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Gene Review

TAG1  -  diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1

Arabidopsis thaliana

Synonyms: ABX45, AS11, ATDGAT, Arabidopsis thaliana acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase, AtDGAT1, ...
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Disease relevance of TAG1

  • In situ RNA hybridization analyses revealed that TAG1 transcripts were restricted to the same floral meristem territories in healthy and infected tomatoes, indicating that tissue-specific expression of TAG1 was not affected by the stolbur phytoplasma infection [1].
  • The potential of WS/DGAT to establish novel processes for biotechnological production of jojoba-like wax esters was demonstrated by heterologous expression in recombinant Pseudomonas citronellolis [2].
  • A large number of WS/DGAT-related proteins were identified in Mycobacterium and Arabidopsis thaliana indicating an important function of these proteins [2].
  • These data suggest that Tag1 transposition is stimulated by processes that occur during the Agrobacterium transformation and that thereafter remain active [3].
  • Next, Tag1 was inserted between a cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter and a beta-glucuronidase (GUS) marker gene and transformed into tobacco [4].

High impact information on TAG1

  • Thus, Tag1 provides a tool for the insertional mutagenesis of plant genes essential for biological processes of agronomic importance [5].
  • The Arabidopsis TAG1 transposase has an N-terminal zinc finger DNA binding domain that recognizes distinct subterminal motifs [6].
  • Two Tag1 elements are tightly linked in the Landsberg erecta genome and map to the lower arm of chromosome 1 [3].
  • Genomic analysis of untransformed Landsberg erecta plants demonstrated that two identical Tag1 elements are present in the Landsberg erecta genome [4].
  • A complementary phenotype was observed in transgenic plants expressing the TAG1 sense RNA in that first whorl sepals were converted into mature pericarpic leaves and sterile stamens replaced the second whorl petals [7].

Biological context of TAG1

  • Together, these data show that the DNA binding domain of TAG1 specifically binds to distinct subterminal repeats and contains a zinc finger [6].
  • Genetic analyses indicate that the fatty acid phenotype is caused by a semidominant mutation in a single nuclear gene, designated TAG1, located on chromosome 2 [8].
  • A role for diacylglycerol acyltransferase during leaf senescence [9].
  • A mutation has been identified in AS11 in a gene, which we designated as TAG1, that encodes a protein with an amino acid sequence which is similar to a recently reported mammalian DGAT, and, to a lesser extent, to acyl CoA:cholesterol acyltransferases [10].
  • When gel blots of RNA isolated from rosette leaves at various stages of development were probed with the Arabidopsis expressed sequence tag clone, E6B2T7, which has been annotated as DGAT1, a steep increase in DGAT1 transcript levels was evident in the senescing leaves coincident with the accumulation of TAG [9].

Anatomical context of TAG1

  • Second, DGAT1 protein in senescing leaves was found to be associated with chloroplast membranes [9].
  • Microsomes isolated from this transformed yeast show diacylglycerol:acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase activity, which is about 40-fold higher than that measured in microsomes prepared from yeast transformed with the empty vector or with the Arabidopsis thaliana DGAT1 gene [11].

Associations of TAG1 with chemical compounds

  • While the seed triacylglycerol content is reduced by the lesion in AS11, there is no apparent effect on sterol ester content in the mutant seed [10].
  • Thus, the current study confirms the important role of DGAT in regulating the quantity of seed triacylglycerols and the sink size in developing seeds [12].
  • Arabidopsis mutants deficient in diacylglycerol acyltransferase display increased sensitivity to abscisic acid, sugars, and osmotic stress during germination and seedling development [13].
  • The tag1 mutants are also more sensitive to abscisic acid, glucose, and osmotic strength of the medium in germination and seedling growth [13].
  • A search was performed to find high-affinity (mechanism I) uptake mutants by using chlorate selections on plants containing Tag1 transposable elements [14].

Other interactions of TAG1

  • To understand the details of the homeotic systems that govern flower development in tomato and to establish the ground rules for the judicious manipulation of this floral system, we have isolated the tomato AGAMOUS gene, designated TAG1, and examined its developmental role in antisense and sense transgenic plants [7].
  • We describe here the identification of a bifunctional enzyme from this bacterium exhibiting acyl-CoA:fatty alcohol acyltransferase (wax ester synthase, WS) as well as acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) activity [2].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of TAG1

  • Sequence analysis of the TAG1 DNA binding domain revealed a C(2)HC zinc finger motif [6].
  • Southern blot and somatic sector analyses indicated that each revertant was derived from an independent excision event, and approximately 75% of the revertants had new Tag1 insertions [15].
  • Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed that Tag1 expression predominates in the reproductive organs of flower buds [16].
  • Functional dissection of the cis-acting sequences of the Arabidopsis transposable element Tag1 reveals dissimilar subterminal sequence and minimal spacing requirements for transposition [17].
  • Western blots showed that DGAT1 protein is present in several tissues, though is most abundant in developing seeds [18].


  1. Tomato flower abnormalities induced by stolbur phytoplasma infection are associated with changes of expression of floral development genes. Pracros, P., Renaudin, J., Eveillard, S., Mouras, A., Hernould, M. Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. A novel bifunctional wax ester synthase/acyl-CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase mediates wax ester and triacylglycerol biosynthesis in Acinetobacter calcoaceticus ADP1. Kalscheuer, R., Steinbüchel, A. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. The transposition frequency of Tag1 elements is increased in transgenic Arabidopsis lines. Bhatt, A.M., Lister, C., Crawford, N., Dean, C. Plant Cell (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Tag1 is an autonomous transposable element that shows somatic excision in both Arabidopsis and tobacco. Frank, M.J., Liu, D., Tsay, Y.F., Ustach, C., Crawford, N.M. Plant Cell (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Identification of a mobile endogenous transposon in Arabidopsis thaliana. Tsay, Y.F., Frank, M.J., Page, T., Dean, C., Crawford, N.M. Science (1993) [Pubmed]
  6. The Arabidopsis TAG1 transposase has an N-terminal zinc finger DNA binding domain that recognizes distinct subterminal motifs. Mack, A.M., Crawford, N.M. Plant Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  7. Isolation of the tomato AGAMOUS gene TAG1 and analysis of its homeotic role in transgenic plants. Pnueli, L., Hareven, D., Rounsley, S.D., Yanofsky, M.F., Lifschitz, E. Plant Cell (1994) [Pubmed]
  8. Alteration of seed fatty acid composition by an ethyl methanesulfonate-induced mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana affecting diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity. Katavic, V., Reed, D.W., Taylor, D.C., Giblin, E.M., Barton, D.L., Zou, J., Mackenzie, S.L., Covello, P.S., Kunst, L. Plant Physiol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  9. A role for diacylglycerol acyltransferase during leaf senescence. Kaup, M.T., Froese, C.D., Thompson, J.E. Plant Physiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. The Arabidopsis thaliana TAG1 mutant has a mutation in a diacylglycerol acyltransferase gene. Zou, J., Wei, Y., Jako, C., Kumar, A., Selvaraj, G., Taylor, D.C. Plant J. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Isolation of a gene encoding a 1,2-diacylglycerol-sn-acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase from developing seeds of Euonymus alatus. Milcamps, A., Tumaney, A.W., Paddock, T., Pan, D.A., Ohlrogge, J., Pollard, M. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  12. Seed-specific over-expression of an Arabidopsis cDNA encoding a diacylglycerol acyltransferase enhances seed oil content and seed weight. Jako, C., Kumar, A., Wei, Y., Zou, J., Barton, D.L., Giblin, E.M., Covello, P.S., Taylor, D.C. Plant Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  13. Arabidopsis mutants deficient in diacylglycerol acyltransferase display increased sensitivity to abscisic acid, sugars, and osmotic stress during germination and seedling development. Lu, C., Hills, M.J. Plant Physiol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  14. The Arabidopsis CHL1 protein plays a major role in high-affinity nitrate uptake. Wang, R., Liu, D., Crawford, N.M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  15. Characterization of the germinal and somatic activity of the Arabidopsis transposable element Tag1. Liu, D., Crawford, N.M. Genetics (1998) [Pubmed]
  16. Expression of the Arabidopsis transposable element Tag1 is targeted to developing gametophytes. Galli, M., Theriault, A., Liu, D., Crawford, N.M. Genetics (2003) [Pubmed]
  17. Functional dissection of the cis-acting sequences of the Arabidopsis transposable element Tag1 reveals dissimilar subterminal sequence and minimal spacing requirements for transposition. Liu, D., Mack, A., Wang, R., Galli, M., Belk, J., Ketpura, N.I., Crawford, N.M. Genetics (2001) [Pubmed]
  18. Expression pattern of diacylglycerol acyltransferase-1, an enzyme involved in triacylglycerol biosynthesis, in Arabidopsis thaliana. Lu, C.L., de Noyer, S.B., Hobbs, D.H., Kang, J., Wen, Y., Krachtus, D., Hills, M.J. Plant Mol. Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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