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J Bioenerg Biomembr. 2003 Feb;35(1):57-65.

Putative functions of nucleoside diphosphate kinase in plants and fungi.

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  • 1Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Graduate School of Integrated Science, Yokohama City University Maioka-cho, Totsuka-ku, Yokohama, Japan.


The putative functions of NDP (nucleoside diaphosphate) kinases from various organisms focusing to fungi and plants are described. The biochemical reactions catalyzed by NDP kinase are as follows. (i) Phosphotransferring activity from mainly ATP to cognate NDPs generating nucleoside triphosphates (NTPs). (ii) Autophosphorylation activity from ATP and GTP. (iii) Protein kinase (phosphotransferring) activity phosphorylating such as myelin basic protein. NDP kinase could function to provide NTPs as a housekeeping enzyme. However, recent works proved possible functions of the NDP kinases in the processes of signal transduction in various organisms, as described below. 1) By use of the extracts of the mycelia of a filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa blue-light irradiation could increase the phosphorylation of a 15-kDa protein, which was purified and identified to be NDP kinase (NDK-1). By use of the etiolated seedlings of Pisum sativum cv Alaska and Oryza sativa red-light irradiation of intact plants increased the phosphorylation of NDP kinase. However, successive irradiation by red-far-red reversed the reaction, indicating that phytochrome-mediated light signals are transduced to the phosphorylation of NDP kinase. 2) NDP kinase localizing in mitochondria is encoded by nuclear genome and different from those localized in cytoplasm. NDP kinase in mitochondria formed a complex with succinyl CoA synthetase. 3) In Spinicia oleraceae two different NDP kinases were detected in the chloroplast, and in Pisum sativum two forms of NDP kinase originated from single species of mRNA could be detected in the choloroplast. However, the function of NDP kinases in the choloroplast is not yet known. 4) In Neurospora crassa a Pro72His mutation in NDP kinase (ndk-1Pro72His) deficient in the autophosphorylation and protein kinase activity resulted in lacking the light-induced polarity of perithecia. In wild-type directional light irradiation parallel to the solid medium resulted in the formation of the perithecial beak at the top of perithecia, which was designated as "light-induced polarity of perithecia." In wild-type in darkness the beak was formed at random places on perithecia, and in ndkPro72His mutant the perithecial beak was formed at random places even under directional light illumination. The introduction of genomic DNA and cDNA for ndk-1 demonstrated that the wild-type DNAs suppressed the mutant phenotype. With all these results except for the demonstration in Neurospora, most of the phenomena are elusive and should be solved in the molecular levels concerning with NDP kinases.

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