Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Plant Physiol. 2002 Dec;130(4):1657-74.

Functional specialization of maize mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenases.

Author information

  • 1Department of Zoology and Genetics, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.


The maize (Zea mays) rf2a and rf2b genes both encode homotetrameric aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs). The RF2A protein was shown previously to accumulate in the mitochondria. In vitro import experiments and ALDH assays on mitochondrial extracts from rf2a mutant plants established that the RF2B protein also accumulates in the mitochondria. RNA gel-blot analyses and immunohistolocation experiments revealed that these two proteins have only partially redundant expression patterns in organs and cell types. For example, RF2A, but not RF2B, accumulates to high levels in the tapetal cells of anthers. Kinetic analyses established that RF2A and RF2B have quite different substrate specificities; although RF2A can oxidize a broad range of aldehydes, including aliphatic aldehydes and aromatic aldehydes, RF2B can oxidize only short-chain aliphatic aldehydes. These two enzymes also have different pH optima and responses to changes in substrate concentration. In addition, RF2A, but not RF2B or any other natural ALDHs, exhibits positive cooperativity. These functional specializations may explain why many species have two mitochondrial ALDHs. This study provides data that serve as a basis for identifying the physiological pathway by which the rf2a gene participates in normal anther development and the restoration of Texas cytoplasm-based male sterility. For example, the observations that Texas cytoplasm anthers do not accumulate elevated levels of reactive oxygen species or lipid peroxidation and the kinetic features of RF2A make it unlikely that rf2a restores fertility by preventing premature programmed cell death.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk