Anthocyanins are among the most important flavonoid compounds widely present in plants. Anthocyanins play significant roles in plant growth and development as well as human nutrition and health care. The anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway has been widely documented, and the anthocyanin metabolic regulation network is being constantly improved. The transcription factors that regulate anthocyanin biosynthesis mainly include three classes: MYB, b HLH and WD40 proteins. The proteins regulate the accumulation, location and levels of anthocyanins by activating or suppressing the expression of key structural genes, including CHS, ANS and DFR. This review briefly introduces the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway and summarizes the molecular mechanism of transcriptional regulation based on recent progress. It mainly focuses on the molecular mechanism of MYB, bHLH and WD40 transcription factors in the regulation of anthocyanins in model plants. In addition, it summarizes the use of these transcription factors in anthocyanin metabolic engineering in ornamental plants and fruit crops. This review will provide valuable references for the in-depth investigation of transcriptional regulation and improving anthocyanins by metabolic engineering.
Chinese Bulletin of Botany