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Plant Mol Biol. 2005 Nov;59(4):631-45.

Identification of a novel cis-element exhibiting cytokinin-dependent protein binding in vitro in the 5'-region of NADPH-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase gene in cucumber.

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Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 4259, Nagatsuta, Midori-ku, Yokohama, 226-8501, Japan.


Cytokinins and light activate the transcription of the cucumber NADPH-protochlorophyllide reductase (POR) gene. We have previously reported that 2.3 kb of the 5'-region of this gene contains a cis-element that is responsive to cytokinin. In this study, to identify the cytokinin-responsive cis-element corresponding to chlorophyll biosynthesis and chloroplast development, we performed transient expression assays in etiolated cucumber cotyledons. A 5'-deletional analysis indicated that a 411-bp fragment (-451 to -40 bp) contained at least one of the cis-elements related to cytokinin-responsiveness. Gel mobility shift assays also detected cytokinin-enhanced binding in this region. DNase I footprinting analysis, using a 150-bp fragment (-490 to -340 bp) as the probe, identified the cytokinin-enhanced protected sequence as 5'-ATATTAGTGATAT-3'. More detailed gel mobility shift and competition analyses identified 5'-TATTAG-3' as the sequence critical for cytokinin-enhanced binding. Mutations in the identified sequence in the transient expression assay caused a reduced but retained cytokinin-responsiveness, as well as low reporter activity of untreated control. These results suggest that the identified sequence is a novel cis-element exhibiting cytokinin-dependent protein binding in vitro, which may function effectively when interacting with other cytokinin-related elements. The effects of this element on the chloroplast development are discussed in relation to other cytokinin-related elements.

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