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J Exp Bot. 2004 Aug;55(404):1831-42. Epub 2004 Jul 30.

Control of sulphate assimilation and glutathione synthesis: interaction with N and C metabolism.

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  • 1Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Institute of Forest Botany and Tree Physiology, Georges-K√∂hler-Allee 053, D-79110 Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

Sulphate assimilation is an essential pathway being a source of reduced sulphur for various cellular processes and for the synthesis of glutathione, a major factor in plant stress defence. Many reports have shown that sulphate assimilation is well co-ordinated with the assimilation of nitrate and carbon. It has long been known that, during nitrate deficiency, sulphate assimilation is reduced and that the capacity to reduce nitrate is diminished in plants starved for sulphate. Only recently, however, was it shown that adenosine 5' phosphosulphate reductase (APR), the key enzyme of sulphate assimilation, is regulated by carbohydrates. In plants treated with sucrose or glucose APR was induced, whereas the activity was strongly reduced in plants grown in CO(2)-free air. The availability of cysteine is a crucial factor in glutathione synthesis, but an adequate supply of glutamate and glycine are also important. The molecular mechanisms for the co-ordination of S, N, and C assimilation are not known. O-acetylserine, a precursor of cysteine, was proposed to be the signal regulating sulphate assimilation, but most probably is not the outgoing signal to N and C metabolism. cDNA arrays revealed the induction of genes involved in auxin synthesis upon S-starvation, pointing to a possible role of phytohormones. Clearly, despite significant progress in understanding the regulation of sulphate assimilation and glutathione synthesis, their co-ordination with N and C metabolism achieved, and several potential signal molecules identified, present knowledge is still far from being sufficient.

PMID:
15286142
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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