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Bioorg Med Chem. 2011 Mar 1;19(5):1743-50. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.01.019. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Synthesis and biological activity of amino acid conjugates of abscisic acid.

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Department of Applied Biological Chemistry, Faculty of Agriculture, Shizuoka University, Shizuoka, Japan.


We prepared 19 amino acid conjugates of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and investigated their biological activity, enzymatic hydrolysis by a recombinant Arabidopsis amidohydrolases GST-ILR1 and GST-IAR3, and metabolic fate in rice seedlings. Different sets of ABA-amino acids induced ABA-like responses in different plants. Some ABA-amino acids, including some that were active in bioassays, were hydrolyzed by recombinant Arabidopsis GST-IAR3, although GST-ILR1 did not show hydrolysis activity for any of the ABA-amino acids. ABA-L-Ala, which was active in all the bioassays, an Arabidopsis seed germination, spinach seed germination, and rice seedling elongation assays, except in a lettuce seed germination assay and was hydrolyzed by GST-IAR3, was hydrolyzed to free ABA in rice seedlings. These findings suggest that some plant amidohydrolases hydrolyze some ABA-amino acid conjugates. Because our study indicates the possibility that different plants have hydrolyzing activity toward different ABA-amino acids, an ABA-amino acid may function as a species-selective pro-hormone of ABA.

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