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Plant Signal Behav. 2010 Oct;5(10):1241-4. doi: 10.4161/psb.5.10.12922. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

Is membrane occupation and recognition nexus domain functional in plant phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinases?

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Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Hakodate, Japan.


Phosphatidylinositol phosphate kinase (PIPK) catalyzes a key step controlling cellular contents of phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2], a critical intracellular messenger involved in vesicle trafficking and modulation of actin cytoskeleton and also a substrate of phospholipase C to produce the two intracellular messengers, diacylglycerol and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate. In addition to the conserved C-terminal PIPK catalytic domain, plant PIPKs contain a unique structural feature consisting of a repeat of membrane occupation and recognition nexus (MORN) motifs, called the MORN domain, in the N-terminal half. The MORN domain has previously been proposed to regulate plasma membrane localization and phosphatidic acid (PA)-inducible activation. Recently, the importance of the catalytic domain, but not the MORN domain, in these aspects was demonstrated. These conflicting data raise the question about the function of the MORN domain in plant PIPKs. We therefore performed analyses of PpPIPK1 from the moss Physcomitrella patens to elucidate the importance of the MORN domain in the control of enzymatic activity; however, we found no effect on either enzymatic activity or activation by PA. Taken together with our previous findings of lack of function in plasma membrane localization, there is no positive evidence indicating roles of the MORN domain in enzymatic and functional regulations of PpPIPK1. Therefore, further biochemical and reverse genetic analyses are necessary to understand the biological significance of the MORN domain in plant PIPKs.

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