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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Jan;7(1):86-92. doi: 10.4161/psb.7.1.18377.

Diverse roles of Groucho/Tup1 co-repressors in plant growth and development.

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Department of Genetics, The University of Melbourne, Royal Parade, Parkville, VIC, Australia.


Transcriptional regulation involves coordinated and often complex interactions between activators and repressors that together dictate the temporal and spatial activity of target genes. While the study of developmental regulation has often focused on positively acting transcription factors, it is becoming increasingly clear that transcriptional repression is a key regulatory mechanism underpinning many developmental processes in both plants and animals. In this review, we focus on the plant Groucho (Gro)/Tup1-like co-repressors and discuss their roles in establishing the apical-basal axis of the developing embryo, maintaining the stem cell population in the shoot apex and determining floral organ identity.  As well as being developmental regulators, recent studies have shown that these co-repressors play a central role in regulating auxin and jasmonate signalling pathways and are also linked to the regulation of pectin structure in the seed coat. These latest findings point to the Gro/Tup1-like co-repressors playing a much broad role in plant growth and development than previously thought; an observation that underlines the central importance of transcriptional repression in plant gene regulation.

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