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Planta. 1999 Aug;209(2):161-71.

Developmental regulation of the gene for chimeric calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase in anthers.

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Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology and Physiology, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.
WA St U, Pullman


Chimeric Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) was cloned from developing anthers of lily (Lilium longiflorum Thumb. cv. Nellie White) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Xanthi). Previous biochemical characterization and structure/function studies had revealed that CCaMK has dual modes of regulation by Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin. The unique structural features of CCaMK include a catalytic domain, a calmodulin-binding domain, and a neural visinin-like Ca(2+)-binding domain. The existence of these three features in a single polypeptide distinguishes it from other kinases. Western analysis revealed that CCaMK is expressed in a stage-specific manner in developing anthers. Expression of CCaMK was first detected in pollen mother cells and continued to increase, reaching a peak around the tetrad stage of meiosis. Following microsporogenesis, CCaMK expression rapidly decreased and at later stages of microspore development, no expression was detected. A tobacco genomic clone of CCaMK was isolated and transgenic tobacco plants were produced carrying the CCaMK promoter fused to the beta-glucuronidase reporter gene. Both CCaMK mRNA and protein were detected in the pollen sac and their localizations were restricted to the pollen mother cells and tapetal cells. Consistent results showing a stage-specific expression pattern were obtained by beta-glucuronidase analysis, in-situ hybridization and immunolocalization. The stage- and tissue-specific appearance of CCaMK in anthers suggests that it could play a role in sensing transient changes in free Ca(2+) concentration in target cells, thereby controlling developmental events in the anther.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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