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Plant Physiol. 2013 Mar;161(3):1392-408. doi: 10.1104/pp.112.210724. Epub 2013 Jan 8.

The MPK6-ERF6-ROS-responsive cis-acting Element7/GCC box complex modulates oxidative gene transcription and the oxidative response in Arabidopsis.

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Institute of Plant Stress Biology, State Key Laboratory of Cotton Biology, Department of Biology, Henan University, Kaifeng 475001, China.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been characterized as both important signaling molecules and universal stressors that mediate many developmental and physiological responses. So far, details of the transcriptional mechanism of ROS-responsive genes are largely unknown. In the study reported here, we identified seven potential ROS-responsive cis-acting elements (ROSEs) from the promoters of genes up-regulated by ROS in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We also found that the APETALA2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor6 (ERF6) could bind specifically to the ROSE7/GCC box. Coexpression of ERF6 enhanced luciferase activity driven by ROSE7. The deficient mutants of ERF6 showed growth retardation and higher sensitivity to photodamage. ERF6 interacted physically with mitogen-activated protein kinase6 (MPK6) and also served as a substrate of MPK6. MPK6-mediated ERF6 phosphorylation at both serine-266 and serine-269 affected the dynamic alternation of the ERF6 protein, which resulted in changes in ROS-responsive gene transcription. These data might provide new insight into the mechanisms that regulate ROS-responsive gene transcription via a complex of MPK6, ERF6, and the ROSE7/GCC box under oxidative stress or a fluctuating light environment.

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