A GCC element and a G-box motif participate in ethylene-induced expression of the PRB-1b gene

Guido Sessa, Yael Meller, Robert Fluhr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The PRB-1b gene codes for a basic-type pathogenesis-related protein and is activated at the transcriptional level by the plant hormone ethylene. To identify cis-acting DNA elements essential for ethylene induction, deleted and mutant forms of the PRB-1b promoter, fused to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) coding region, were introduced in transgenic tobacco plants. A 73 bp fragment (X1 region) of the PRB-1b promoter, located between positions -213 and -141, was sufficient to confer ethylene responsiveness to the reporter gene. The X1 region contains a TAAGAGCCGCC motif (GCC-box) well conserved in several ethylene-inducible genes. A substitution mutation in this sequence, in the context of a 213 bp PRB-1b promoter, completely abolished ethylene induction in transgenic tobacco, defining this conserved motif as part of a cis-acting element responsive to ethylene. Three other mutations in the X1 region caused a pronounced decrease in the PRB-1b promoter activity in transgenic plants, but did not affect ethylene inducibility. One of them, localized in a G-box like motif (CACGTG), disrupted the binding site for a nuclear factor, as observed in gel-shift analysis. Interestingly, the mobility of the complex formed on the G-box element was dependent on its phosphorylation state. These results suggest that a cis-acting element involved in the perception of the ethylene signal resides in a GCC motif and acts in concert with additional elements in the regulation of ethylene-induced PRB-1b expression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • G-box
  • GCC element
  • ethylene
  • nuclear DNA-binding protein
  • pathogenesis-related proteins
  • transgenic plant


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