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Plant J. 1993 May;3(5):669-79.

Isolation of a maize bZIP protein subfamily: candidates for the ocs-element transcription factor.

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Department of Biology, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


Ocs-elements, a family of 20 bp DNA sequences, are components of a number of promoters active in plants. In the maize BMS cell line the dominant ocs-element binding activity is the ocs-element transcription factor complex called OTF. The isolation of cDNA clones from a BMS cDNA expression library for two bZIP (basic region-leucine zipper) proteins that bind the ocs-element sequence and are good candidates for forming at least part of OTF is described. The two ocs-element binding proteins, called OBF3.1 and OBF3.2, are closely related, with the OBF3.1 protein sharing 95.8% amino acid homology with part of the OBF3.2 protein although there were significant differences in the 3' untranslated regions. Genomic Southern blot analysis revealed a small gene family with a minimum of two OBF3 loci mapping to chromosomes 3L105 and 8L075. The OBF3.1 protein shared considerable homology with the wheat HBP1b protein (80% amino acid identity) and to a lesser extent with the tobacco TGA1aa protein. OBF3.1 like HBP1b was able to bind well to the Hex sequence but poorly to G-box/ABRE sequences. Interestingly, OBF3.1 bound eightfold more efficiently to an ocs-element sequence than TGA1a, raising the possibility that OBF3.1 and TGA1a may be distinct members of an OBF3/TGA subfamily.

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