Rice phytochrome-interacting factor protein OsPIF14 represses OsDREB1B gene expression through an extended N-box and interacts preferentially with the active form of phytochrome B

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Feb;1859(2):393-404. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2015.12.008. Epub 2015 Dec 28.


DREB1/CBF genes, known as major regulators of plant stress responses, are rapidly and transiently induced by low temperatures. Using a yeast one-hybrid screening, we identified a putative Phytochrome-Interacting bHLH Factor (OsPIF14), as binding to the OsDREB1B promoter. bHLH proteins are able to bind to hexameric E-box (CANNTG) or N-box (CACG(A/C)G) motifs, depending on transcriptional activity. We have shown that OsPIF14 binds to the OsDREB1B promoter through two N-boxes and that the flanking regions of the hexameric core are essential for protein-DNA interaction and stability. We also showed that OsPIF14 down-regulates OsDREB1B gene expression in rice protoplasts, corroborating the OsPIF14 repressor activity observed in the transactivation assays using Arabidopsis protoplasts. In addition, we showed that OsPIF14 is indeed a phytochrome interacting factor, which preferentially binds to the active form (Pfr) of rice phytochrome B. This raises the possibility that OsPIF14 activity might be modulated by light. However, we did not observe any regulation of the OsDREB1B gene expression by light under control conditions. Moreover, OsPIF14 gene expression was shown to be modulated by different treatments, such as drought, salt, cold and ABA. Interestingly, OsPIF14 showed also a specific cold-induced alternative splicing. All together, these results suggest the possibility that OsPIF14 is involved in cross-talk between light and stress signaling through interaction with the OsDREB1B promoter. Although in the absence of stress, OsDREB1B gene expression was not regulated by light, given previous reports, it remains possible that OsPIF14 has a role in light modulation of stress responses.

Keywords: Alternative splicing; Cold stress; Light regulation; OsDREB1B; Protein–DNA interaction; Rice phytochrome-interacting factor 14 (OsPIF14).

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Oryza / physiology
  • Phytochrome B / genetics*
  • Phytochrome B / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DREB1A protein, Arabidopsis
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Phytochrome B