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Plant Physiol. 1989 Jan;89(1):280-5.

Protection of Pyruvate,Pi Dikinase from Maize against Cold Lability by Compatible Solutes.

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  • 1Department of Botany, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4230.


Most C(4) species are chilling sensitive and certain enzymes like pyruvate,Pi dikinase of the C(4) pathway are also cold labile. The ability of cations and compatible solutes to protect maize (Zea mays) dikinase against cold lability was examined. The enzyme in desalted extracts at pH 8 from preilluminated leaves could be protected against cold lability (at 0 degrees C) by the divalent cations Mn(2+), Mg(2+), and Ca(2+). There was substantial protection by sulfate based salts but little protection by chloride based salts of potassium or ammonium (concentration 250 millimolar). The degree of protection against cold lability under limiting MgCl(2) (5 millimolar) was pH sensitive (maximum protection at pH 8), but independent of ionic strength (up to 250 millimolar by addition of KCl). In catalysis Mg(2+) is required and Mn(2+) could not substitute as a cofactor. Several compatible solutes reduced or prevented the cold inactivation of dikinase (in desalted extracts and the partially purified enzyme), including glycerol, proline, glycinebetaine and trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). TMAO and Mg(2+) had an additive effect in protecting dikinase against cold inactivation. TMAO could largely substitute for the divalent cation and addition of TMAO during cold treatment prevented further inactivation. Cold inactivation was partially reversed by incubation at room temperature; with addition of TMAO reversal was complete. The temperature dependence of inactivation at pH 8 and 3 millimolar MgCl(2) was evaluated by incubation at 2 to 17 degrees C for 45 minutes, followed by assay at room temperature. At preincubation temperatures below 11 degrees C there was a progressive inactivation which could be prevented by TMAO (450 millimolar). The results are discussed relative to possible effects of the solutes on the quaternary structure of this enzyme, which is known to dissociate at low temperatures.

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