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J Biol Chem. 1994 Jan 28;269(4):2827-33.

Cloning and analysis of the C4 photosynthetic NAD-dependent malic enzyme of amaranth mitochondria.

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Department of Biological Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo 14260.


In some C4 plant species, a mitochondrial NAD-dependent malic enzyme (EC (NAD-ME) catalyzes the decarboxylation of 4 carbon malate in the bundle sheath cells, releasing CO2 for the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis. In amaranth, a dicotyledonous NAD-ME-type C4 plant, the photosynthetic NAD-ME purified as two subunits of 65 and 60 kDa, designated alpha and beta, respectively. Antiserum raised against the alpha subunit reacted only with the 65-kDa protein in immunoblot analysis. Immunogold electron microscopy using the alpha subunit antiserum demonstrated that this protein was localized specifically to the mitochondrial matrix of bundle sheath cells. The complete nucleotide sequence of a 2300-base pair alpha subunit cDNA clone showed that this gene encodes a protein that contains all of the motifs required for a complete and functional malic enzyme. The alpha subunit has significant similarity along its entire length to other known NAD- and NADP-dependent malic enzymes from plants, animals, and bacteria. The findings presented here provide new insights about the C4 photosynthetic NAD-ME and its evolutionary relationship to other forms of malic enzyme present in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms.

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