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FEBS Lett. 2003 Aug 28;550(1-3):149-54.

New members of the tomato ERF family show specific expression pattern and diverse DNA-binding capacity to the GCC box element.

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UMR 990 INRA/INP-ENSAT, Pole de Biotechnologie Végétale, 24 Chemin de Borde Rouge, P.O. Box 107, 31326 Castanet Tolosan Cedex, France.


Four new members of the ERF (ethylene-response factor) family of plant-specific DNA-binding (GCC box) factors were isolated from tomato fruit (LeERF1-4). Phylogenetic analysis indicated that LeERF2 belongs to a new ERF class, characterized by a conserved N-terminal signature sequence. Expression patterns and cis/trans binding affinities differed between the LeERFs. Combining experimental data and modeled three-dimensional analysis, it was shown that binding affinity of the LeERFs was affected by both the variation of nucleotides surrounding the DNA cis-element sequence and the nature of critical amino acid residues within the ERF domain.

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