Specificity versus redundancy in the RAP2.4 transcription factor family of Arabidopsis thaliana: transcriptional regulation of genes for chloroplast peroxidases
Rudnik R, Bulcha JT, Reifschneider E, Ellersiek U, Baier M – 2017
The Arabidopsis ERFIb / RAP2.4 transcription factor family consists of eight members with highly conserved DNA binding domains. Selected members have been characterized individually, but a systematic comparison is pending. The redox-sensitive transcription factor RAP2.4a mediates chloroplast-to-nucleus redox signaling and controls induction of the three most prominent chloroplast peroxidases, namely 2-Cys peroxiredoxin A (2CPA) and thylakoid- and stromal ascorbate peroxidase (tAPx and sAPx). To test the specificity and redundancy of RAP2.4 transcription factors in the regulation of genes for chloroplast peroxidases, we compared the DNA-binding sites of the transcription factors in tertiary structure models, analyzed transcription factor and target gene regulation by qRT-PCR in RAP2.4, 2-Cys peroxiredoxin and ascorbate peroxidase T-DNA insertion lines and RAP2.4 overexpressing lines of Arabidopsis thaliana and performed promoter binding studies.All RAP2.4 proteins bound the tAPx promoter, but only the four RAP2.4 proteins with identical DNA contact sites, namely RAP2.4a, RAP2.4b, RAP2.4d and RAP2.4h, interacted stably with the redox-sensitive part of the 2CPA promoter. Gene expression analysis in RAP2.4 knockout lines revealed that RAP2.4a is the only one supporting 2CPA and chloroplast APx expression. Rap2.4h binds to the same promoter region as Rap2.4a and antagonizes 2CPA expression. Like the other six RAP2.4 proteins, Rap2.4 h promotes APx mRNA accumulation. Chloroplast ROS signals induced RAP2.4b and RAP2.4d expression, but these two transcription factor genes are (in contrast to RAP2.4a) insensitive to low 2CP availability, and their expression decreased in APx knockout lines. RAP2.4e and RAP2.4f gradually responded to chloroplast APx availability and activated specifically APx expression. These transcription factors bound, like RAP2.4c and RAP2.4g, the tAPx promoter, but hardly the 2CPA promoter.The RAP2.4 transcription factors form an environmentally and developmentally regulated transcription factor network, in which the various members affect the expression intensity of the others. Within the transcription factor family, RAP2.4a has a unique function as a general transcriptional activator of chloroplast peroxidase activity. The other RAP2.4 proteins mediate the fine-control and adjust the relative availability of 2CPA, sAPx and tAPx.