DEAR1, a transcriptional repressor of DREB protein that mediates plant defense and freezing stress responses in Arabidopsis

Tomokazu Tsutsui, Wataru Kato, Yutaka Asada, Kaori Sako, Takeo Sato, Yutaka Sonoda, Satoshi Kidokoro, Kazuko Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, Masanori Tamaoki, Keita Arakawa, Takanari Ichikawa, Miki Nakazawa, Motoaki Seki, Kazuo Shinozaki, Minami Matsui, Akira Ikeda, Junji Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


Plants have evolved intricate mechanisms to respond and adapt to a wide variety of biotic and abiotic stresses in their environment. The Arabidopsis DEAR1 (DREB and EAR motif protein 1; At3g50260) gene encodes a protein containing significant homology to the DREB1/CBF (dehydration-responsive element binding protein 1/C-repeat binding factor) domain and the EAR (ethylene response factor-associated amphiphilic repression) motif. We show here that DEAR1 mRNA accumulates in response to both pathogen infection and cold treatment. Transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing DEAR1 (DEAR1ox) showed a dwarf phenotype and lesion-like cell death, together with constitutive expression of PR genes and accumulation of salicylic acid. DEAR1ox also showed more limited P. syringae pathogen growth compared to wild-type, consistent with an activated defense phenotype. In addition, transient expression experiments revealed that the DEAR1 protein represses DRE/CRT (dehydration-responsive element/C-repeat)-dependent transcription, which is regulated by low temperature. Furthermore, the induction of DREB1/CBF family genes by cold treatment was suppressed in DEAR1ox, leading to a reduction in freezing tolerance. These results suggest that DEAR1 has an upstream regulatory role in mediating crosstalk between signaling pathways for biotic and abiotic stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-643
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Abiotic stress
  • Arabidopsis
  • Biotic stress
  • DREB1/CBF family
  • EAR motif
  • Salicylic acid

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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