The auxin, hydrogen peroxide and salicylic acid induced expression of the Arabidopsis GST6 promoter is mediated in part by an ocs element


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Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are multi-functional enzymes that play critical roles in a number of plant stress responses. Ocs elements are enhancer sequences found in some pathogen and GST promoters. We previously isolated an Arabidopsis GST gene, called GST6, which contained an ocs-like element. Here we tested the role this putative ocs element plays in GST6 expression in response to auxin, salicylic acid (SA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) using a transient assay and transgenic Arabidopsis. The requirement for the ocs element for basal and/or induced expression varied between the transient and transgenic studies, and in different plant tissues. The GST6 promoter showed the largest induction in roots following treatment with SA (84-fold) or H2O2 (122-fold), and the effect of mutating the ocs element was most pronounced in root tissue. However, in no case did mutation of the ocs element abolish GST6 expression, suggesting that other promoter element(s) are also important. Using the transient assay, other promoter element(s) critical for GST6 expression were identified that may also help mediate the activity of the ocs element. The finding that the ocs element plays a role in the transcriptional response of a plant GST gene to SA and H2O2 has potential significance for the plant defense response, where SA and H2O2 play critical roles.