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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Aug 31;101(35):13080-5. Epub 2004 Aug 23.

Most of ADP x glucose linked to starch biosynthesis occurs outside the chloroplast in source leaves.

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  • 1Agrobioteknologia eta Natura Baliabideetako Instituta, Nafarroako Unibertsitate, Publikoa and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Mutiloako Etorbidea Zenbaki/Gabe, Mutiloabeti 31192, Nafarroa, Spain.


Sucrose and starch are end products of two segregated gluconeogenic pathways, and their production takes place in the cytosol and chloroplast of green leaves, respectively. According to this view, the plastidial ADP.glucose (ADPG) pyrophosphorylase (AGP) is the sole enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of the starch precursor molecule ADPG. However, a growing body of evidences indicates that starch formation involves the import of cytosolic ADPG to the chloroplast. This evidence is consistent with the idea that synthesis of the ADPG linked to starch biosynthesis takes place in the cytosol by means of sucrose synthase, whereas AGP channels the glucose units derived from the starch breakdown. To test this hypothesis, we first investigated the subcellular localization of ADPG. Toward this end, we constructed transgenic potato plants that expressed the ADPG-cleaving adenosine diphosphate sugar pyrophosphatase (ASPP) from Escherichia coli either in the chloroplast or in the cytosol. Source leaves from plants expressing ASPP in the chloroplast exhibited reduced starch and normal ADPG content as compared with control plants. Most importantly however, leaves from plants expressing ASPP in the cytosol showed a large reduction of the levels of both ADPG and starch, whereas hexose phosphates increased as compared with control plants. No pleiotropic changes in photosynthetic parameters and maximum catalytic activities of enzymes closely linked to starch and sucrose metabolism could be detected in the leaves expressing ASPP in the cytosol. The overall results show that, essentially similar to cereal endosperms, most of the ADPG linked to starch biosynthesis in source leaves occurs in the cytosol.

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