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Sci China C Life Sci. 2009 Sep;52(9):854-63. doi: 10.1007/s11427-009-0119-z. Epub 2009 Oct 6.

Efficient LEC2 activation of OLEOSIN expression requires two neighboring RY elements on its promoter.

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The National Laboratory of Protein Engineering and Plant Genetic Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China.


As the main structural protein of oil body, OLEOSIN is highly expressed only during seed development. OLEOSIN promoter is a very useful tool for seed-specific gene engineering and seed bioreactor designing. The B3 domain transcription factor leafy cotyledon2 (LEC2) plays an important role in regulating seed development and seed-specific gene expression. Here, we first report how seed-specific B3 domain transcription factor leafy cotyledon2 (LEC2) efficiently activates OLEOSIN expression. The central promoter region of OLEOSIN, responsible for seed specificity and LEC2 activation, was determined by 5'-deletion analysis. Binding experiments in yeast cells and electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that LEC2 specifically bound to two conserved RY elements in this region. In transient expression assays, mutation in either RY element dramatically reduced LEC2 activation of OLEOSIN promoter activity, while double mutation abolished it. Analysis of the distribution of RY elements in seed-specific genes activated by LEC2 also supported the idea that genes containing neighboring RY elements responded strongly to LEC2 activation. Therefore, we conclude that two neighboring RY elements are essential for efficient LEC2 activation of OLEOSIN expression. These findings will help us better utilize seed-specific promoter activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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