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Mol Gen Genet. 1993 Apr;238(3):428-36.

Modular organization and development activity of an Arabidopsis thaliana EF-1 alpha gene promoter.

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Laboratoire de Biologie Mol├ęculaire des Relations Plantes-Microorganismes, CNRS-INRA, Castanet-Tolosan, France.


The activity of the Arabidopsis thalana A1 EF-1 alpha gene promoter was analyzed in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. The 5' upstream sequence of the A1 gene and several promoter deletions were fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) coding region. Promoter activity was monitored by quantitative and histochemical assays of GUS activity. The results show that the A1 promoter exhibits a modular organization. Sequences both upstream and downstream relative to the transcription initiation site are involved in quantitative and tissue-specific expression during vegetative growth. One upstream element may be involved in the activation of expression in meristematic tissues; the downstream region, corresponding to an intron within the 5' non-coding region (5'IVS), is important for expression in roots; both upstream and downstream sequences are required for expression in leaves, suggesting combinatorial properties of EF-1 alpha cis-regulatory elements. This notion of specific combinatorial regulation is reinforced by the results of transient expression experiments in transfected Arabidopsis protoplasts. The deletion of the 5'IVS has much more effect on expression when the promoter activity is under the control of A1 EF-1 alpha upstream sequences than when these upstream sequences were replaced by the 35S enhancer. Similarly, a synthetic oligonucleotide corresponding to an A1 EF-1 alpha upstream cis-acting element (the TEF1 box), is able to restore partially the original activity when fused to a TEF1-less EF1-alpha promoter but has no significant effect when fused to an enhancer-less 35S promoter.

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