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Plant Cell. 1996 Aug;8(8):1239-48.

Molecular organization and tissue-specific expression of an Arabidopsis 14-3-3 gene.

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


The 14-3-3 proteins, originally described as mammalian brain proteins, are ubiquitous in eukaryotes. We isolated an Arabidopsis 14-3-3 gene, designated GRF1-GF14 chi (for general regulatory factor1-G-box factor 14-3-3 homolog isoform chi), and characterized its expression within plant tissues. Sequence comparison of the GRF1-GF14 chi genomic clone with other 14-3-3 proteins demonstrated that the extreme conservation of 14-3-3 residues in several domains is encoded by the first three exons. The highly variable C-terminal domain is encoded by a divergent fourth exon that is unique among 14-3-3 homologs, suggesting that exon shuffling might confer gene-specific functions among the isoforms. The anatomical distribution and developmental expression of the Arabidopsis 14-3-3 protein were examined in transgenic plants carrying a GRF1-GF14 chi promoter-beta-glucuronidase construct. GF14 chi promoter activity was observed in the roots of both seedlings and mature plants. In immature flowers, GF14 chi promoter activity was localized to the buds. However, as the flowers matured, GF14 chi promoter activity was restricted to the stigma, anthers, and pollen. In immature siliques, GF14 chi promoter activity was initially localized to styles and abscission zones but was subsequently observed throughout mature siliques. In situ hybridization demonstrated that GF14 chi mRNA expression was prominent in epidermal tissue of roots, petals, and sepals of flower buds, papillae cells of flowers, siliques, and endosperm of immature seeds. Thus, plant 14-3-3 gene expression exhibits cell- and tissue-specific localization rivaling that observed for 14-3-3 proteins within the mammalian brain.

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