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Plant Physiol. 1992 Nov;100(3):1126-31.

Turnover of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic Acid synthase protein in wounded tomato fruit tissue.

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  • 1Mann Laboratory, Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis, California 95616.


Ethylene production in plant tissues declines rapidly following induction, and this decline is due to a rapid decrease in the activity of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) synthase, a key enzyme in ethylene biosynthesis. To study the nature of the rapid turnover of ACC synthase in vivo, proteins in wounded ripening tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) fruit discs were radiolabeled with [(35)S]methionine, followed by a chase with nonradioactive methionine. Periodically, the radioactive ACC synthase was isolated with an immunoaffinity gel and analyzed. ACC synthase protein decayed rapidly in vivo with an apparent half-life of about 58 min. This value for protein turnover in vivo is similar to that previously reported for activity half-life in vivo and substrate-dependent enzyme inactivation in vitro. Carbonylcyanide-m-chlorophenylhydrazone and 2,4-dinitrophenol, potent uncouplers of oxidative phosphorylation, strongly inhibited the rapid decay of ACC synthase protein in the tissue. Degradation of this enzyme protein was moderately inhibited by the administration of aminooxyacetic acid, a competitive inhibitor of ACC synthase with respect to its substrate S-adenosyl-l-methionine, alpha,alpha'-dipyridyl, and phenylmethanesulfonyl fluoride or leupeptin, serine protease inhibitors. These results support the notion that the substrate S-adenosyl-l-methionine participates in the rapid inactivation of the enzyme in vivo and suggest that some ATP-dependent processes, such as the ubiquitin-requiring pathway, are involved in the degradation of ACC synthase proteins.

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