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Plant Physiol. 2002 Jun;129(2):808-22.

Molecular characterization and evolution of the protein phosphatase 2A B' regulatory subunit family in plants.

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  • 1Departament de Genetica, Universitat de València, Doctor Moliner 50, 46100 Burjassot, Spain.


Type 2A serine/threonine protein phosphatases (PP2A) are important components in the reversible protein phosphorylation events in plants and other organisms. PP2A proteins are oligomeric complexes constituted by a catalytic subunit and several regulatory subunits that modulate the activity of these phosphatases. The analysis of the complete genome of Arabidopsis allowed us to characterize four novel genes, AtB'epsilon, AtB'zeta, AtB'eta, and AtB'theta;, belonging to the PP2A B' regulatory subunit family. Because four genes of this type had been described previously, this family is composed of eight members. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction experiments showed that AtB'epsilon mRNAs are present in all Arabidopsis tissues analyzed, and their levels do not respond significantly to heat stress. Expressed sequence tags corresponding to AtB'zeta, AtB'eta, and AtB'theta; have been identified, indicating that the new genes are actively transcribed. The genomic organization of this family of PP2A regulatory subunits is reported, as well as its chromosomal location. An extensive survey of the family has been carried out in plants, characterizing B' subunits in a number of different species, and performing a phylogenetic study that included several B' regulatory proteins from animals. Our results indicate that the animal and plant proteins have evolved independently, that there is a relationship between the number of B' isoforms and the complexity of the organism, and that there are at least three main subfamilies of regulatory subunits in plants, which we have named alpha, eta, and kappa.

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