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Eur J Biochem. 2001 Nov;268(22):5655-66.

Plant bZIP G-box binding factors. Modular structure and activation mechanisms.

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UPRES-EA2106 Biomolécules et Biotechnologies Végétales, Université de Tours, UFR des Sciences et Techniques, Laboratoire de Physiologie Végétale, Parc de Grandmont, France.


In this review we sum-up the knowledge about bZIP G-box binding factors (GBFs), which possess an N-terminal, proline-rich domain. The GBF has been one of the most extensively studied transcription factor family. Based on protein sequence homology with yeast and animal basic leucine-zipper (bZIP) transcription factors, bioinformatic studies have identified their main structural domains (proline-rich, basic and leucine-zipper), which have been further functionally characterized by in vitro and in vivo experiments. Recent reports have led to the discovery of other GBF-specific short amino-acid sequences that may take part in the regulation of gene expression by post-transcriptional modifications or interaction with other proteins such as bZIP enhancing factors or plant 14-3-3-like proteins. We identified a GBF region, called the 'multifunctional mosaic region', that may be implicated in cytoplasmic retention, translocation to the nucleus and regulation of transcription. We also identified many conserved protein motifs that suggest a modular structure for GBFs. At the whole plant level, GBFs have been shown to be involved in developmental and physiological processes in response to major cues such as light or hormones. Nevertheless, it remains difficult to assign a physiological role to a particular GBF protein modular structure. Finally, bringing together these different aspects of GBF studies we propose a model describing the puzzling transduction pathway involving GBFs from cytoplasmic events of signal transduction to the regulation of gene expression in the nucleus.

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