ZCT1 and ZCT2 transcription factors repress the activity of a gene promoter from the methyl erythritol phosphate pathway in Madagascar periwinkle cells.J Plant Physiol. 2014 Oct 15; 171(16):1510-3.JP
In Catharanthus roseus, accumulating data highlighted the existence of a coordinated transcriptional regulation of structural genes that takes place within the secoiridoid biosynthetic branch, including the methyl erythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway and the following steps leading to secologanin. To identify transcription factors acting in these pathways, we performed a yeast one-hybrid screening using as bait a promoter region of the hydroxymethylbutenyl 4-diphosphate synthase (HDS) gene involved in the responsiveness of C. roseus cells to hormonal signals inducing monoterpene indole alkaloid (MIA) production. We identified that ZCT2, one of the three members of the zinc finger Catharanthus protein (ZCT) family, can bind to a HDS promoter region involved in hormonal responsiveness. By trans-activation assays, we demonstrated that ZCT1 and ZCT2 but not ZCT3 repress the HDS promoter activity. Gene expression analyses in C. roseus cells exposed to methyljasmonate revealed a persistence of induction of ZCT2 gene expression suggesting the existence of feed-back regulatory events acting on HDS gene expression in correlation with the MIA production.