Salt tolerance-related protein STO binds to a Myb transcription factor homologue and confers salt tolerance in Arabidopsis

Shuuichi Nagaoka, Tetsuo Takano
Journal of Experimental Botany 2003, 54 (391): 2231-7
Regulating the intracellular Na+/K+ ratio is an essential process for salinity tolerance. The yeast mutant, can, which is deficient in calcineurin, can not grow on medium containing Na+ because it is unable to regulate the intracellular Na+/K+ ratio. Expression of the STO gene of Arabidopsis thaliana in the can mutant complements the salt-sensitive phenotype. A protein of Arabidopsis, an H-protein promoter binding factor (HPPBF-1), that binds to STO protein was isolated. HPPBF-1 cDNA has a sequence encoding a Myb DNA binding-motif and its gene expression is induced by salt stress. Furthermore, HPPBF-1 protein is localized in the nucleus. Although, the expression level of STO is not induced under salt-stress conditions, overexpression of STO in a transgenic Arabidopsis plant gave it a higher salt tolerance than was observed in the wild type. When STO transgenic plants and wild-type plants were subjected to salt stress, root growth was increased by 33-70% in the transgenic plants under salt stress. These results suggest that STO is involved in salt-stress responses in Arabidopsis.

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