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Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2011 Jan;13(1):36-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.2010.00325.x.

Molecular cloning and characterisation of two calmodulin isoforms of the Madagascar periwinkle Catharanthus roseus.

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Université François Rabelais de Tours, EA 2106 Biomolécules et Biotechnologies Végétales, IFR 135 Imagerie fonctionnelle, Tours, France.


Involvement of Ca(2+) signalling in regulation of the biosynthesis of monoterpene indole alkaloids (MIA) in Catharanthus roseus has been extensively studied in recent years, albeit no protein of this signalling pathway has been isolated. Using a PCR strategy, two C. roseus cDNAs encoding distinct calmodulin (CAM) isoforms were cloned and named CAM1 and CAM2. The deduced 149 amino acid sequences possess four Ca(2+) binding domains and exhibit a close identity with Arabidopsis CAM isoforms (>91%). The ability of CAM1 and CAM2 to bind Ca(2+) was demonstrated following expression of the corresponding recombinant proteins. Furthermore, transient expression of CAM1-GFP and CAM2-GFP in C. roseus cells showed a typical nucleo-cytoplasm localisation of both CAMs, in agreement with the wide distribution of CAM target proteins. Using RNA blot analysis, we showed that CAM1 and CAM2 genes had a broad pattern of expression in C. roseus organs and are constitutively expressed during a C. roseus cell culture cycle, with a slight inhibitory effect of auxin for CAM1. Using RNA in situ hybridisation, we also detected CAM1 and CAM2 mRNA in the vascular bundle region of young seedling cotyledons. Finally, using specific inhibitors, we also showed that CAMs are required for MIA biosynthesis in C. roseus cells by acting on regulation of expression of genes encoding enzymes that catalyse early steps of MIA biosynthesis, such as 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate reductoisomerase and geraniol 10-hydroxylase.

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