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Nat Chem Biol. 2011 Sep 25;7(11):834-42. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.658.

Chemical inhibitors of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol synthases in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Joseph Fourier Grenoble I, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5168, Grenoble, France.


Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) are the main lipids in photosynthetic membranes in plant cells. They are synthesized in the envelope surrounding plastids by MGD and DGD galactosyltransferases. These galactolipids are critical for the biogenesis of photosynthetic membranes, and they act as a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids for the whole cell and as phospholipid surrogates in phosphate shortage. Based on a high-throughput chemical screen, we have characterized a new compound, galvestine-1, that inhibits MGDs in vitro by competing with diacylglycerol binding. Consistent effects of galvestine-1 on Arabidopsis thaliana include root uptake, circulation in the xylem and mesophyll, inhibition of MGDs in vivo causing a reduction of MGDG content and impairment of chloroplast development. The effects on pollen germination shed light on the contribution of galactolipids to pollen-tube elongation. The whole-genome transcriptional response of Arabidopsis points to the potential benefits of galvestine-1 as a unique tool to study lipid homeostasis in plants.

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