Comparative analysis of BZR1/BES1 family transcription factors in Arab…

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The Plant Journal (2024) 117(3), 747-765 

Comparative analysis of BZR1/BES1 family transcription factors in Arabidopsis

So-Hee Kim, Se-Hwa Lee, Tae-Ki Park, Yanchen Tian, Kyoungjae Yu, Byeong-ha Lee, Ming-Yi Bai, Sung-Jin Cho, Tae-Wuk Kim


Brassinazole Resistant 1 (BZR1) and bri1 EMS Suppressor 1 (BES1) are key transcription factors that mediate brassinosteroid (BR)-responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis. The BZR1/BES1 family is composed of BZR1, BES1, and four BES1/BZR1 homologs (BEH1–BEH4). However, little is known about whether BEHs are regulated by BR signaling in the same way as BZR1 and BES1. We comparatively analyzed the functional characteristics of six BZR1/BES1 family members and their regulatory mechanisms in BR signaling using genetic and biochemical analyses. We also compared their subcellular localizations regulated by the phosphorylation status, interaction with GSK3-like kinases, and heterodimeric combination. We found that all BZR1/BES1 family members restored the phenotypic defects of bri1-5 by their overexpression. Unexpectedly, BEH2-overexpressing plants showed the most distinct phenotype with enhanced BR responses. RNA-Seq analysis indicated that overexpression of both BZR1 and BEH2 regulates BR-responsive gene expression, but BEH2 has a much greater proportion of BR-independent gene expression than BZR1. Unlike BZR1 and BES1, the BR-regulated subcellular translocation of the four BEHs was not tightly correlated with their phosphorylation status. Notably, BEH1 and BEH2 are predominantly localized in the nucleus, which induces the nuclear accumulation of other BZR1/BES1 family proteins through heterodimerization. Altogether, our comparative analyses suggest that BEH1 and BEH2 play an important role in the functional interaction between BZR1/BES1 family transcription factors. 


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