The aspartate aminotransferase gene family of Arabidopsis encodes isoenzymes localized to three distinct subcellular compartments

Carolyn J. Schultz, Gloria M. Coruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Here, a complete study is described of all the genes and isoenzymes for aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT) present in Arabidopsis thaliana. Four classes of cDNAs representing four distinct AspAT genes (ASP1—ASP4) have been cloned from Arabidopsis. Sequence analysis of the cDNAs suggests that the encoded proteins are targeted to different subcellular compartments. ASP1 encodes a mitochondrial form of AspAT, ASP3encodes a chloroplastic/plastidic form of AspAT, whereas ASP2 and ASP4 each encode cytosolic forms of AspAT. Three distinct AspAT holoenzymes (AAT1—AAT3) were resolved by activity gel analysis. Organelle isolation reveals that AAT1 is mitochondrial‐localized, AAT3 is plastid‐localized, and AAT2 is cytosolic. Gene‐specific Northern analysis reveals that each Asp mRNA accumulates differentially with respect to organ‐type. However, the individual Asp mRNAs show no dramatic fluctuations in response to environmental stimuli such as light. Southern analysis reveals that four distinct nuclear genes probably represent the entire AspAT gene family in Arabidopsis. These molecular studies shed light on the subcellular synthesis of aspartate in Arabidopsis and suggest that some of the AspAT isoenzymes may play overlapping roles in plant nitrogen metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-75
Number of pages15
JournalThe Plant Journal
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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