Growth-Regulating Factors (GRFs): A Small Transcription Factor Family with Important Functions in Plant Biology

Mol Plant. 2015 Jul;8(7):998-1010. doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2015.01.013. Epub 2015 Jan 22.


Growth-regulating factors (GRFs) are plant-specific transcription factors that were originally identified for their roles in stem and leaf development, but recent studies highlight them to be similarly important for other central developmental processes including flower and seed formation, root development, and the coordination of growth processes under adverse environmental conditions. The expression of several GRFs is controlled by microRNA miR396, and the GRF-miRNA396 regulatory module appears to be central to several of these processes. In addition, transcription factors upstream of GRFs and miR396 have been discovered, and gradually downstream target genes of GRFs are being unraveled. Here, we review the current knowledge of the biological functions performed by GRFs and survey available molecular data to illustrate how they exert their roles at the cellular level.

Keywords: abiotic stress; chromatin remodeling; flower development; growth regulation; leaf development; miRNA.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Flowers / growth & development
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors