WRKY transcription factors are one of the largest families of transcriptional regulators in plants and form integral parts of signalling webs that modulate many plant processes. Here, we review recent significant progress in WRKY transcription factor research. New findings illustrate that WRKY proteins often act as repressors as well as activators, and that members of the family play roles in both the repression and de-repression of important plant processes. Furthermore, it is becoming clear that a single WRKY transcription factor might be involved in regulating several seemingly disparate processes. Mechanisms of signalling and transcriptional regulation are being dissected, uncovering WRKY protein functions via interactions with a diverse array of protein partners, including MAP kinases, MAP kinase kinases, 14-3-3 proteins, calmodulin, histone deacetylases, resistance proteins and other WRKY transcription factors. WRKY genes exhibit extensive autoregulation and cross-regulation that facilitates transcriptional reprogramming in a dynamic web with built-in redundancy.
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