Homing into the origin of the AP2 DNA binding domain

Trends Plant Sci. 2005 Feb;10(2):54-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2004.12.007.


The AP2 DNA binding domain was thought to be plant specific because of its presence in plant, but not animal, transcriptional regulators, particularly members of the AP2/ERF family. Two recent studies have identified the AP2 domain in bacteria, bacteriophage and a ciliate as part of proteins that also encode site-specific endonucleases. The association of AP2 with an enzyme known to catalyze its own movement within populations and between species explains the unusual distribution of AP2 and, as such, adds to a growing list of phenomena where mobile DNA has promoted evolutionary novelty.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*


  • APETALA2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Plant Proteins