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Gene Review

EIN3  -  protein ethylene insensitive 3

Arabidopsis thaliana

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Disease relevance of EIN3

  • In contrast with what has been previously found in EIN3- and TEIL-overexpressing Arabidopsis plants, transgenic tobacco seedlings expressing the VR-EIL genes under the control of cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter did not exhibit a constitutive triple response [1].

High impact information on EIN3


Biological context of EIN3

  • Overexpression of EIN3 or EIL1 in wild-type or ethylene-insensitive2 plants conferred constitutive ethylene phenotypes, indicating their sufficiency for activation of the pathway in the absence of ethylene [4].
  • In this study, we show that EIN3 and EILs comprise a family of novel sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins that regulate gene expression by binding directly to a primary ethylene response element (PERE) related to the tomato E4-element [5].
  • The EIN3/EIL proteins bind to the promoter regions of the downstream genes and regulate their expression [6].
  • To gain a better understanding of the ethylene signal transduction pathway in rice, six EIN3-like genes (designated OsEIL1-6) were identified [7].
  • To examine the mechanism of EIN3-mediated gene expression by ethylene, the expression patterns of ethylene-inducible genes by ethylene were monitored in Col-0 and ethylene signaling mutants [8].

Associations of EIN3 with chemical compounds

  • Differential regulation of EIN3 stability by glucose and ethylene signalling in plants [9].
  • Several fundamental elements of the pathway have been described: a receptor with homology to bacterial two-component histidine kinases (ETR1), elements of a MAP kinase cascade (CTR1) and a putative transcription factor (EIN3) [10].

Physical interactions of EIN3


Regulatory relationships of EIN3


Other interactions of EIN3

  • EIN3 BINDING F-BOX1 (EBF1) and EBF2 were recently shown to function in ethylene perception by regulating EIN3/EIL turnover [13].
  • A major gap is represented by the mysterious plant protein EIN2 that genetically works downstream of CTR1 and upstream of the key transcription factor EIN3 [14].
  • In the absence of ethylene, EIN3 and possibly other EIL proteins are targeted for ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by Cullin 1-based E3 complexes containing EBF1 and 2 [13].
  • Here, we identify the major DBD of an EIN3/EIL protein, Arabidopsis thaliana EIL3, containing a key mutational site for DNA binding and signaling (ein3-3 site), and determine its solution structure by NMR spectroscopy [6].
  • Moreover, we identified an immediate target of EIN3, ETHYLENE-RESPONSE-FACTOR1 (ERF1), which contains this element in its promoter [5].


  1. Molecular and biochemical characterization of VR-EILs encoding mung bean ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3-LIKE proteins. Lee, J.H., Kim, W.T. Plant Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  2. EIN3-dependent regulation of plant ethylene hormone signaling by two arabidopsis F box proteins: EBF1 and EBF2. Potuschak, T., Lechner, E., Parmentier, Y., Yanagisawa, S., Grava, S., Koncz, C., Genschik, P. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  3. Plant responses to ethylene gas are mediated by SCF(EBF1/EBF2)-dependent proteolysis of EIN3 transcription factor. Guo, H., Ecker, J.R. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. Activation of the ethylene gas response pathway in Arabidopsis by the nuclear protein ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE3 and related proteins. Chao, Q., Rothenberg, M., Solano, R., Roman, G., Terzaghi, W., Ecker, J.R. Cell (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Nuclear events in ethylene signaling: a transcriptional cascade mediated by ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE3 and ETHYLENE-RESPONSE-FACTOR1. Solano, R., Stepanova, A., Chao, Q., Ecker, J.R. Genes Dev. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Solution structure of the major DNA-binding domain of Arabidopsis thaliana ethylene-insensitive3-like3. Yamasaki, K., Kigawa, T., Inoue, M., Yamasaki, T., Yabuki, T., Aoki, M., Seki, E., Matsuda, T., Tomo, Y., Terada, T., Shirouzu, M., Tanaka, A., Seki, M., Shinozaki, K., Yokoyama, S. J. Mol. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. OsEIL1, a rice homolog of the Arabidopsis EIN3 regulates the ethylene response as a positive component. Mao, C., Wang, S., Jia, Q., Wu, P. Plant Mol. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Possible role of light in the maintenance of EIN3/EIL1 stability in Arabidopsis seedlings. Lee, J.H., Deng, X.W., Kim, W.T. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Differential regulation of EIN3 stability by glucose and ethylene signalling in plants. Yanagisawa, S., Yoo, S.D., Sheen, J. Nature (2003) [Pubmed]
  10. The molecular basis of ethylene signalling in Arabidopsis. Woeste, K., Kieber, J.J. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. (1998) [Pubmed]
  11. Arabidopsis EIN3-binding F-box 1 and 2 form ubiquitin-protein ligases that repress ethylene action and promote growth by directing EIN3 degradation. Gagne, J.M., Smalle, J., Gingerich, D.J., Walker, J.M., Yoo, S.D., Yanagisawa, S., Vierstra, R.D. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 and ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3-LIKE1 repress SALICYLIC ACID INDUCTION DEFICIENT2 expression to negatively regulate plant innate immunity in Arabidopsis. Chen, H., Xue, L., Chintamanani, S., Germain, H., Lin, H., Cui, H., Cai, R., Zuo, J., Tang, X., Li, X., Guo, H., Zhou, J.M. Plant. Cell (2009) [Pubmed]
  13. The Arabidopsis EIN3 Binding F-Box Proteins EBF1 and EBF2 Have Distinct but Overlapping Roles in Ethylene Signaling. Binder, B.M., Walker, J.M., Gagne, J.M., Emborg, T.J., Hemmann, G., Bleecker, A.B., Vierstra, R.D. Plant Cell (2007) [Pubmed]
  14. Molecular mechanisms of ethylene signaling in Arabidopsis. Benavente, L.M., Alonso, J.M. Molecular bioSystems. (2006) [Pubmed]
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