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Plant Cell. 2007 Oct;19(10):3242-55. Epub 2007 Oct 26.

SALT TOLERANCE HOMOLOG2, a B-box protein in Arabidopsis that activates transcription and positively regulates light-mediated development.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Gothenburg University, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden.


CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1) and ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) are two major regulators of light signaling in plants. Here, we identify SALT TOLERANCE HOMOLOG2 (STH2) as a gene that interacts genetically with both of these key regulators. STH2 encodes a B-box-containing protein that interacts physically with HY5 in yeast and in plant cells. Whereas STH2 is uniformly nuclear by itself, it shows a COP1-dependent localization to speckles when coexpressed with COP1. We identified two independent T-DNA insertion lines in STH2. Both alleles are hyposensitive to blue, red, and far-red light. The sth2 mutant, like hy5, shows an enhanced number of lateral roots and accumulates less anthocyanin. Analysis of double mutants between sth2 and hy5 indicates that STH2 has both HY5-dependent and -independent functions. Furthermore, besides partially suppressing the hypocotyl phenotype of dark-grown cop1 alleles, sth2 also suppresses the reduced number of lateral roots and high anthocyanin levels in light-grown cop1 alleles. Interestingly, we found that STH2 can activate transcription. Transient transfection assays in protoplasts using a LUC reporter driven by the chalcone isomerase promoter show that the B-boxes in STH2 and a functional G-box element in the promoter are required for this activity. In conclusion, we have identified STH2, a B-box protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, as a positive regulator of photomorphogenesis and report that the B-box domain plays a direct role in activating transcription in plants.

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