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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2002 Jan 25;290(3):998-1009.

DNA-binding specificity of the ERF/AP2 domain of Arabidopsis DREBs, transcription factors involved in dehydration- and cold-inducible gene expression.

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Biological Resources Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), 1-1 Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8686, Japan.


DRE/CRT is a cis-acting element that is involved in gene expression responsive to drought and low-temperature stress in higher plants. DREB1A/CBF3 and DREB2A are transcription factors that specifically bind to DRE/CRT in Arabidopsis. We precisely analyzed the DNA-binding specificity of DREBs. Both DREBs specifically bound to six nucleotides (A/GCCGAC) of DRE. However, these proteins had different binding specificities to the second or third nucleotides of DRE. Gel mobility shift assay using mutant DREB proteins showed that the two amino acids, valine and glutamic acid conserved in the ERF/AP2 domains, especially valine, have important roles in DNA-binding specificity. In the Arabidopsis genome, 145 DREB/ERF-related proteins are encoded. These proteins were classified into five groups-AP-2 subfamily, RAV subfamily, DREB subfamily, ERF subfamily, and others. The DREB subfamily included three novel DREB1A- and six DREB2A-related proteins. We analyzed expression of novel genes for these proteins and discuss their roles in stress-responsive gene expression.

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