• Z-box;
  • ZBF;
  • LRE;
  • HY5;
  • COP1;
  • photoreceptor


The Z-box is one of the light-responsive elements (LREs) found in the promoters of light inducible genes. We have studied the light responsive characteristics of Z-box containing synthetic as well as native promoters. We show that promoters with Z-box as a single LRE or paired with another LRE can respond to a broad spectrum of light. The response is primarily mediated by phyA, phyB and CRY1 photoreceptors at their respective wavelengths of light. We have demonstrated that CAB1 and Z-GATA containing promoters are down-regulated in hy5 mutants in the light. On the other hand, a promoter with Z-box alone is down-regulated in hy5 mutants both in dark and in light conditions, suggesting involvement of a similar regulatory system in the regulation of the promoter in two distinct developmental pathways: skotomorphogenesis and photomorphogenesis. Furthermore, similar to the CAB1 promoter, a Z-GATA containing promoter is derepressed in cop1 mutants in the dark. DNA–protein interaction studies reveal the presence of a DNA-binding activity that is specific to Z-box. These results provide insights into the regulation of the Z-box LRE mediated by various light signaling components.