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Plant J. 1994 Aug;6(2):259-69.

Characterization of an Arabidopsis cDNA for a soluble epoxide hydrolase gene that is inducible by auxin and water stress.

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Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Ibaraki, Japan.


A cDNA (1122 bp) was isolated from a cDNA library prepared from Arabidopsis thaliana L. that had been subjected to drought stress for 1 h. The sequencing of a genomic clone corresponding to the cDNA and S1 mapping analysis revealed that the cDNA lacked the first 6 bp from its translational start (ATG). The resulting open reading frame encodes a polypeptide of 321 amino acids, and the calculated molecular weight of this polypeptide is 36,423 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence shows a high degree of similarity to C terminal halves of those of soluble epoxide hydrolases (sEHs) of human, mouse and rat, 35.5%, 34.1% and 33.1%, respectively. The cDNA was expressed in Escherichia coli cells, and the expressed protein migrates at 40 kDa when analyzed by SDS-PAGE. The recombinant protein at 40 kDa is much smaller than the mammalian sEH (58 kDa) but has characteristics of activity and inhibition similar to the mammalian sEHs when assayed with the substrate trans-stilbene oxide and the inhibitors 4-fluorochalcone oxide (4FCO), (2R,3R)-3-(4-nitrophenyl) glycidol (RRNPG), and (2S,3S)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)glycidol (SSNPG), which indicates that the cDNA did encode a soluble epoxide hydrolase of A. thaliana (AtsEH). Drought stress, but not heat or cold stress, slightly increased the accumulation of the mRNAs for AtsEH. The level of AtsEH transcripts increased strongly after treatment with a plant hormone, auxin (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, 2,4-D; naphthalene-acetic acid, NAA; and indole-3-acetic acid, IAA) in young, pre-bolting plants. Treatment with cytokinin (6-benzylaminopurine, BA), abscisic acid (ABA) or gibberellin (GA3) had no detectable effect on AtsEH transcript levels. The transcripts for AtsEH gene were detected in the aerial vegetative organs of bolting plants (i.e. stems and leaves), but not in roots, flowers and seeds. The possible function of AtsEH is discussed. A similar sEH cDNA has recently been characterized in potato (Stapleton et al., 1994).

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