In vivo interaction between NPR1 and transcription factor TGA2 leads to salicylic acid-mediated gene activation in Arabidopsis.
The Arabidopsis NPR1 protein is a key regulator of salicylic acid (SA)-mediated gene expression in systemic acquired resistance. Based on yeast two-hybrid analysis, NPR1 has been suggested to interact with members of the TGA family of transcription factors, including TGA2 (AHBP-1b). However, genetic evidence demonstrating that the NPR1-TGA interaction occurs in planta is still lacking, and the role of this interaction in SA-mediated gene activation has yet to be determined. In this study, we expressed a truncated form of TGA2 in Arabidopsis and found that the resulting transgenic lines displayed phenotypes similar to those of npr1 mutants. This dominant-negative effect of the TGA2 mutant shows that TGA2 and NPR1 interact in planta. We also present biochemical evidence indicating that this interaction is specific and enhanced by SA treatment. Moreover, using a chimera reporter system, we found that a chimeric TGA2GAL4 transcription factor activated a UAS(GAL)::GUS reporter gene in response to SA and that this activation was abolished in the npr1 mutant. NPR1 is required for the DNA binding activity of the transcription factor. These genetic data clearly demonstrate that TGA2 is a SA-responsive and NPR1-dependent transcription activator.
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