Site-specific mutations alter in vitro factor binding and change promoter expression pattern in transgenic plants.


Journal Article

The 35S promoter of cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) is able to confer high-level gene expression in most organs of transgenic plants. A cellular factor from pea and tobacco leaf tissue, which recognizes nucleotides in a tandemly repeated TGACG motif at the -75 region of this promoter, has been detected by DNase I footprinting and gel retardation assays. This factor is named activation sequence factor 1 (ASF-1). A cellular factor binding to the two TGACG motifs can also be detected in tobacco root extracts. Mutations at these motifs inhibit binding of ASF-1 to the 35S promoter in vitro. When examined in transgenic tobacco, these mutations cause a 50% drop in leaf expression of the 35S promoter. In addition, these same mutations attenuate stem and root expression of the 35S promoter about 5- to 10-fold when compared to the level of expression in leaf. In contrast, mutations at two adjacent CCAAT-box-like sequences have no dramatic effect on promoter activity in vivo. A 21-base-pair element containing the two TGACG motifs is sufficient for binding of ASF-1 in vitro when inserted in a green-tissue-specific promoter. In vivo, the insertion of an ASF-1 binding site caused high levels of expression in root. Thus, a single factor binding site that is defined by site-specific mutations is shown to be sufficient to alter the expression pattern of promoters in vivo.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lam, E; Benfey, PN; Gilmartin, PM; Fang, RX; Chua, NH

Published Date

  • October 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 20

Start / End Page

  • 7890 - 7894

PubMed ID

  • 2813365

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2813365

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8424

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.86.20.7890


  • eng