The Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains at least 50 predicted AtCMPG genes. The encoded protein family is defined by a common domain possessing four strictly conserved amino acid residues [Cys, Met, Pro, and Gly (CMPG)] that designate the family. Two members, AtCMPG1 and AtCMPG2, with high sequence similarity to the previously described, immediate-early pathogen-responsive PcCMPG1 gene from Petroselinum crispum were selected for analysis of their expression modes and defense-related promoter elements. Among the most striking similarities with PcCMPG1 were immediate-early transcriptional activation on infection or treatment with a pathogen-derived elicitor and the functional importance of a W-box-containing AtCMPG1 promoter element. Remarkably, this strongly pathogen/elicitor-responsive element, F, did not respond to wounding, in contrast to the AtCMPG1 promoter itself. Comparative analysis, both within the A. thaliana genome and across species, provided further insight into the large structural diversity of W-box-containing elements. Possible roles of AtCMPG proteins in regulatory processes are discussed with reference to a large variety of family members, partly with assigned functions, from plants as well as animals
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