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J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 2;277(31):27772-81. Epub 2002 May 20.

Purple acid phosphatases of Arabidopsis thaliana. Comparative analysis and differential regulation by phosphate deprivation.

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  • 1Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.


Purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) are members of the metallo-phosphoesterase family. They are characterized by the presence of seven conserved amino acid residues involved in coordinating the dimetal nuclear center in their reactive site. We compared the 29 PAPs predicted for Arabidopsis thaliana in their varieties of potential metal-ligating residues. Although 24 members possessed sets of metal-ligating residues typical of known PAPs, 1 member lacked four of the seven residues. For the remaining four members, potential metal-ligating residues were generally more similar to those in metal-dependent exonucleases and related proteins. Evidence was obtained for the expression of the majority of the 29 PAPs. To facilitate future investigations, a scheme for naming Arabidopsis PAPs and a system for classifying the 29 PAPs are proposed. The cDNA sequences and the responses to phosphate deprivation of seven Arabidopsis PAPs (AtPAP7-AtPAP13) were characterized. For some AtPAPs analyzed, there were fully processed transcripts as well as splice variants. The splice variants of AtPAP10 were found to associate with polyribosomes and may be translated into a NH(2)-terminal truncated protein. Phylogenetic investigations showed that AtPAPs 7 and 8, together with similar enzymes from other plant species, formed the low molecular weight plant PAP group. Members of this group were more closely related to PAPs from mammalian cells. AtPAPs 9-13, together with kidney bean PAP, formed the high molecular weight PAP group. In phosphate deprivation experiments, gene transcription of AtPAP11 and AtPAP12 was induced and increased, respectively, whereas that of the remaining five AtPAPs was not affected by phosphate deprivation. The present work demonstrates that structure variation and expression regulation of plant PAPs are more complex than previously described and provides a framework for comprehensive molecular genetic and biochemical studies of all Arabidopsis PAPs in the future.

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