The Arabidopsis transcription factor NAI1 activates the NAI2 promoter by binding to the G-box motifs.


Sarkar S(1), Stefanik N(1)(2), Kunieda T(3)(4), Hara-Nishimura I(4), Yamada K(1).
Author information:
(1)Malopolska Centre of Biotechnology, Jagiellonian University , Krakow, Poland.
(2)Institute of Zoology and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Jagiellonian University , Krakow, Poland.
(3)Graduate School of Science and Technology, Nara Institute of Science and Technology , Ikoma, Japan.
(4)Faculty of Science and Engineering, Konan University , Kobe, Japan.


Brassicaceae plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana, develop endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived structures called ER bodies, which are involved in chemical defense against herbivores. NAI1 is a basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) type transcription factor that regulates two downstream genes, NAI2 and BGLU23, that are responsible for the ER body formation and function. Here, we examined the transcription factor function of NAI1, and found that NAI1 binds to the promoter region of NAI2 and activates the NAI2 promoter. The recombinant NAI1 protein recognizes the canonical and non-canonical G-box motifs in the NAI2 promoter. Furthermore, we examined the DNA binding activity of NAI1 toward several E-box motifs in the NAI2 and BGLU23 promoters and found that NAI1 binds to a DNA fragment that includes an E-box motif from the BGLU23 promoter. Subcellular localization of NAI1 was evident in the nucleus, which is consistent with its transcription factor function. Transient expression experiments in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves showed that GFP-NAI1 protein activated the NAI2 promoter by binding to the two G-boxes of the promoter. Disruption of the G-boxes abolished the NAI1-dependent activation of the NAI2 promoter. These results indicate that NAI1 has a DNA binding activity in a motif-dependent manner and suggest that NAI1 regulates NAI2 and BGLU23 gene expressions through binding to these DNA motifs in their promoters.