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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Aug 6;99(16):10899-904. Epub 2002 Jul 29.

Repression of stress-responsive genes by FIERY2, a novel transcriptional regulator in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.


Low temperature, drought, and high salinity induce the expression of many plant genes. To understand the mechanisms for the transcriptional activation of these genes, we conducted a reporter gene-aided genetic screen in Arabidopsis. Seven allelic mutations in the FIERY2 (FRY2) locus result in significant increases in the expression of stress-responsive genes with the DRE/CRT (drought-responsive/C-repeat) cis element but non-DRE/CRT type stress-responsive genes were less affected. The specific regulation of DRE/CRT class of genes by FRY2 appears to be caused by repression of stress induction of the upstream CBF/DREB transcription factor genes. fry2 mutants show increased tolerance to salt stress and to abscisic acid during seed germination but are more sensitive to freezing damage at the seedling stage. FRY2/CPL1 encodes a novel transcriptional repressor harboring two double-stranded RNA-binding domains and a region homologous to the catalytic domain of RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain phosphatases found in yeast and in animals that regulate gene transcription. These data indicate that FRY2 is an important negative regulator of stress gene transcription and suggest that structured RNA may regulate hormone and stress responses in plants as it does in animals.

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