Coordinated transcriptional regulation of two key genes in the lignin branch pathway--CAD and CCR--is mediated through MYB- binding sites.
Cinnamoyl CoA reductase (CCR) and cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase (CAD) catalyze the final steps in the biosynthesis of monolignols, the monomeric units of the phenolic lignin polymers which confer rigidity, imperviousness and resistance to biodegradation to cell walls. We have previously shown that the Eucalyptus gunnii CCR and CAD2 promoters direct similar expression patterns in vascular tissues suggesting that monolignol production is controlled, at least in part, by the coordinated transcriptional regulation of these two genes. Although consensus motifs for MYB transcription factors occur in most gene promoters of the whole phenylpropanoid pathway, functional evidence for their contribution to promoter activity has only been demonstrated for a few of them. Here, in the lignin-specific branch, we studied the functional role of MYB elements as well as other cis-elements identified in the regulatory regions of EgCAD2 and EgCCR promoters, in the transcriptional activity of these gene promoters.
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