Plant Mol Biol. 2021 Feb 24. doi: 10.1007/s11103-021-01129-9. Online ahead of print.
Three novel transcription factors were successfully identified and shown to interact with the trichome-specific THCAS promoter regulatory region. Cannabinoids are important secondary metabolites present in Cannabis sativa L. (cannabis). One cannabinoid that has received considerable attention, 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is derived from Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) and responsible for the mood-altering and pain-relieving effects of cannabis. A detailed understanding of transcriptional control of THCA synthase (THCAS) is currently lacking. The primary site of cannabinoid biosynthesis is the glandular trichomes that form on female flowers. Transcription factors (TFs) have been shown to play an important role in secondary-metabolite biosynthesis and glandular trichome formation in Artemisia annua, Solanum lycopersicum and Humulus lupulus. However, analogous information is not available for cannabis. Here, we characterize a 548 bp fragment of the THCAS promoter and regulatory region that drives trichome-specific expression. Using this promoter fragment in a yeast-one-hybrid screen, we identified 3 novel TFs (CsAP2L1, CsWRKY1 and CsMYB1) and provided evidence that these 3 TFs regulate the THCAS promoter in planta. The O-Box element within the proximal region of the THCAS promoter is necessary for CsAP2L1-induced transcriptional activation of THCAS promoter. Similar to THCAS, the genes for all three TFs have trichome-specific expression, and subcellular localization of the TFs indicates that all three proteins are in the nucleus. CsAP2L1 and THCAS exhibit a similar temporal, spatial and strain-specific gene expression profiles, while those expression patterns of CsWRKY1 and CsMYB1 are opposite from THCAS. Our results identify CsAP2L1 playing a positive role in the regulation of THCAS expression, while CsWRKY1 and CsMYB1 may serve as negative regulators of THCAS expression.
Source: ncbi 2