Role of WRINKLED1 in the transcriptional regulation of glycolytic and fatty acid biosynthetic genes in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2009 Dec;60(6):933-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.04011.x.


The WRINKLED1 (WRI1) protein is an important regulator of oil accumulation in maturing Arabidopsis seeds. WRI1 is a member of a plant-specific family of transcription factors (AP2/EREBP) that share either one or two copies of a DNA-binding domain called the AP2 domain. Here, it is shown that WRI1 acts as a transcriptional enhancer of genes involved in carbon metabolism in transgenic seeds overexpressing this transcription factor. PKp-beta1 and BCCP2, two genes encoding enzymes of the glycolysis and fatty acid biosynthetic pathway, respectively, have been chosen to investigate the regulatory action exerted by WRI1 over these pathways. Using the reporter gene uidA, it was possible to demonstrate in planta that WRI1 regulates the activity of both PKp-beta1 and BCCP2 promoters. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assays and yeast one-hybrid experiments showed that WRI1 was able to interact with the BCCP2 promoter. To further elucidate the regulatory mechanism controlling the transcription of these genes, functional dissections of PKp-beta1 and BCCP2 promoters were performed. Two enhancers, of 54 and 79 bp, respectively, have thus been isolated that are essential to direct the activity of these promoters in oil-accumulating tissues of the embryo. A consensus site is present in these enhancers as well as in other putative target promoters of WRI1. Loss of this consensus sequence in the BCPP2 promoter decreases both the strength of the interaction between WRI1 and this promoter in yeast and the activity of the promoter in planta.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Consensus Sequence
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic
  • Fatty Acids / biosynthesis*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Glycolysis / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Plant
  • Fatty Acids
  • Transcription Factors
  • WRINKLED1 protein, Arabidopsis