GOLDEN 2: a novel transcriptional regulator of cellular differentiation in the maize leaf

Plant Cell. 1998 Jun;10(6):925-36. doi: 10.1105/tpc.10.6.925.


The differentiation of distinct cell types within the leaf is essential for normal plant development. We characterized previously a transposon-induced mutant of maize (bundle sheath defective1) that disrupts the differentiation of a single photosynthetic cell type in the leaf. In this study, we show that this mutation is allelic to golden2 (g2), a lesion first reported 70 years ago. We cloned G2 by using Suppressor-mutator as a molecular tag. The gene encodes a 2. 2-kb transcript that is present throughout the wild-type leaf but is most abundant in C4 leaf blade tissue. Gene sequence data showed the existence of a bipartite nuclear localization signal encoded by the first exon, and we determined that G2 reporter gene fusions are targeted to the nucleus in onion epidermal cells. Further sequence analysis indicated the presence of a novel motif within the deduced protein sequence that shares features with TEA DNA binding domains. Therefore, we propose that G2 acts as a novel transcriptional regulator of cellular differentiation in the maize leaf.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Exons
  • Genes, Plant
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Proteins*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Transcription Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Zea mays / cytology
  • Zea mays / genetics
  • Zea mays / metabolism*


  • Golden2 protein, Zea mays
  • Plant Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors