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Plant Physiol. 1987 Jun;84(2):366-73.

Glutamine Synthetase of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia: Cloning and in Vivo Expression.

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The Rockefeller University, Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, New York, New York 10021-6399.


We have characterized the distinct forms of glutamine synthetase (GS) which are present in leaves and roots of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia. Mature leaves contain a single GS polypeptide (44 kilodaltons in size) which is localized to the stroma of intact chloroplasts. In contrast, the GS polypeptide in roots is distinct in size (38 kilodaltons) and charge. A lectin stain of leaf soluble protein indicates that the size difference of these mature GS polypeptides is not the result of posttranslational glycosylation. cDNA clones encoding a GS mRNA of N. plumbaginifolia were characterized and used as molecular probes to examine GS transcripts in leaves and roots. GS mRNA hybrid-selected from leaves or roots translated in vitro into distinct GS primary translation products (49 or 38 kilodaltons). The 49 kilodalton GS primary translation product, specific to leaf poly(A)RNA is proposed to be a precursor to the mature 44 kilodalton chloroplast stromal GS polypeptide. The 38 kilodalton GS primary translation product encoded by root GS mRNA, corresponds in size to the polypeptide encoded by the GS cDNA clones characterized. Southern blot analysis of nuclear DNA indicates that there are several different genomic fragments encoding GS in N. plumbaginifolia.


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