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Plant J. 1994 Oct;6(4):457-70.

Circadian clock- and phytochrome-regulated transcription is conferred by a 78 bp cis-acting domain of the Arabidopsis CAB2 promoter.

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NSF Center for Biological Timing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903.


The Arabidopsis CAB2 promoter was used to define the terminal genomic targets that are subject to regulation by the circadian clock. An in vivo cab::luciferase bioluminescent marker was used to enable the assaying of the expression of chimeric constructs with unprecedented sensitivity and time resolution in living seedlings. Dissection of -322 to +1 of the CAB2 promoter has revealed several interesting features: it was demonstrated that the 323 bp fragment contains at least one strong general positive element. The positive element contains an ACGT core sequence specifically bound by a protein activity, termed CUF-1, and contributes to high level expression but is not required for phytochrome- or circadian-regulation. Moreover, a 78 bp domain was defined that confers both circadian- and phytochrome-regulation upon heterologous promoters. Conserved GATA sequences within the 78 bp regulatory domain are specifically bound by a protein factor designated CGF-1. The binding specificity of CGF-1 appears to be related to the GT-family of trihelix DNA-binding proteins. The role of these DNA-protein interactions is discussed in terms of clock- and phytochrome regulation, and their relevance as targets for pathways defined by photomorphogenic mutants.

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