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

Protein farnesyltransferase in plants: molecular characterization and involvement in cell cycle control.

Farnesylation is required for membrane targeting, protein-protein interactions, and the biological activity of key regulatory proteins, such as Ras small GTPases and protein kinases in a wide range of eukaryotes. In this report, we describe the molecular identification of a plant protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) and evidence for its role in the control of the cell cycle in plants. A pea gene encoding a homolog of the FTase beta subunit was previously cloned using a polymerase chain reaction-based strategy. A similar approach was used to clone a pea gene encoding a homolog of the FTase alpha subunit. The biochemical function of the pea FTase homologs was demonstrated by the reconstitution of FTase enzyme activity using FTase fusion proteins coexpressed in Escherichia coll. RNA gel blot analyses showed that levels of FTase mRNAs are generally higher in tissues, such as those of nodules, that are active in cell division. The relationship of FTase to cell division was further analyzed during the growth of suspension-cultured tobacco BY-2 cells. A biphasic fluctuation of FTase enzyme activity preceded corresponding changes in mitotic activity at the early log phase of cell growth. Moreover, manumycin, a specific inhibitor of FTase, was effective in inhibiting mitosis and growth in these cells. Using synchronized BY-2 cells, manumycin completely blocked mitosis when added at the early S phase but not when added at the G2 phase. These data suggest that FTase is required for the plant cell cycle, perhaps by modulating the progression through the S phase and the transition from G1 to the S phase.[1]


  1. Protein farnesyltransferase in plants: molecular characterization and involvement in cell cycle control. Qian, D., Zhou, D., Ju, R., Cramer, C.L., Yang, Z. Plant Cell (1996) [Pubmed]
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