Identification of a sequence-specific DNA binding factor required for transcription of the barley chloroplast blue light-responsive psbD-psbC promoter.
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The plastid gene psbD encodes the photosystem II reaction center chlorophyll protein D2. psbD is located in a complex operon that includes psbC, psbK, psbl, orf62, and trnG. The operon is transcribed from at least three different promoters. One of the psbD promoters is differentially activated when plants are exposed to blue light. In this study, the psbD blue light-responsive promoter was accurately transcribed in vitro in high-salt extracts of barley plastids. Transcription required supercoiled templates and was inhibited by tagetitoxin, an inhibitor of plastid transcription. Escherichia coli RNA polymerase did not recognize the psbD light-responsive promoter with the same specificity as plastid RNA polymerase. Deletion analyses demonstrated that sequences between -39 and -68, upstream of the transcription initiation site, were required for transcription of the psbD blue light-responsive promoter. This DNA region is highly conserved among plant species and contains multiple AAG sequences. Gel shift assays and DNase I footprinting experiments demonstrated that the AAG-rich DNA sequence interacts with a sequence-specific DNA binding factor termed AGF. Point mutations in the AAG cis element decreased binding of AGF and inhibited transcription from the psbD light-responsive promoter. We concluded that AGF is an essential factor required for transcription of the psbD light-responsive promoter.
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