B-GATA transcription factors - insights into their structure, regulation, and role in plant development

Front Plant Sci. 2015 Feb 23;6:90. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00090. eCollection 2015.


GATA transcription factors are evolutionarily conserved transcriptional regulators that recognize promoter elements with a G-A-T-A core sequence. In comparison to animal genomes, the GATA transcription factor family in plants is comparatively large with approximately 30 members. Here, we review the current knowledge on B-GATAs, one of four GATA factor subfamilies from Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that B-GATAs can be subdivided based on structural features and their biological function into family members with a C-terminal LLM- (leucine-leucine-methionine) domain or an N-terminal HAN- (HANABA TARANU) domain. The paralogous GNC (GATA, NITRATE-INDUCIBLE, CARBON-METABOLISM INVOLVED) and CGA1/GNL (CYTOKININ-INDUCED GATA1/GNC-LIKE) are introduced as LLM-domain containing B-GATAs from Arabidopsis that control germination, greening, senescence, and flowering time downstream from several growth regulatory signals. Arabidopsis HAN and its monocot-specific paralogs from rice (NECK LEAF1), maize (TASSEL SHEATH1), and barley (THIRD OUTER GLUME) are HAN-domain-containing B-GATAs with a predominant role in embryo development and floral development. We also review GATA23, a regulator of lateral root initiation from Arabidopsis that is closely related to GNC and GNL but has a degenerate LLM-domain that is seemingly specific for the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae-specific GATA23 and the monocot-specific HAN-domain GATAs provide evidence that neofunctionalization of B-GATAs was used during plant evolution to expand the functional repertoire of these transcription factors.

Keywords: B-GATA; CGA1; GATA; GNC; GNL; HAN-domain; HANABA TARANU; LLM-domain.

Publication types

  • Review