Detailed architecture of the barley chloroplast psbD-psbC blue light-responsive promoter. Academic Article uri icon


  • The photosystem II reaction center chlorophyll protein D2, is encoded by the chloroplast gene psbD. PsbD is transcribed from at least three different promoters, one which is activated by high fluence blue light. Sequences within 130 base pairs (bp) of the psbD blue light-responsive promoter (BLRP) are highly conserved in higher plants. In this study, the structure of the psbD BLRP was analyzed in detail using deletion and site-directed mutagenesis and in vitro transcription. Deletion analysis showed that a 53-bp DNA region of the psbD BLRP, from -57 to -5, was sufficient for transcription in vitro. Mutation of a putative prokaryotic -10 element (TATTCT) located from -7 to -12 inhibited transcription from the psbD BLRP. In contrast, mutation of a putative prokaryotic -35 element, had no influence on transcription. Mutation of a TATATA sequence located between the barley psbA -10 and -35 elements significantly reduced transcription from this promoter. However, site-directed mutation of sequences located between -35 and -10 had no effect on transcription from the psbD BLRP. Transcription from the psbD BLRP was previously shown to require a 22-bp sequence, termed the AAG-box, located between -36 and -57. The AAG-box specifically binds the protein complex AGF. Site-directed mutagenesis identified two different sequence motifs in the AAG-box that are important for transcription in vitro. Based on these results, we propose that positive factors bind to the AAG-box and interact with the chloroplast-encoded RNA polymerase to promote transcription from the psbD BLRP. Transcription from the psbD BLRP is thus similar to type II bacterial promoters that use activating proteins to stimulate transcription. Transcription of the psbD BLRP was approximately 6. 5-fold greater in plastid extracts from illuminated versus dark-grown plants. This suggests that light-induced activation of this promoter in vivo involves factors interacting with the 53-bp psbD BLRP in vitro.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, M., Thum, K. E., Morishige, D. T., & Mullet, J. E.

citation count

  • 48

complete list of authors

  • Kim, M||Thum, KE||Morishige, DT||Mullet, JE

publication date

  • January 1999