes, including the alcohol dehydrogenase genes of Arabidopsis and maize. We used monoclonal antibodies generated against partially purified G-box binding factor (GBF) activity to characterize maize proteins that are part of the DNA binding complex. Antibodies interacted with partially purified maize GBF complexes to produce a slower migrating complex in the gel retardation assay. Immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that the protein recognized by the antibody is not a DNA binding protein in and of itself, but rather is associated with the DNA binding complex. These monoclonal antibodies were used to isolate cDNA clones encoding a protein that we have designated GF14. Maize GF14 contains a region resembling a leucine zipper and acidic carboxy and amino termini, of which the latter can form an amphipathic alpha-helix similar to known transcriptional activators such as VP16 and GAL4. Protein gel blot analysis of cell culture extract showed that a single, major protein of approximately 30 kD is recognized by anti-GF14; the protein is also present predominantly in the kernel and root. The deduced amino acid sequence of maize GF14 is more than 80% identical to Arabidopsis GF14 and Oenothera PHP-O, and is more than 60% identical to a class of mammalian brain proteins described as both protein kinase C inhibitors and activators of tyrosine and tryptophan hydroxylases. GF14 is found in a variety of monocotyledons and dicotyledons, gymnosperms, and yeast. This suggests a deep evolutionary conservation of a potential regulatory protein associated with a core sequence found in the promoter region of many genes.

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