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Plant Cell. Oct 1998; 10(10): 1677–1690.
PMCID: PMC143945

The Arabidopsis DIMINUTO/DWARF1 gene encodes a protein involved in steroid synthesis.

Abstract

We have identified the function of the Arabidopsis DIMINUTO/DWARF1 (DIM/DWF1) gene by analyzing the dim mutant, a severe dwarf with greatly reduced fertility. Both the mutant phenotype and gene expression could be rescued by the addition of exogenous brassinolide. Analysis of endogenous sterols demonstrated that dim accumulates 24-methylenecholesterol but is deficient in campesterol, an early precursor of brassinolide. In addition, we show that dim is deficient in brassinosteroids as well. Feeding experiments using deuterium-labeled 24-methylenecholesterol and 24-methyldesmosterol confirmed that DIM/DWF1 is involved in both the isomerization and reduction of the Delta24(28) bond. This conversion is not required in cholesterol biosynthesis in animals but is a key step in the biosynthesis of plant sterols. Transient expression of a green fluorescent protein-DIM/DWF1 fusion protein and biochemical experiments showed that DIM/DWF1 is an integral membrane protein that most probably is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum.

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