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Plant J. 1997 Aug;12(2):305-12.

Protein processing and auxin response in transgenic tobacco harboring a putative cDNA of zeatin O-xylosyltransferase from Phaseolus vulgaris.

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Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331-7304, USA.


Zeatin is rapidly metabolized to O-xylosylzeatin in Phaseolus vulgaris seeds. The zeatin O-xylosyltransferase mediating this conversion, a 50 kDa protein, occurs mainly in the endosperm, both in the cytoplasm and the nuclei. A monoclonal antibody specific to the enzyme was used to isolate cDNAs from an expression library derived from P. vulgaris seeds. Two highly homologous, full-length cDNAs were isolated. The ORFs encode proteins of 69 and 67 kDa, respectively, with 90% homology at the amino acid level. cDNA-encoded protein obtained from in vitro transcription/translation was processed to protein of 50 kDa by bean endosperm extract. Transgenic tobacco plants harboring the larger ORF under the control of the CaMV35S promoter were more sensitive to the auxin NAA than control plants. The symptoms included leaf chlorosis, restriction of root elongation, and eventual cessation of growth. The antigenic preprotein was processed, and labeled zeatin was converted to O-xylosylzeatin in transgenic plants grown on NAA-containing medium. Analyses of independently transformed families indicated that the presence of the transgene coincided with the increased auxin sensitivity and protein processing correlated with the manifestation of auxin-induced damage. These results suggest that posttranslational processing regulates enzyme activity, and offer the possibility that cytokinin-auxin balance may be affected by stimulation of cytokinin metabolic enzyme activity by auxin.

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