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Plant Physiol. 1990 Nov;94(3):1282-9.

Oleosin isoforms of high and low molecular weights are present in the oil bodies of diverse seed species.

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  • 1Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, California 92521.


Oleosins are unique and major proteins localized on the surface of oil bodies in diverse seed species. We purified five different oleosins (maize [Zea mays L.] KD 16 and KD 18, soybean [Glycine max L.] KD 18 and KD 24, and rapeseed [Brassica campestris L.] KD 20), and raised chicken antibodies against them. These antibodies were used to test for immunological cross-reactivity among oleosins from diverse seed species. Within the same seed species, antibodies raised against one oleosin isoform did not cross-react with the other oleosin isoform (i.e. between maize oleosins KD 16 and KD 18, and between soybean oleosins KD 18 and KD 24). However, the respective antibodies were able to recognize oleosins from other seed species. Where interspecies cross-reactivity occurred, the results suggest that there are at least two immunologically distinct isoforms of oleosins present in diverse seed species, one of lower M(r), and another one of higher M(r). This suggestion is also supported by the relative similarities between the amino acid sequence of a small portion of rapeseed oleosin KD 20 and those of maize oleosins KD 16 and KD 18. In maize kernel, there was a tissue-specific differential presentation of the three oleosins, KD 16, KD 18, and KD 19, in the oil-storing scutellum, embryonic axis, and aleurone layer. The phylogenetic relationship between the high and low M(r) isoforms within the same, and among diverse, seed species is discussed.

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