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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The different large subunit isoforms of Arabidopsis thaliana ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase confer distinct kinetic and regulatory properties to the heterotetrameric enzyme.

ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase catalyzes the first and limiting step in starch biosynthesis and is allosterically regulated by the levels of 3-phosphoglycerate and phosphate in plants. ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylases from plants are heterotetramers composed of two types of subunits (small and large). In this study, the six Arabidopsis thaliana genes coding for ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase isoforms (two small and four large subunits) have been cloned and expressed in an Escherichia coli mutant deficient in ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity. The co-expression of the small subunit APS1 with the different Arabidopsis large subunits (APL1, APL2, APL3, and APL4) resulted in heterotetramers with different regulatory and kinetic properties. Heterotetramers composed of APS1 and APL1 showed the highest sensitivity to the allosteric effectors as well as the highest apparent affinity for the substrates (glucose-1-phosphate and ATP), whereas heterotetramers formed by APS1 and APL2 showed the lower response to allosteric effectors and the lower affinity for the substrates. No activity was detected for the second gene coding for a small subunit isoform (APS2) annotated in the Arabidopsis genome. This lack of activity is possibly due to the absence of essential amino acids involved in catalysis and/or in the binding of glucose-1-phosphate and 3-phosphoglycerate. Kinetic and regulatory properties of the different heterotetramers, together with sequence analysis has allowed us to make a distinction between sink and source enzymes, because the combination of different large subunits would provide a high plasticity to ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity and regulation. This is the first experimental data concerning the role that all the ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase isoforms play in a single plant species. This phenomenon could have an important role in vivo, because different large subunits would confer distinct regulatory properties to ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase according to the necessities for starch synthesis in a given tissue.[1]


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