ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) is a transcription factor involved in the ethylene signal transduction pathway in Arabidopsis. Two full-length cDNA clones, pVR-EIL1 and pVR-EIL2, encoding EIN3-LIKE proteins were isolated by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and by screening the cDNA library of mung bean (Vigna radiata) hypocotyls. VR-EIL1 and VR-EIL2 share 70% identity and display varying degrees of sequence conservation (39%-65%) with previously isolated EIN3 homologs from Arabidopsis, tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) plants. Gel retardation assay revealed that both VR-EILs were able to interact specifically with optimal binding sequence-1, the recently identified optimal binding sequence for tobacco TEIL, with the binding of VR-EIL2 being more efficient than that of VR-EIL1. Transient expression analysis using a VR-EIL::smGFP fusion gene in onion (Allium cepa) epidermal cells indicated that the VR-EIL proteins were effectively targeted to the nucleus. The fusion protein of VR-EIL2 with GAL4 DNA-binding domain strongly activated transcription of a reporter gene in yeast cells, and an essential domain for transcription-stimulating activity was localized to the amino-terminal acidic region that consists of 50 amino acid residues. In contrast with what has been previously found in EIN3- and TEIL-overexpressing Arabidopsis plants, transgenic tobacco seedlings expressing the VR-EIL genes under the control of cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter did not exhibit a constitutive triple response. Instead, they displayed a markedly enhanced proliferation of root hairs, one of the typical ethylene response phenotypes, and increased sensitivity to exogenous ethylene. In addition, the pathogenesis-related (PR) genes encoding β-1,3-glucanase, osmotin, and PR1 were constitutively expressed in 35S::VR-EIL lines without added ethylene, and were hyperinduced in response to ethylene treatment. These results indicate that VR-EILs are functional in tobacco cells, thereby effectively transactivating the GCC-box-containing PR genes and enhancing sensitivity to ethylene. The possible physiological role of VR-EILs is discussed in the light of the suggestion that they are active components of the ethylene-signaling pathway and their heterologous expressions constitutively turn on a subset of ethylene responses in tobacco plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science