Specificity of MYB interactions relies on motifs in ordered and disordered contexts

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


Physical interactions between members of the MYB and bHLH transcription factor (TF) families regulate many important biological processes in plants. Not all reported MYB-bHLH interactions can be explained by the known binding sites in the R3 repeat of the MYB DNA-binding domain. Noteworthy, most of the sequence diversity of MYB TFs lies in their non-MYB regions, which contain orphan small subgroup-defining motifs not yet linked to molecular functions. Here, we identified the motif mediating interaction between MYB TFs from subgroup 12 and their bHLH partners. Unlike other known MYB-bHLH interactions, the motif locates to the centre of the predicted disordered non-MYB region. We characterised the core motif, which enabled accurate prediction of previously unknown bHLH-interacting MYB TFs in Arabidopsis thaliana, and we confirmed its functional importance in planta. Our results indicate a correlation between the MYB-bHLH interaction affinity and the phenotypic output controlled by the TF complex. The identification of an interaction motif outside R3 indicates that MYB-bHLH interactions must have arisen multiple times, independently and suggests many more motifs of functional relevance to be harvested from subgroup-specific studies.

TidsskriftNucleic Acids Research
Udgave nummer18
Sider (fra-til)9592-9608
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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