Brain protein homologs and gene names
--Robert Ferl, Nick deVetten, Guihua Lu, Paul Sehnke, Christine Daugherty, Beth Laughner and Ke Wu

There have been several reports of cloned plant sequences with homology to the 14-3-3 class of mammalian brain proteins (Brandt et al., Plant J 2:815-820,1992; Hirsch et al., FEBS Lett 296:222-224, 1992; Keith et al., Plant Physiol 101:329-332, 1993; Kidou et al., Plant Mol Biol 21:191-194, 1993). Our own work has focussed on the potential involvement of these proteins in the DNA binding complex that is associated with the G-box and its regulatory properties (Lu et al., PNAS 89:11490-11494, 1992; deVetten et al., The Plant Cell 4:1295-1307, 1992), but work from other laboratories indicates that the potential activities and responses involving 14-3-3 brain protein homologs are far-ranging. Most of the known biochemical activities involve regulation of protein kinase mediated events, and our current model is that their participation in the G-box complex is within their role as moderators of signal transduction via phosphorylation. We have recently cloned, mapped, sequenced and characterized several genomic clones from maize and are therefore faced with the necessity of providing a gene name for this family of proteins.

The maize proteins and cDNAs that we have worked with to date have been called GF14, for G-box Factor 14-3-3 homolog. Particular isoforms of the proteins have been given either Greek letter designations to follow the lead of the animal literature or simpler laboratory designations. Thus, for example, cDNAs and proteins are currently referred to as GF14 or GF14-. In order to meet accepted standards for gene names, we propose to use Grf for G-box regulatory factor to refer to the genomic clones and their loci, and will designate the genes as Grf1, Grf2, etc as they are cloned and mapped. In order to maintain contact with the previous literature and with the animal literature, the allele designations will retain the original cDNA and protein name, such as Grf1-GF14. Another aspect of the Grf gene name is that if this family of proteins becomes regarded as having much wider regulatory roles, the gene name could be modified to General regulatory factor to accomodate additional perspectives.

Maize Adh1
SAR: Scaffold Attachment Region. The SAR lies between the XbaI site and the BamHI site. A likely point of attachment is within the OsO4 hyperreactive site centered around -589. Avramova and Bennetzen, PMB 22:1135, 1993; Paul and Ferl, PMB 22:1145, 1993.

Z-DNA: A tract of alternating purines and pyrimidines between -325 and -311 that assumes a Z-DNA configuration under superhelical stress in vitro. Ferl and Paul, PMB 18:1181, 1992.

H-DNA: A tract of extreme homopurine/homopyrimidine (PuPy) asymmetry between -79 and -44 that assumes an H-DNA configuration under superhelical stress in vitro. The region is also capable of forming a triple helix in vitro, and has been shown to play a role in Adh1-GUS expression in vivo. Ferl et al., PMB 8:299, 1987; Lu and Ferl, PMB 19:715, 1992.

DNase I: There are two sets of DNase I hypersensitive sites in the Adh1 promoter. There are three major constitutively present sites that lie between -400 and -160 and two inducible sites located between -150 and -35. Paul et al., PNAS 84:799, 1987.

Trans-factors: The functionally defined cis-regulatory anaerobic response element in Adh1 (ARE; Walker et al., 1987, PNAS 84:6624) is associated with trans-acting DNA binding factors in vivo. There are two types of DNA binding factors. One set (B1 and B2) is constitutively bound to the ARE between -133 and -124 (ARE I) and between -113 and -99 (ARE II). The second set of factors (C and A) bind outside the ARE, in response to hypoxic stress, at positions centered around -180 and -95. Ferl and Nick, JBC 262:7947, 1987; Paul and Ferl, Plant Cell 3:159, 1991.


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