AP2/EREBP transcription factors are part of gene regulatory networks and integrate metabolic, hormonal and environmental signals in stress acclimation and retrograde signalling

Protoplasma. 2010 Sep;245(1-4):3-14. doi: 10.1007/s00709-010-0142-8. Epub 2010 Apr 22.


To optimize acclimation responses to environmental growth conditions, plants integrate and weigh a diversity of input signals. Signal integration within the signalling networks occurs at different sites including the level of transcription factor activation. Accumulating evidence assigns a major and diversified role in environmental signal integration to the family of APETALA 2/ethylene response element binding protein (AP2/EREBP) transcription factors. Presently, the Plant Transcription Factor Database 3.0 assigns 147 gene loci to this family in Arabidopsis thaliana, 200 in Populus trichocarpa and 163 in Oryza sativa subsp. japonica as compared to 13 to 14 in unicellular algae ( http://plntfdb.bio.uni-potsdam.de/v3.0/ ). AP2/EREBP transcription factors have been implicated in hormone, sugar and redox signalling in context of abiotic stresses such as cold and drought. This review exemplarily addresses present-day knowledge of selected AP2/EREBP with focus on a function in stress signal integration and retrograde signalling and defines AP2/EREBP-linked gene networks from transcriptional profiling-based graphical Gaussian models. The latter approach suggests highly interlinked functions of AP2/EREBPs in retrograde and stress signalling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins / classification
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Environment
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants* / genetics
  • Plants* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Transcription Factor AP-2 / genetics
  • Transcription Factor AP-2 / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factor AP-2
  • ethylene-responsive element binding protein