Transcription factor ABI3 auto-activates its own expression during dehydration stress response

FEBS Lett. 2018 Aug;592(15):2594-2611. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.13194. Epub 2018 Jul 31.


The transcription factor abscisic acid insensitive 3 (ABI3) has recently been shown to mediate the dehydration stress response in nonseed and seed plants by regulation of several downstream genes. Here, we show how ABI3 autoregulates its transcription in response to dehydration stress signalling. Autoactivation is primarily through the Sph/RY element CATGCA present at the promoter region of ABI3. Along with other known cis-elements found at the ABI3 promoter, CATGCA remains occluded by nucleosomes during transcription repression. The nucleosomes tend to reposit during active transcription and are associated with several histone modifications, such as H3K9 and K27 acetylations and H3K4 trimethylation. This work thus, reveals the genetic and epigenetic essentials required for expression of the ABI3 gene, a crucial factor regulating dehydration stress signalling in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Keywords: ABI3; autoactivation; dehydration stress; histone modifications; promoter analyses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agrobacterium tumefaciens
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / physiology
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Dehydration / genetics*
  • Dehydration / metabolism
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Loci
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • ABI3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Transcription Factors