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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Apr 25, 1995; 92(9): 3903–3907.

A gene encoding a phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C is induced by dehydration and salt stress in Arabidopsis thaliana.


A cDNA corresponding to a putative phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) in the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana was cloned by use of the polymerase chain reaction. The cDNA, designated cAtPLC1, encodes a putative polypeptide of 561 aa with a calculated molecular mass of 64 kDa. The putative product includes so-called X and Y domains found in all PI-PLCs identified to date. In mammalian cells, there are three types of PI-PLC, PLC-beta, -gamma, and -delta. The overall structure of the putative AtPLC1 protein is most similar to that of PLC-delta, although the AtPLC1 protein is much smaller than PLCs from other organisms. The recombinant AtPLC1 protein synthesized in Escherichia coli was able to hydrolyze phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and this activity was completely dependent on Ca2+, as observed also for mammalian PI-PLCs. These results suggest that the AtPLC1 gene encodes a genuine PI-PLC of a higher plant. Northern blot analysis showed that the AtPLC1 gene is expressed at very low levels in the plant under normal conditions but is induced to a significant extent under various environmental stresses, such as dehydration, salinity, and low temperature. These observations suggest that AtPLC1 might be involved in the signal-transduction pathways of environmental stresses and that an increase in the level of AtPLC1 might amplify the signal, in a manner that contributes to the adaptation of the plant to these stresses.

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