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A strong NF-κB p65 responsive cis-regulatory sequence from Arabidopsis thaliana interacts with WRKY40

Kanofsky, Konstantin, Riggers, Jasmin, Staar, Marcel, Strauch, Claudia Janina, Arndt, Laureen Christin, Hehl, Reinhard
Plant cell reports 2019 v.38 no.9 pp. 1139-1150
Arabidopsis thaliana, binding sites, bioinformatics, gene activation, gene expression, innate immunity, mice, reporter genes, repressor proteins, tobacco, transcription factor NF-kappa B, yeasts
KEY MESSAGE: Transcription factors from mammals and plants, which play a role in innate immunity, interact with the same microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP)-responsive sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana. The interaction of mouse NF-κB p65 with MAMP-responsive sequences containing the core motif GACTTT of the WT-box was investigated. This revealed one sequence, derived from the promoter of the A. thaliana gene At1g76960, a gene with unknown function, to activate NF-κB p65 dependent reporter gene expression in plant cells very strongly. A bioinformatic analysis predicts three putative NF-κB p65 binding sites in this sequence and all three sites are required for reporter gene activation and binding. The sequence is one of the weakest MAMP-responsive sequences previously isolated, but the introduction of a GCC-box increases its MAMP responsivity in combination with upstream WT-box sequences. Although a bioinformatic analysis of the unmutated cis-sequence only predicts NF-κB p65 binding, A. thaliana WRKY40 was selected in a yeast one-hybrid screen. WRKY40, which is a transcriptional repressor, requires the sequence TTTTCTA for direct binding. This sequence is similar to the WK-box TTTTCCAC, previously shown to interact with tobacco NtWRKY12. In summary, this work supports the similarity in binding site recognition between NF-κB and WRKY factors.