Transgenic Research

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 545–553 | Cite as

Evaluation of seed storage protein gene 3′-untranslated regions in enhancing gene expression in transgenic rice seed

  • Wen Jing Li
  • Ling Ling Dai
  • Zhi Jian Chai
  • Zhi Jie Yin
  • Le Qing QuEmail author
Original Paper


3′ untranslated regions (UTRs) are important sequence elements that modulate the expression of genes. We evaluated the potential of the 3′-UTRs of 9 seed storage protein (SSP) genes as terminators in enhancing the expression of the β-glucuronidase (gus A) reporter gene driven by the glutelin GluB-3 promoter in stable transgenic rice lines. Six of the 3′-UTRs significantly enhanced the activity of the GluB-3 promoter without changing its tissue specificity but altered its expression pattern in endosperm. With the 3′-UTRs of GluB-5, GluA-2 and GluC, the expression of gus A was higher by 3.12-, 2.45- and 2.14-fold, respectively, than with the Nos terminator. These three 3′-UTRs, combined with GluC, Ubi-1 and CaMV35S promoters, also increased GUS levels in stable transgenic rice lines or in transient expression in protoplasts, which indicated that the enhancements were independent of the promoter sequence. The increase in protein production was accompanied by altered mRNA levels, which suggests that the enhancements were due to increased transcript level. The 3′-UTRs of GluB-5, GluA-2 and GluC, when combined with strong promoters, might be ideal candidates for high production of recombinant proteins in rice seeds. The 9 SSP 3′-UTRs could function as faithful terminators in mono- or multi-gene transformation avoiding homology-based gene silencing.


3′ untranslated region Expression level Seed storage protein Terminator Transgenic rice 



This work was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30871375) and the National Program of Transgenic Variety Development of China (2008ZX08009-004, 2008ZX08001-006).

Supplementary material

11248_2011_9552_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (16 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 GUS activities of T2 transgenic plants expressed by various 3′-UTRs downstream of the GluB-3 promoter in maturing seeds at 17 DAF. Horizontal bars represent the average GUS activity. pGluB-3: GluB-3 promoter; GluA-1, GluA-2, GluA-3, GluB-1, GluB-5, GluC, 16kD pro, Glb-1 and GluD-1 represent relative 3′-UTRs downstream of the GluB-3 promoter (PDF 15 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Jing Li
    • 1
  • Ling Ling Dai
    • 1
  • Zhi Jian Chai
    • 1
  • Zhi Jie Yin
    • 1
  • Le Qing Qu
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Plant Molecular PhysiologyInstitute of Botany, The Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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