CHAN Raquel Lia
The leader introns of Arabidopsis thaliana genes encoding cytochrome c oxidase subunit 5c promote high-level expression by increasing transcript abundance and translation efficiency
GRACIELA CURI,; CHAN, RAQUEL; DANIEL GONZALEZ,
JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BOTANY
Oxford University Press
Lugar: Oxford; Año: 2005 vol. 56 p. 2561 - 2561
We have analyzed the involvement of regions located upstream of the translation start site in the expression of two Arabidopsis thaliana nuclear COX5c genes, encoding subunit 5c of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase. We have observed that these regions, which include a leader intron, direct the tissue-specific expression of the gus reporter gene, mainly in root and shoot meristems, actively growing tissues and vascular strands. Expression was also observed in flowers, specifically localized in anthers, stigma and the receptacle, and in developing seeds. GUS activity measurements in protein extracts from transformed plants indicated that expression levels are higher than those observed with the constitutive 35SCaMV promoter. Removal of the leader intron produced a significant decrease in expression to values only slightly higher than those observed with a promoterless gus gene. Histochemical staining of plants transformed with the intronless construct revealed expression only in pollen, suggesting that regulatory elements capable of directing pollen-specific expression are present upstream of the intron. The COX5c-2 intron also increased GUS expression levels when fused in the correct orientation with the promoter of the unrelated COX5b-1 gene. Comparison of GUS activity values with the transcript levels suggests that the intron also increases translation efficiency of the corresponding mRNA. The results obtained point to an essential role of the intron present in the 5´-non-coding region of all known COX5c genes in directing the expression of these genes in plants.