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Plant Physiol. 1994 Aug;105(4):1223-1229.

Transcriptional and Posttranscriptional Regulation of Nitrogen-Responding Expression of Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase Gene in Maize.

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Department of Applied Biological Sciences, School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-01, Japan (I.S., T.O., T.S.).


To study the regulation of gene expression for enzymes in the C4 photosynthetic pathway of maize (Zea mays L.) in response to changing N status in developing photosynthetic cells, we have studied in vitro transcription of the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) gene in leaf nuclei isolated from plants during recovery from N starvation. The induction was specific for the C4-type PEPC gene (C4Ppc1), and its transcription was N dependent and increased markedly by supply of an N source, but there was a discrepancy between the steady-state levels of mRNA and the stimulation of in vitro transcription. The results suggest that the N-inducible expression of C4Ppc1 is regulated both transcriptionally and posttranscriptionally by N availability. The in vitro transcription rate of C4Ppc1 was greatly stimulated by incubating detached leaves with zeatin alone, whereas the rate remained essentially unchanged by incubating with an exogenous N source alone. The results, taken together, imply that cytokinins up-regulate the transcription of C4Ppc1 in response to N status, whereas glutamine and/or its metabolite(s) up-regulate the level of the transcript. The transcription was totally inhibited by cycloheximide, indicating that the cytokinin-dependent transcription of C4Ppc1 requires the synthesis of protein.

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