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Plant Mol Biol. 1999 Jul;40(4):729-36.

Salt-specific regulation of the cytosolic O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase gene from Arabidopsis thaliana is dependent on abscisic acid.

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Instituto de Bioquímica Vegetal y Fotosíntesis, Centro de Investigaciones Científicas Isla de la Cartuja, CSIC and Universidad de Sevilla, Spain.


The expression of Atcys-3A gene coding for cytosolic O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase, a key enzyme in cysteine biosynthesis, from Arabidopsis thaliana is significantly induced by exposure to salt and heavy-metal stresses. Addition of NaCl to mature plants induced a rapid accumulation of the mRNA throughout the leaf lamina and roots, and later on in stems, being mainly restricted to vascular tissues. The salt-specific regulation of Atcys-3A was also mediated by abscisic acid (ABA) since: (1) exogenous addition of ABA to the culture medium mimicked the salt-induced plant response by raising the level of Atcys-3A transcript, and (2) Arabidopsis mutants aba-1 and abi2-1 were not able to respond to NaCl. Our results suggest that a high rate of cysteine biosynthesis is required in Arabidopsis under salt stress necessary for a plant protection or adaptation mechanism. This hypothesis was supported by the observation that intracellular levels of cysteine and glutathione increased up to 3-fold after salt treatment.

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