Multifunctionality and diversity within the plant MYB-gene family
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MYB proteins constitute a diverse class of DNA-binding proteins of particular importance in transcriptional regulation in plants. Members are characterised by having a structurally conserved DNA-binding domain, the MYB domain. Different categories of MYB proteins can be identified depending on the number of imperfect repeats of the MYB domain they contain. It is likely that single MYB-domain proteins, a class of expanding importance in plants, bind DNA in a different way than two-repeat or three-repeat MYB proteins, and these groups are therefore likely to have different functions. The two-repeat (R2R3) MYB family is the largest family characterised in plants, and there are estimated to be over 100 members in Arabidopsis. Functions of MYB proteins in plants include regulation of secondary metabolism, control of cellular morphogenesis and regulation of meristem formation and the cell cycle. Although functional similarities exist between R2R3 MYB proteins that are closely related structurally, there are significant differences in the ways very similar proteins function in different species and also within the same organism. Therefore, despite the large number of R2R3 MYB proteins in plants, it is unlikely that many are precisely redundant in their functions, but more likely that they share overlapping functions.
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