[Back to Issue 4 ToC] [Back to Journal Contents] [Back to Biochemistry (Moscow) Home page]

REVIEW: Molecular Switch for Cold Acclimation – Anatomy of the Cold-Inducible Promoter in Plants

Yue Jiang1, Dan Peng1, Li-Ping Bai1, Hui Ma1, Li-Jing Chen1, Ming-Hui Zhao2, Zheng-Jin Xu2*, and Zhi-Fu Guo1*

1Key Laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology of Liaoning Province, College of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang, Liaoning 110866, China; fax: +86-24-8849-2799; E-mail: zhifuguo@hotmail.com

2Rice Research Institute, College of Agronomy, Shenyang Agricultural University, Shenyang 110866, China; fax: +86-24-8848-7183; E-mail: xuzhengjin@126.com

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received September 23, 2012; Revision received December 3, 2012
In plants, a promoter is essential to drive the transcription and expression of genes under stress conditions. The cold-regulated promoter is an important molecular switch involved in transcriptional regulation of a dynamic network of genes associated with cold acclimation processes. However, the structure and functions of the cold-regulated promoter are ambiguous. In this review, we first describe the common type and structures of the cold-regulated promoter, such as the core promoter and transcription factor binding sites, and then discuss the synergistic actions of promoter elements and cold-regulated genes. We also describe the transcriptional responses and cross-talk among cold-regulated genes in the ICE-CBF-COR cold-response pathway. Many stress-inducible genes are known to be regulated by endogenous abscisic acid (ABA), which accumulates during osmotic and cold stress. We discuss the regulation of promoters of cold-inducible genes in ABA-dependent and ABA-independent regulatory systems. We also describe the cross-talk among gene networks regulated by different cis-acting regulatory elements. Finally, we propose potential further research on, and practical applications of, the cold-regulated promoter.
KEY WORDS: promoter, cold regulation, transcription, cis-elements, molecular mechanism

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297913040032