Ethylene is an endogenous plant hormone that influences many aspects of plant
growth and development. Some defense related genes that are induced by
ethylene were found to contain a cis-regulatory element known as the Ethylene-Responsive Element (ERE) . Sequence analysis on various ERE regions
identified a short motif rich in G/C nucleotides, the GCC-box, essential for
the response to ethylene. This short motif is recognized by a family of
transcrition factors, the ERE binding factors (ERF) [2,3].
ERF proteins contain an about 60 amino acid region which is also found in the
APETALA2 (AP2) protein, the AP2/ERF domain . It has been shown in various
proteins that the AP2/ERF domain is necessary and sufficient to bind GCC-box
The structure of the AP2/ERF domain in complex with the target DNA has been
solved (see <PDB:1GCC>) . The structure resemble that of bacteriophage
integrases and the methyl-CpG-binding domain (MBD) (see <PDOC50982>): a
three-stranded β-sheet and an α helice almost parallel to the
β-sheet. It contacts DNA via Arg and Trp residues located in the β-sheet.
Some proteins known to contain an AP2/ERF domain are listed below:
Arabidopsis thaliana ERF1 to 6.
Tobacco ethylene-responsive element-binding proteins (EREBPs), homologues
of ERFs proteins.
Arabidopsis thaliana AP2 protein. It regulates meristeme identity, floral
organ specification and seed coat development.
Arabidopsis thaliana C-repeat/dehydration-responsive element (DRE) binding
factor 1 (CBF1 or DREB1) and DREB2. They bind a GCC-box-like element found
in dehydratation responsive element. Binding to this element mediates
Arabidopsis thaliana and maize abscisic acid (ABA)-insensitive 4 (ABI4)
proteins. They bind to a GCC-box-like element found in ABA-responsive
Octadecanoid-derivative responsive catharenthus AP2-domain (ORCA2) protein.
It binds a GCC-box-like element in the jasmonate responsive element of Str
Tomato Pto-interacting proteins 4 to 6 (Pti4 to Pti6). Pti5 and 6 bind a
GCC-box-like element in regulatory regions of various pathogenesis-related
Trichodesmium erythraeum, Tetrahymena thermophila, Enterobacteria phage
RB49 and bacteriophage Felix 01 HNH endonucleases. HNH endonucleases are
homing endonucleases that move extensively via lateral gene transfer .
The profile we developed covers the whole AP2/ERF domain.
November 2004 / First entry.
PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:
Broglie K.E. Biddle P. Cressman R. Broglie R.
Functional analysis of DNA sequences responsible for ethylene regulation of a bean chitinase gene in transgenic tobacco.
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