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Elife. 2019 Aug 22;8. pii: e43582. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43582.

Two bifunctional inositol pyrophosphate kinases/phosphatases control plant phosphate homeostasis.

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Structural Plant Biology Laboratory, Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie, Berlin, Germany.
Department of Chemistry, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Golm, Germany.
Center of Plant System Biology and Biotechnology, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, Department of Plant Nutrition, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
Institute of Organic Chemistry, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Institute of Biostatistics, Leibniz University, Hannover, Germany.


Many eukaryotic proteins regulating phosphate (Pi) homeostasis contain SPX domains that are receptors for inositol pyrophosphates (PP-InsP), suggesting that PP-InsPs may regulate Pi homeostasis. Here we report that deletion of two diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate kinases VIH1/2 impairs plant growth and leads to constitutive Pi starvation responses. Deletion of phosphate starvation response transcription factors partially rescues vih1 vih2 mutant phenotypes, placing diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate kinases in plant Pi signal transduction cascades. VIH1/2 are bifunctional enzymes able to generate and break-down PP-InsPs. Mutations in the kinase active site lead to increased Pi levels and constitutive Pi starvation responses. ATP levels change significantly in different Pi growth conditions. ATP-Mg2+ concentrations shift the relative kinase and phosphatase activities of diphosphoinositol pentakisphosphate kinases in vitro. Pi inhibits the phosphatase activity of the enzyme. Thus, VIH1 and VIH2 relay changes in cellular ATP and Pi concentrations to changes in PP-InsP levels, allowing plants to maintain sufficient Pi levels.


A. thaliana; S. cerevisiae; biochemistry; chemical biology; human; inositol pyrophosphates; kinase; phosphatase; phosphate homeostasis; phosphate starvation; plant biology; plant nutrition

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