Identification of cold-inducible downstream genes of the Arabidopsis DREB1A/CBF3 transcriptional factor using two microarray systems

Plant J. 2004 Jun;38(6):982-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2004.02100.x.


The transcriptional factor DREB/CBF (dehydration-responsive element/C-repeat-binding) specifically interacts with the dehydration-responsive element (DRE)/C-repeat (CRT) cis-acting element (A/GCCGAC) and controls the expression of many stress-inducible genes in Arabidopsis. Transgenic plants overexpressing DREB1A showed activated expression of many stress-inducible genes and improved tolerance to not only drought, salinity, and freezing but also growth retardation. We searched for downstream genes in transgenic plants overexpressing DREB1A using the full-length cDNA microarray and Affymetrix GeneChip array. We confirmed candidate genes selected by array analyses using RNA gel blot and identified 38 genes as the DREB1A downstream genes, including 20 unreported new downstream genes. Many of the products of these genes were proteins known to function against stress and were probably responsible for the stress tolerance of the transgenic plants. The downstream genes also included genes for protein factors involved in further regulation of signal transduction and gene expression in response to stress. The identified genes were classified into direct downstream genes of DREB1A and the others based on their expression patterns in response to cold stress. We also searched for conserved sequences in the promoter regions of the direct downstream genes and found A/GCCGACNT in their promoter regions from -51 to -450 as a consensus DRE. The recombinant DREB1A protein bound to A/GCCGACNT more efficiently than to A/GCCGACNA/G/C.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Conserved Sequence
  • DNA, Plant / analysis
  • DNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Plant / analysis
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant
  • DREB1A protein, Arabidopsis
  • RNA, Plant
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors