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Gateway-compatible inducible vector set for the functional analysis of transcription factors in plants

Guo, Zhaolai, Sun, Xudong, Xu, Huini
Planta 2018 v.247 no.5 pp. 1261-1266
Arabidopsis thaliana, gain-of-function mutation, genome, loss-of-function mutation, molecular cloning, mortality, mutants, phenotype, polypeptides, rapid methods, transcription (genetics), transcription factors
MAIN CONCLUSION: The inducible vectors pER8–Gateway–3Flag and pER8–Gateway–3Flag–SRDX have been subjected to considerable research in terms of the function of transcription factors (TFs) via transcription activity and repression, respectively. Approximately 1500 TFs have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana genome. To identify their functions, loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutants were generated to analyze the phenotype. However, many loss-of-function mutants did not show any evident phenotype because of the functional redundancy within the TF family. The constitutive misexpression of some TFs may result in lethality or sterility. To overcome these problems, we produced a Gateway-compatible inducible binary vector system that facilitates fast and reliable DNA cloning and biological function identification. The vector can be used for the inducible expression of protein fusions to a polypeptide protein tag named 3xFLAG tag. This vector system can also be used to generate an inducible transcription inhibition of protein fusion to an Ethylene-Responsive Factor-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif. The EAR motif makes it possible to get rid of redundancy within a TF family, thereby facilitating studies on loss of function. With these Gateway vectors, conventional subcloning technology that depends on restriction digestion and ligation is avoided. Thus, these Gateway vectors should be useful not only for the rapid analysis of the functions of redundant plant TFs, but also for the manipulation of TF overexpression, resulting in plant lethality or sterility, via an inducible promoter.