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Development. 2003 Dec;130(24):6065-73.

Regulation of storage protein gene expression in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Institut des Sciences du Végétal, UPR2355 Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Avenue de la Terrasse, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


The expression of seed storage proteins is under tight developmental regulation and represents a powerful model system to study the regulation of gene expression during plant development. In this study, we show that three homologous B3 type transcription factors regulate the model storage protein gene, At2S3, via two distinct mechanisms: FUSCA3 (FUS3) and LEAFY COTYLEDON2 (LEC2) activate the At2S3 promoter in yeast suggesting that they regulate At2S3 by directly binding its promoter; ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE3 (ABI3), however, appears to act more indirectly on At2S3, possibly as a cofactor in an activation complex. In accordance with this, FUS3 and LEC2 were found to act in a partially redundant manner and differently from ABI3 in planta: At2S3 expression is reduced to variable and sometimes only moderate extent in fus3 and lec2 single mutants but is completely abolished in the lec2 fus3 double mutant. In addition, we found that FUS3 and LEC2 expression patterns, together with an unsuspected regulation of FUS3 by LEC2, enable us to explain the intriguing expression pattern of At2S3 in lec2 or fus3 single mutants. Based on these results, we present a model of At2S3 regulation and discuss its implications for other aspects of seed maturation.

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