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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Dec 5;103(49):18822-7. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

Dual function of an Arabidopsis transcription factor DREB2A in water-stress-responsive and heat-stress-responsive gene expression.

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Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.


Transcription factor DREB2A interacts with a cis-acting dehydration-responsive element (DRE) sequence and activates expression of downstream genes involved in drought- and salt-stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana. Intact DREB2A expression does not activate downstream genes under normal growth conditions. A negative regulatory domain exists in the central region of DREB2A, and deletion of this region transforms DREB2A to a constitutive active form (DREB2A CA). We carried out microarray analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis-overexpressing DREB2A CA and found that the overexpression of DREB2A CA induces not only drought- and salt-responsive genes but also heat-shock (HS)-related genes. Moreover, we found that transient induction of the DREB2A occurs rapidly by HS stress, and that the sGFP-DREB2A protein accumulates in nuclei of HS-stressed cells. DREB2A up-regulated genes were classified into three groups based on their expression patterns: genes induced by HS, genes induced by drought stress, and genes induced by both HS and drought stress. DREB2A up-regulated genes were down-regulated in DREB2A knockout mutants under stress conditions. Thermotolerance was significantly increased in plants overexpressing DREB2A CA and decreased in DREB2A knockout plants. Collectively, these results indicate that DREB2A functions in both water and HS-stress responses.

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