Functional analysis of rice HOMEOBOX4 (Oshox4) gene reveals a negative function in gibberellin responses

Mingqiu Dai, Yongfeng Hu, Qian Ma, Yu Zhao, Dao-Xiu Zhou
Plant Molecular Biology 2008, 66 (3): 289-301
The homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) putative transcription factor genes are divided into 4 families. In this work, we studied the function of a rice HD-Zip I gene, H OME O BO X4 (Oshox4). Oshox4 transcripts were detected in leaf and floral organ primordia but excluded from the shoot apical meristem and the protein was nuclear localized. Over-expression of Oshox4 in rice induced a semi-dwarf phenotype that could not be complemented by applied GA3. The over-expression plants accumulated elevated levels of bioactive GA, while the GA catabolic gene GA2ox3 was upregulated in the transgenic plants. In addition, over-expression of Oshox4 blocked GA-dependent alpha-amylase production. However, down-regulation of Oshox4 in RNAi transgenic plants induced no phenotypic alteration. Interestingly, the expression of YAB1 that is involved in the negative feedback regulation of the GA biosynthesis was upregulated in the Oshox4 over-expressing plants. One-hybrid assays showed that Oshox4 could interact with YAB1 promoter in yeast. In addition, Oshox4 expression was upregulated by GA. These data together suggest that Oshox4 may be involved in the negative regulation of GA signalling and may play a role to fine tune GA responses in rice.

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