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Planta. 2005 Aug;221(6):844-56. Epub 2005 Mar 16.

Brassica juncea HMG-CoA synthase: localization of mRNA and protein.

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Department of Botany, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme-A (HMG-CoA) synthase (HMGS; EC synthesizes HMG-CoA, a substrate for mevalonate biosynthesis in the isoprenoid pathway. It catalyzes the condensation of acetyl-CoA with acetoacetyl-CoA (AcAc-CoA) to yield S-HMG-CoA and HS-CoA. In Brassica juncea (Indian mustard), HMGS is encoded by four isogenes (BjHMGS1-BjHMGS4). We have already enzymatically characterized recombinant BjHMGS1 expressed in Escherichia coli, and have identified its residues that are significant in catalysis. To further study HMGS mRNA expression that is developmentally regulated in flowers and seedlings, we have examined its mRNA distribution by in situ hybridization and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We observed predominant localization of HMGS mRNA in the stigmas and ovules of flower buds and in the piths of seedling hypocotyls. RT-PCR analysis revealed that BjHMGS1 and BjHMGS2 but not BjHMGS3 and BjHMGS4were expressed in floral buds. To investigate the subcellular localization of BjHMGS1, we fused BjHMGS1 translationally in-frame either to the N- or C-terminus of green fluorescent protein (GFP). BjHMGS1-GFP and GFP-BjHMGS1 fusions were used in particle gun bombardment of onion epidermal cells and tobacco BY-2 cells. The GFP-BjHMGS1 construct was also used in agroinfiltration of tobacco leaves. Both GFP-fusion proteins were observed transiently expressed in the cytosol on confocal microscopy of onion epidermal cells, tobacco BY-2 cells, and agroinfiltrated tobacco leaves. Further, subcellular fractionation of total proteins from transgenic plants expressing GFP-BjHMGS1 derived from Agrobacterium-mediated transformation confirmed that BjHMGS1 is a cytosolic enzyme. We suggest that the presence of BjHMGS isoforms is likely related to the specialization of each in different cellular and metabolic processes rather than to a different intracellular compartmentation of the enzyme.

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