Expression of the plastid rRNA operon (rrn) during development is highly regulated at the level of transcription. The plastid rrn operon in most higher plants is transcribed by the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP), the multisubunit plastid RNA polymerase from PrrnP1, a σ70-type promoter with conserved -10 and -35 core promoter elements. To identify functionally important sequences, the tobacco PrrnP1 was dissected in vivo and in vitro. Based on in vivo deletion analysis, sequences upstream of nucleotide -83 do not significantly contribute to promoter function. The in vitro analyses identified an essential hexameric sequence upstream of the -35 element (GTGGGA; the rRNA operon upstream activator [RUA]) that is conserved in monocot and dicot species and suggested that the -10 element plays only a limited role in PrrnP1 recognition. Mutations in the initial transcribed sequence (+9 to +14) enhanced transcription, the characteristic of strong promoters in prokaryotes. We propose that σ interaction with the -10 element in PrrnP1 is replaced in part by direct PEP-RUA (protein-DNA) interaction or by protein-protein interaction between the PEP and an RUA binding transcription factor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology