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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1983 Jul 15;224(2):429-41.

Cellular and subcellular organization of pathways of ammonia assimilation and ureide synthesis in nodules of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp.).


Fractionation of cell organelles of nitrogen-fixing nodules of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) by discontinuous and continuous sucrose density centrifugation indicated that starch-containing plastids possessed the complete pathway for purine nucleotide synthesis together with significant activities of some other enzymes associated with the provision of substrates in purine synthesis; triosephosphate isomerase (EC, NADH-glutamate synthase (EC, aspartate aminotransferase (EC, phosphoglycerate oxidoreductase (EC, and methylene tetrahydrofolate oxidoreductase (EC Enzymes of purine oxidation, xanthine oxidoreductase (EC, and urate oxidase (EC were recovered in the soluble fraction; glutamine synthetase (EC occurred in bacteroids and in the cytosol. Intact, infected (bacteroid-containing) and uninfected cells were prepared by enzymatic maceration of the central zone of the nodule and partially separated by centrifugation on discontinuous sucrose gradients. Glutamine synthetase was largely restricted to infected cells whereas plastid enzymes, de novo purine synthesis, and urate oxidase were present in both cell types. Although the levels of all enzymes assayed were higher in infected cells, both cell types possessed the necessary enzyme complement for ureide formation. A model for the cellular and subcellular organization of nitrogen metabolism and the transport of nitrogenous solutes in cowpea nodules is proposed.

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