APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factor (AP2/ERF) transcription factors: mediators of stress responses and developmental programs

New Phytol. 2013 Aug;199(3):639-49. doi: 10.1111/nph.12291.


Transcription factors belonging to the APETALA2/Ethylene Responsive Factor (AP2/ERF) family are conservatively widespread in the plant kingdom. These regulatory proteins are involved in the control of primary and secondary metabolism, growth and developmental programs, as well as responses to environmental stimuli. Due to their plasticity and to the specificity of individual members of this family, AP2/ERF transcription factors represent valuable targets for genetic engineering and breeding of crops. In this review, we integrate the evidence collected from functional and structural studies to describe their different mechanisms of action and the regulatory pathways that affect their activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Development / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Secondary Metabolism / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors