The transcriptional activator Opaque-2 controls the expression of a cytosolic form of pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase-1 in maize endosperms

Mol Gen Genet. 1996 Mar 20;250(5):647-54. doi: 10.1007/BF02174452.


The maize Opaque-2 (O2) protein is a transcription factor of the basic/leucine-zipper class, involved in the regulation of endosperm proteins including the 22kDa alpha-zein storage proteins and b32 protein. In this study we have focussed our attention on the relationship between O2 and the cyPPDK1 gene, which encodes a cytoplasmic pyruvate orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) isoform. The results of this study showed that PPDK activity is detectable in wild-type maize endosperms, while in o2 mutant endosperms, the levels of PPDK protein, mRNA and enzymatic activity are reduced, indicating that O2 is involved in the regulation of cyPPDK1 in this tissue. By employing transient expression experiments in tobacco mesophyll protoplasts, we have demonstrated that the O2 protein can activate expression of a chloramphenicol acetyl transferase reporter gene placed under the control of the cyPPDK1 promoter. An in vitro binding assay and DNaseI footprint analysis demonstrated that a specific sequence in the cyPPDK1 promoter can be recognized and protected by maize O2 protein. The regulation by the O2 locus of cyPPDK1 reported here, and control of alpha-zein synthesis by O2 suggest that the O2 protein may play a more general role in maize endosperm development than previously thought.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cytosol / enzymology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Leucine Zippers
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Proteins*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protoplasts / enzymology
  • Pyruvate, Orthophosphate Dikinase / biosynthesis*
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Seeds / enzymology
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Zea mays / enzymology*
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • opaque-2 protein, Zea mays
  • Pyruvate, Orthophosphate Dikinase