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Plant Physiol. 2010 Dec;154(4):1805-18. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.165563. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

The Arabidopsis PR-1 promoter contains multiple integration sites for the coactivator NPR1 and the repressor SNI1.

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Albrecht-von-Haller-Institut für Pflanzenwissenschaften, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, D-37073 Goettingen, Germany.


Systemic acquired resistance is a broad-spectrum plant immune response involving massive transcriptional reprogramming. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) PATHOGENESIS-RELATED-1 (PR-1) gene has been used in numerous studies to elucidate transcriptional control mechanisms regulating systemic acquired resistance. WRKY transcription factors and basic leucine zipper proteins of the TGA family regulate the PR-1 promoter by binding to specific cis-elements. In addition, the promoter is under the control of two proteins that do not directly contact the DNA: the positive regulator NONEXPRESSOR OF PR GENES1 (NPR1), which physically interacts with TGA factors, and the repressor SUPPRESSOR OF NPR1, INDUCIBLE1 (SNI1). In this study, we analyzed the importance of the TGA-binding sites LS5 and LS7 and the WKRY box LS4 for regulation by NPR1 and SNI1. In the absence of LS5 and LS7, NPR1 activates the PR-1 promoter through a mechanism that requires LS4. Since transcriptional activation of WRKY genes is under the control of NPR1 and since LS4 is not sufficient for the activation of a truncated PR-1 promoter by the effector protein NPR1-VP16 in transient assays, it is concluded that the LS4-dependent activation of the PR-1 promoter is indirect. In the case of NPR1 acting directly through TGA factors at its target promoters, two TGA-binding sites are necessary but not sufficient for NPR1 function in transgenic plants and in the NPR-VP16-based trans-activation assay in protoplasts. SNI1 exerts its negative effect in the noninduced state by targeting unknown proteins associated with sequences between bp -816 and -573. Under induced conditions, SNI1 negatively regulates the function of WRKY transcription factors binding to WKRY boxes between bp -550 and -510.

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