Transcription factors that directly regulate the expression of CSLA9 encoding mannan synthase in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant Mol Biol. 2014 Mar;84(4-5):577-87. doi: 10.1007/s11103-013-0154-9. Epub 2013 Nov 17.


Mannans are hemicellulosic polysaccharides that have a structural role and serve as storage reserves during plant growth and development. Previous studies led to the conclusion that mannan synthase enzymes in several plant species are encoded by members of the cellulose synthase-like A (CSLA) gene family. Arabidopsis has nine members of the CSLA gene family. Earlier work has shown that CSLA9 is responsible for the majority of glucomannan synthesis in both primary and secondary cell walls of Arabidopsis inflorescence stems. Little is known about how expression of the CLSA9 gene is regulated. Sequence analysis of the CSLA9 promoter region revealed the presence of multiple copies of a cis-regulatory motif (M46RE) recognized by transcription factor MYB46, leading to the hypothesis that MYB46 (At5g12870) is a direct regulator of the mannan synthase CLSA9. We obtained several lines of experimental evidence in support of this hypothesis. First, the expression of CSLA9 was substantially upregulated by MYB46 overexpression. Second, electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was used to demonstrate the direct binding of MYB46 to the promoter of CSLA9 in vitro. This interaction was further confirmed in vivo by a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Finally, over-expression of MYB46 resulted in a significant increase in mannan content. Considering the multifaceted nature of MYB46-mediated transcriptional regulation of secondary wall biosynthesis, we reasoned that additional transcription factors are involved in the CSLA9 regulation. This hypothesis was tested by carrying out yeast-one hybrid screening, which identified ANAC041 and bZIP1 as direct regulators of CSLA9. Transcriptional activation assays and EMSA were used to confirm the yeast-one hybrid results. Taken together, we report that transcription factors ANAC041, bZIP1 and MYB46 directly regulate the expression of CSLA9.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mannosyltransferases / genetics
  • Mannosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • Myb46 protein, Arabidopsis
  • NAC041 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors
  • bZIP1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • CSLA9 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • Mannosyltransferases
  • mannan synthetase