The maize transfer cell-specific type-A response regulator ZmTCRR-1 appears to be involved in intercellular signalling

Plant J. 2006 Oct;48(1):17-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02848.x. Epub 2006 Aug 22.


Response regulators are signal-transduction molecules present in bacteria, yeast and plants, acting as relays for environmental challenges. This paper reports the characterization of a Zea mays gene, ZmTCRR-1, that codes for a member of the type-A response regulator class of proteins. The gene was found to be expressed exclusively in the endosperm transfer-cell layer 8-14 days after pollination, when transfer-cell differentiation is most active. The promoter of ZmTCRR-1 was strongly transactivated in heterologous systems by the transfer cell-specific transcription factor ZmMRP-1. The ZmTCRR-1 protein was detected not only in the transfer-cell layer, but also in the conductive tissue deep inside the endosperm, where there is no transcription of the gene. This suggests that two-component systems might be involved in intercellular signal transmission, in contrast to the generally held belief that these systems are involved only in cell-autonomous pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Gene Dosage
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / physiology*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Seeds / cytology
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Signal Transduction / genetics*
  • Zea mays / embryology
  • Zea mays / genetics*
  • Zea mays / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AM085299
  • GENBANK/AM085300
  • GENBANK/AM085301
  • GENBANK/AM085302
  • GENBANK/AM085303
  • GENBANK/AM085304