MADS box proteins

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The MADS box proteins are proteins in eukaryotes that fulfill gene regulatory tasks, so-called transcription factors . Most MADS box proteins are involved in developmental processes, for example in the development of the inflorescence of flowering seeds . The name 'box' indicates a gene segment in the genes coding for the proteins that has not changed in the course of evolution; accordingly, part of the amino acid sequence is also the same in all of these proteins. This is also the protein domain that is decisive for the function of the proteins .

Origin of name

The abbreviation MADS is composed of the first letters of the genes in which the sequence element was first found:

The MADS protein actually found first, however, is ARG80 from baker's yeast.


MADS box genes are widely distributed in plants. They can be found, among other things, in plant homeotic genes (such as AGAMOUS and DEFICIENS), which are involved in the development of plant organism. An example of this is the definition of the flower organs .

It has been shown that the MADS box genes SOC1 and FLC in Arabidopsis play an important role in the timing of the flowering period and help ensure that fertility is guaranteed when reproductive success is most likely.


Typical lengths of the MADS box are 168 to 180 base pairs . The corresponding MADS domain in the MADS box protein has DNA-binding properties and thus regulates the transcription of other proteins.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ MADS box gene home page: Definition of the MADS box
  2. ^ West AG, Shore P, Sharrocks AD: DNA binding by MADS-box transcription factors: a molecular mechanism for differential DNA bending . In: Mol. Cell. Biol . 17, No. 5, 05/01/1997, pp. 2876-87. PMID 9111360 .
  3. Svensson, Mats: Evolution of a family of plant genes with regulatory functions in development; studies on Picea abies and Lycopodium annotinum ( English , PDF ), Uppsala University, Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Biology, Department of Evolutionary Biology, 2000, ISBN 91-554-4826-7 (accessed July 30, 2007).
  4. Sommer H, Beltrán JP, Huijser P, Pape H, Lönnig WE, Saedler H, Schwarz-Sommer Z: Deficiens, a homeotic gene involved in the control of flower morphogenesis in Antirrhinum majus: the protein shows homology to transcription factors . In: Embo J . 9, No. 3, 1990, pp. 605-13. PMID 1968830 .
  5. Onouchi H, Igeño MI, Périlleux C, Graves K, Coupland G: Mutagenesis of plants overexpressing CONSTANS demonstrates novel interactions among Arabidopsis flowering-time genes . In: Plant Cell . 12, No. 6, 2000, pp. 885-900. doi : 10.1105 / tpc.12.6.885 . PMID 10852935 .
  6. Michaels SD, Amasino RM: FLOWERING LOCUS C encodes a novel MADS domain protein that acts as a repressor of flowering . In: Plant Cell . 11, No. 5, 1999, pp. 949-56. doi : 10.1105 / tpc.11.5.949 . PMID 10330478 .

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