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Plant Cell. 1997 Apr;9(4):491-507.

A Myb-related transcription factor is involved in the phytochrome regulation of an Arabidopsis Lhcb gene.

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Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of California, Los Angeles 90095-1606, USA.


We have isolated the gene for a protein designated CCA1. This protein can bind to a region of the promoter of an Arabidopsis light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein gene, Lhcb1*3, which is necessary for its regulation by phytochrome. The CCA1 protein interacted with two imperfect repeats in the Lhcb1*3 promoter, AAA/cAATCT, a sequence that is conserved in Lhcb genes. A region near the N terminus of CCA1, which has some homology to the repeated sequence found in the DNA binding domain of Myb proteins, is required for binding to the Lhcb1*3 promoter. Lines of transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing antisense RNA for CCA1 showed reduced phytochrome induction of the endogenous Lhcb1*3 gene, whereas expression of another phytochrome-regulated gene, rbcS-1A, which encodes the small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, was not affected. Thus, the CCA1 protein acts as a specific activator of Lhcb1*3 transcription in response to brief red illumination. The expression of CCA1 RNA was itself transiently increased when etiolated seedlings were transferred to light. We conclude that the CCA1 protein is a key element in the functioning of the phytochrome signal transduction pathway leading to increased transcription of this Lhcb gene in Arabidopsis.

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