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Front Plant Sci. 2017 Mar 7;8:178. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00178. eCollection 2017.

Electromagnetic Field Seems to Not Influence Transcription via CTCT Motif in Three Plant Promoters.

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Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Wrocław University of Science and Technology Wrocław, Poland.
Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Wrocław Wrocław, Poland.


It was proposed that magnetic fields (MFs) can influence gene transcription via CTCT motif located in human HSP70 promoter. To check the universality of this mechanism, we estimated the potential role of this motif on plant gene transcription in response to MFs using both bioinformatics and experimental studies. We searched potential promoter sequences (1000 bp upstream) in the potato Solanum tuberosum and thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana genomes for the CTCT sequence. The motif was found, on average, 3.6 and 4.3 times per promoter (148,487 and 134,361 motifs in total) in these two species, respectively; however, the CTCT sequences were not randomly distributed in the promoter regions but were preferentially located near the transcription initiation site and were closely packed. The closer these CTCT sequences to the transcription initiation site, the smaller distance between them in both plants. One can assume that genes with many CTCT motifs in their promoter regions can be potentially regulated by MFs. To check this assumption, we tested the influence of MFs on gene expression in a transgenic potato with three promoters (16R, 20R, and 5UGT) containing from 3 to 12 CTCT sequences and starting expression of β-glucuronidase as a reported gene. The potatoes were exposed to a 50 Hz 60-70 A/m MF for 30 min and the reporter gene activity was measured for up to 24 h. Although other factors induced the reporter gene activity, the MF did not. It implies the CTCT motif does not mediate in response to MF in the tested plant promoters.


50 Hz magnetic field; Arabidopsis thaliana; CTCT; Solanum tuberosum; electromagnetic field responsive element

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