The sucrose regulated transcription factor bZIP11 affects amino acid metabolism by regulating the expression of ASPARAGINE SYNTHETASE1 and PROLINE DEHYDROGENASE2

Plant J. 2008 Mar;53(6):935-49. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03385.x. Epub 2007 Dec 6.


Translation of the transcription factor bZIP11 is repressed by sucrose in a process that involves a highly conserved peptide encoded by the 5' leaders of bZIP11 and other plant basic region leucine zipper (bZip) genes. It is likely that a specific signaling pathway operating at physiological sucrose concentrations controls metabolism via a feedback mechanism. In this paper bZIP11 target processes are identified using transiently increased nuclear bZIP11 levels and genome-wide expression analysis. bZIP11 affects the expression of hundreds of genes with proposed functions in biochemical pathways and signal transduction. The expression levels of approximately 80% of the genes tested are not affected by bZIP11 promoter-mediated overexpression of bZIP11. This suggests that <20% of the identified genes appear to be physiologically relevant targets of bZIP11. ASPARAGINE SYNTHETASE1 and PROLINE DEHYDROGENASE2 are among the rapidly activated bZIP11 targets, whose induction is independent of protein translation. Transient expression experiments in Arabidopsis protoplasts show that the bZIP11-dependent activation of the ASPARAGINE SYNTHETASE1 gene is dependent on a G-box element present in the promoter. Increased bZIP11 expression leads to decreased proline and increased phenylalanine levels. A model is proposed in which sugar signals control amino acid levels via the bZIP11 transcription factor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Aspartate-Ammonia Ligase / genetics
  • Aspartate-Ammonia Ligase / metabolism*
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Proline Oxidase / genetics
  • Proline Oxidase / metabolism*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Sucrose / metabolism*


  • ATB2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Amino Acids
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Sucrose
  • Proline Oxidase
  • Aspartate-Ammonia Ligase