WRKY transcription factors: from DNA binding towards biological function

We have identified more than 40 WRKY knockout lines but rarely observe phenotypic alterations under standard growth conditions

Bekir √úlker

2004

Scholarcy highlights

  • Ten years ago, Ishiguro and Nakamura identified a novel DNA-binding protein from sweet potato, designated SWEET POTATO FACTOR1
  • We believe that the diversification of this gene family was mainly in response to environmental factors, to pressures imposed by diverse phytopathogens
  • Of imminent importance is to uncover WRKY-interacting proteins that assist in regulating the transcription of genes and, to identify the key components of upstream signal transduction pathways with which they physically communicate
  • Together with the use of wrky mutant lines, will certainly aid in uncovering potential target genes. Taking this approach one step further, microarrays that contain all intergenic DNA regions, whose generation is feasible for Arabidopsis and rice, could be combined with chromatin immunoprecipitation assays to probe for specific WRKY DNA-binding sites at a genome-wide level
  • The primary sequences of hundreds of WRKY proteins from numerous plant species are known, full appreciation of how these factors assemble at DNA-binding sites to modulate transcription will require structural information at atomic resolution
  • Considering the size of this gene family, there is little doubt that WRKY factors will keep us both fascinated and busy in the coming years

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