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Plant Mol Biol. 2019 Jan;99(1-2):123-134. doi: 10.1007/s11103-018-0807-9. Epub 2018 Dec 10.

Characterization of the O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase gene family in Solanum lycopersicum L.

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College of Life Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China.
Scientific Instrument Center, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China.
College of Life Science, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, 030006, China.


This research demonstrated the conservation and diversification of the functions of the O-acetylserine-(thiol) lyase gene family genes in Solanum lycopersicum L. Cysteine is the first sulfur-containing organic molecule generated by plants and is the precursor of many important biomolecules and defense compounds. Cysteine and its derivatives are also essential in various redox signaling-related processes. O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase (OASTL) proteins catalyze the last step of cysteine biosynthesis. Previously, researches focused mainly on OASTL proteins which were the most abundant or possessed the authentic OASTL activity, whereas few studies have ever given a comprehensive view of the functions of all the OASTL members in one specific species. Here, we characterized 8 genes belonging to the OASTL gene family from tomato genome (SlOAS2 to SlOAS9), including the sequence analyses, subcellular localization, enzymatic activity assays, expression patterns, as well as the interaction property with SATs. Apart from SlOAS3, all the other genes encoded OASTL-like proteins. Tomato OASTLs were differentially expressed during the development of tomato plants, and their encoded proteins had diverse compartmental distributions and functions. SlOAS5 and SlOAS6 catalyzed the biogenesis of cysteine in chloroplasts and in the cytosol, respectively, and this was in consistent with their interaction abilities with SlSATs. SlOAS4 catalyzed the generation of hydrogen sulfide, similar to its Arabidopsis ortholog, DES1. SlOAS2 also functioned as an L-cysteine desulfhydrase, but its expression pattern was very different from that of SlOAS4. Additionally, SlOAS8 might be a β-cyanoalanine synthase in mitochondria, and the S-sulfocysteine synthase activity appeared lost in tomato plants. SlOAS7 exhibited a transactivational ability in yeast; while the subcellular localization of SlOAS9 was in the peroxisome and correlated with the process of leaf senescence, indicating that these two genes might have novel roles.


Enzymatic activity; Expression pattern; OASTL; SAT; Subcellular localization; Tomato

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