The tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) bZIP transcription factor BZI-1 is involved in auxin-mediated growth responses and in establishing pathogen defenses. Transgenic plants expressing a dominant-negative BZI-1-DeltaN derivative, which lacks the N-terminal activation domain, showed altered vegetative growth. In particular auxin-induced rooting and formation of tobacco mosaic virus-induced hypersensitive response lesions are affected. BZI-1-related proteins described in various plant species share the conserved domains D1, D2, BD, and D4. To define those BZI-1 domains involved in transcription factor function, BZI-1 deletion derivatives were expressed in transgenic plants. The domains D1 or BD are crucial for BZI-1-DeltaN function in planta. The basic BD domain is mediating DNA binding of BZI-1. Yeast two-hybrid and in vitro binding studies reveal the ankyrin-repeat protein ANK1, which specifically interacts with a part of the BZI-1 protein (amino acids 73-222) encoding the D1 domain. ANK1 does not bind DNA or act as a co-activator of BZI-1-mediated transcription. Moreover, green fluorescence protein localization studies propose that ANK1 is acting mainly inside the cytosol. Transcription analysis reveals that ANK1 is ubiquitously expressed, but after pathogen attack transcription is transiently down-regulated. Along these lines, ANK1 homologous proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana have been reported to function in pathogen defense. We therefore propose that the D1 domain serves as an interaction surface for ANK1, which appears to regulate BZI-1 function in auxin signaling as well as pathogen response.
Kuhlmann, M., Horvay, K., Strathmann, A., Heinekamp, T., Fischer, U., Bottner, S., & Droge-Laser, W. (2003). The alpha-helical D1 domain of the tobacco bZIP transcription factor BZI-1 interacts with the ankyrin-repeat protein ANK1 and is important for BZI-1 function, both in auxin signaling and pathogen response. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 278(10), 8786 - 8794. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M210292200