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Plant J. 2007 May;50(3):381-90. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Arabidopsis peroxisomal malate dehydrogenase functions in beta-oxidation but not in the glyoxylate cycle.

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Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Edinburgh, The King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JH, UK.


The aim was to determine the function of peroxisomal NAD(+)-malate dehydrogenase (PMDH) in fatty acid beta-oxidation and the glyoxylate cycle in Arabidopsis. Seeds in which both PMDH genes are disrupted by T-DNA insertions germinate, but seedling establishment is dependent on exogenous sugar. Mutant seedlings mobilize their triacylglycerol very slowly and growth is insensitive to 2,4-dichlorophenoxybutyric acid. Thus mutant seedlings are severely impaired in beta-oxidation, even though microarray analysis shows that beta-oxidation genes are expressed normally. The mutant phenotype was complemented by expression of a cDNA encoding PMDH with either its native peroxisome targeting signal-2 (PTS2) targeting sequence or a heterologous PTS1 sequence. In contrast to the block in beta-oxidation in mutant seedlings, [(14)C]acetate is readily metabolized into sugars and organic acids, thereby demonstrating normal activity of the glyoxylate cycle. We conclude that PMDH serves to reoxidize NADH produced from fatty acid beta-oxidation and does not participate directly in the glyoxylate cycle.

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