DEWAX-mediated transcriptional repression of cuticular wax biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant Signal Behav. 2014;9(8):e29463. doi: 10.4161/psb.29463.


The aerial parts of plants are covered with a cuticular wax layer, which is the first barrier between a plant and its environment. Although cuticular wax deposition increases more in the light than in the dark, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of cuticular wax biosynthesis. Recently DEWAX (Decrease Wax Biosynthesis) encoding an AP2/ERF transcription factor was found to be preferentially expressed in the epidermis and induced by darkness. Wax analysis of the dewax knockout mutant, wild type, and DEWAX overexpression lines (OX) indicates that DEWAX is a negative regulator of cuticular wax biosynthesis. DEWAX represses the expression of wax biosynthetic genes CER1, LACS2, ACLA2, and ECR via direct interaction with their promoters. Cuticular wax biosynthesis is negatively regulated twice a day by the expression of DEWAX; throughout the night and another for stomata closing. Taken together, it is evident that DEWAX-mediated negative regulation of the wax biosynthetic genes plays role in determining the total wax loads produced in Arabidopsis during daily dark and light cycles. In addition, significantly higher levels of DEWAX transcripts in leaves than stems suggest that DEWAX-mediated transcriptional repression might be involved in the organ-specific regulation of total wax amounts on plant surfaces.

Keywords: Arabidopsis; Cuticle; DEWAX; Transcription factor; Transcriptional Repression; Wax.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Light
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Epidermis / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Waxes / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Waxes