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Plant Physiol. 2005 Aug;138(4):2111-23. Epub 2005 Jul 29.

Peroxisomal monodehydroascorbate reductase. Genomic clone characterization and functional analysis under environmental stress conditions.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquímica, Biología Celular y Molecular de Plantas, Estación Experimental del Zaidín, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Apartado 419, E-18080 Granada, Spain.


In plant cells, ascorbate is a major antioxidant that is involved in the ascorbate-glutathione cycle. Monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDAR) is the enzymatic component of this cycle involved in the regeneration of reduced ascorbate. The identification of the intron-exon organization and the promoter region of the pea (Pisum sativum) MDAR 1 gene was achieved in pea leaves using the method of walking polymerase chain reaction on genomic DNA. The nuclear gene of MDAR 1 comprises nine exons and eight introns, giving a total length of 3,770 bp. The sequence of 544 bp upstream of the initiation codon, which contains the promoter and 5' untranslated region, and 190 bp downstream of the stop codon were also determined. The presence of different regulatory motifs in the promoter region of the gene might indicate distinct responses to various conditions. The expression analysis in different plant organs by northern blots showed that fruits had the highest level of MDAR. Confocal laser scanning microscopy analysis of pea leaves transformed with Agrobacterium tumefaciens having the binary vectors pGD, which contain the autofluorescent proteins enhanced green fluorescent protein and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein with the full-length cDNA for MDAR 1 and catalase, indicated that the MDAR 1 encoded the peroxisomal isoform. The functional analysis of MDAR by activity and protein expression was studied in pea plants grown under eight stress conditions, including continuous light, high light intensity, continuous dark, mechanical wounding, low and high temperature, cadmium, and the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. This functional analysis is representative of all the MDAR isoforms present in the different cell compartments. Results obtained showed a significant induction by high light intensity and cadmium. On the other hand, expression studies, performed by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction demonstrated differential expression patterns of peroxisomal MDAR 1 transcripts in pea plants grown under the mentioned stress conditions. These findings show that the peroxisomal MDAR 1 has a differential regulation that could be indicative of its specific function in peroxisomes. All these biochemical and molecular data represent a significant step to understand the specific physiological role of each MDAR isoenzyme and its participation in the antioxidant mechanisms of plant cells.

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