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

Effects of cadmium on the co-ordination of nitrogen and carbon metabolism in bean seedlings.

The effect of cadmium (Cd) was investigated on the in vitro activities of leaf and root enzymes involved in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) metabolism of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Morgane). Cd induced a high increase in maximal extractable activity of glutamate dehydrogenase (NADH-GDH, EC Cd promoted ammonium accumulation in leaves and roots, and a tight correlation was observed between ammonium amount and GDH activity. Changes in GDH activity appear to be mediated by the increase in ammonium levels by Cd treatment. Cd stress also enhanced the activities of phosphoenolypyruvate carboxylase (PEPC, EC and NADP(+)-isocitrate dehydrogenase (NADP(+)-ICDH, EC in leaves while they were inhibited in roots. Immuno-titration, the PEPC sensitivity to malate and PEPC response to pH indicated that the increase in PEPC activity by Cd was due to de novo synthesis of the enzyme polypeptide and also modification of the phosphorylation state of the enzyme. Cd may have modified, via a modulation of PEPC activity, the C flow towards the amino acid biosynthesis. In leaves, Cd treatments markedly modified specific amino acid contents. Glutamate and proline significantly accumulated compared to those of the control plants. This study suggests that Cd stress is a part of the syndrome of metal toxicity, and that a readjustment of the co-ordination between N and C metabolism via the modulation of GDH, PEPC and ICDH activities avoided the accumulation of toxic levels of ammonium.[1]


  1. Effects of cadmium on the co-ordination of nitrogen and carbon metabolism in bean seedlings. Gouia, H., Suzuki, A., Brulfert, J., Ghorbal, M.H. J. Plant Physiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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