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Curr Opin Biotechnol. 2008 Apr;19(2):138-44. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2008.02.002.

Transcription factors for predictive plant metabolic engineering: are we there yet?

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  • 1Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology Center, The Ohio State University, 206 Rightmire Hall, 1060 Carmack Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Transcription factors (TFs) are considered viable alternatives to 'single enzyme' approaches for the manipulation of plant metabolic pathways. Because of the ability to control multiple, if not all steps in a particular metabolic pathway, TFs provide attractive tools for overcoming flux bottlenecks involving multiple enzymatic steps, or for deploying pathway genes in specific organs, cell types or even plants where they normally do not express. The potential of a TF for the predictive manipulation of plant metabolism is intimately linked to understanding how it fits in the gene regulatory organization. The knowledge gained over the past decade on how plant pathways are controlled together with increasing efforts aimed at deciphering the overall architecture of plant gene regulatory networks are starting to realize the potential of TFs for predictive plant metabolic engineering.

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