TGTCACA Motif Is a Novelcis-Regulatory Enhancer Element Involved in Fruit-specific Expression of thecucumisinGene
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Cucumisin, a subtilisin-like serine protease, is expressed at high levels in the fruit of melon (Cucumis melo L.) and accumulates in the juice. We investigated roles of the promoter regions and DNA-protein interactions in fruit-specific expression of the cucumisin gene. In transient expression analysis, a chimeric gene construct containing a 1.2-kb cucumisin promoter fused to a ␤-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene was expressed in fruit tissues at high levels, but the promoter activities in
... s and stems were very low. Deletion analysis indicated that a positive regulatory region is located between nucleotides ؊234 and ؊214 relative to the transcriptional initiation site. Gain-of-function experiments revealed that this 20-bp sequence conferred fruit specificity and contained a regulatory enhancer. Gel mobility shift experiments demonstrated the presence of fruit nuclear factors that interact with the cucumisin promoter. A typical G-box (GACACGTGTC) present in the 20-bp sequence did not bind fruit protein, but two possible cis-elements, an I-box-like sequence (AGATAT-GATAAAA) and an odd base palindromic TGTCACA motif, were identified in the promoter region between positions ؊254 and ؊215. The I-box-like sequence bound more tightly to fruit nuclear protein than the TGTCACA motif. The I-box-like sequence functions as a negative regulatory element, and the TGTCACA motif is a novel enhancer element necessary for fruit-specific expression of the cucumisin gene. Specific nucleotides responsible for the binding of fruit nuclear protein in these two elements were also determined.