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Plant J. 2003 Mar;33(6):957-66.

Internal telomeric repeats and 'TCP domain' protein-binding sites co-operate to regulate gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana cycling cells.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire des Relations Plantes-Microorganismes, CNRS-INRA, BP 27, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan, France.


We have focused our interest on two cis-regulatory elements, named site II motif and telo box, identified within the promoter of plant proliferating cellular nuclear antigen (PCNA) and putatively involved in meristematic expression of the gene. A conserved topological association between site II motifs and telo boxes is observed in the promoter of numerous genes expressed in cycling cells, including several cell cycle-related genes and 153 Arabidopsis genes encoding ribosomal proteins. Meristematic expression of a GUS reporter gene was observed in plants under the control of Arabidopsis site II motif within a minimal promoter. This expression is strongly enhanced by addition of a telo box within this chimaeric promoter. We showed by gel retardation experiments that the site II motif is a target for several DNA-binding activities present in Arabidopsis crude cell extract and can bind a transcription factor, At-TCP20, from the Teosinte branched 1, Cycloidea, PCF (TCP)-domain protein family. In yeast two-hybrid experiments, At-TCP20 appears to be a potential partner of AtPuralpha, which was previously shown to bind telo boxes. An important consequence of this analysis is to reveal new and conserved regulatory processes concerning the regulation of plant ribosomal gene expression in cycling cells. The implication of these observations in plant-specific developmental pathways is discussed.

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