EFFECTOR OF TRANSCRIPTION factors are novel plant-specific regulators associated with genomic DNA methylation in Arabidopsis

New Phytol. 2019 Jan;221(1):261-278. doi: 10.1111/nph.15439. Epub 2018 Sep 25.


Plant-specific EFFECTORS OF TRANSCRIPTION (ET) are characterised by a variable number of highly conserved ET repeats, which are involved in zinc and DNA binding. In addition, ETs share a GIY-YIG domain, involved in DNA nicking activity. It was hypothesised that ETs might act as epigenetic regulators. Here, methylome, transcriptome and phenotypic analyses were performed to investigate the role of ET factors and their involvement in DNA methylation in Arabidopsis thaliana. Comparative DNA methylation and transcriptome analyses in flowers and seedlings of et mutants revealed ET-specific differentially expressed genes and mostly independently characteristic, ET-specific differentially methylated regions. Loss of ET function results in pleiotropic developmental defects. The accumulation of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers after ultraviolet stress in et mutants suggests an ET function in DNA repair.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; DNA methylation; DNA repair; EFFECTOR OF TRANSCRIPTION (ET); methylome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / radiation effects
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Flowers / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Multigene Family
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Pyrimidine Dimers / metabolism
  • Seedlings / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • Whole Genome Sequencing


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • ET1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • ET2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Pyrimidine Dimers
  • Transcription Factors