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Plant Cell. 2005 Jan;17(1):182-203. Epub 2004 Dec 17.

Reverse genetic characterization of cytosolic acetyl-CoA generation by ATP-citrate lyase in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Genetics and Developmental and Cellular Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA.


Acetyl-CoA provides organisms with the chemical flexibility to biosynthesize a plethora of natural products that constitute much of the structural and functional diversity in nature. Recent studies have characterized a novel ATP-citrate lyase (ACL) in the cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we report the use of antisense RNA technology to generate a series of Arabidopsis lines with a range of ACL activity. Plants with even moderately reduced ACL activity have a complex, bonsai phenotype, with miniaturized organs, smaller cells, aberrant plastid morphology, reduced cuticular wax deposition, and hyperaccumulation of starch, anthocyanin, and stress-related mRNAs in vegetative tissue. The degree of this phenotype correlates with the level of reduction in ACL activity. These data indicate that ACL is required for normal growth and development and that no other source of acetyl-CoA can compensate for ACL-derived acetyl-CoA. Exogenous malonate, which feeds into the carboxylation pathway of acetyl-CoA metabolism, chemically complements the morphological and chemical alterations associated with reduced ACL expression, indicating that the observed metabolic alterations are related to the carboxylation pathway of cytosolic acetyl-CoA metabolism. The observations that limiting the expression of the cytosolic enzyme ACL reduces the accumulation of cytosolic acetyl-CoA-derived metabolites and that these deficiencies can be alleviated by exogenous malonate indicate that ACL is a nonredundant source of cytosolic acetyl-CoA.

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