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The bHLH transcription factor MYC2, together with its paralogues MYC3 and MYC4, is a master regulator of the response to the jasmonate (JA) hormone in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). In the absence of JA, JASMONATE ZIM (JAZ) proteins interact with the MYC proteins to block their activity. Understanding of the mechanism and specificity of this interaction is key to unravel JA signalling. We generated mutant MYC proteins and assessed their activity and the specificity of their interaction with the 12 Arabidopsis JAZ proteins. We show that the D94N mutation present in the atr2D allele of MYC3 abolishes the interaction between MYC3 and most JAZ proteins. The same effect is observed when the corresponding conserved Asp (D105) was mutated in MYC2. Accordingly, MYC2(D105N) activated target genes in the presence of JAZ proteins, in contrast to wild-type MYC2. JAZ1 and JAZ10 were the only JAZ proteins still showing interaction with the mutant MYC proteins, due to a second MYC interaction domain, besides the classical Jas domain. Our results visualize the divergence among JAZ proteins in their interaction with MYC proteins. Ultimately, the transferability of the Asp-to-Asn amino acid change might facilitate the design of hyperactive transcription factors for plant engineering. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.


Jonas Goossens, Gwen Swinnen, Robin Vanden Bossche, Laurens Pauwels, Alain Goossens. Change of a conserved amino acid in the MYC2 and MYC3 transcription factors leads to release of JAZ repression and increased activity. The New phytologist. 2015 Jun;206(4):1229-37

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PMID: 25817565

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