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Plant Mol Biol. 1998 Dec;38(6):1101-11.

Differential induction by methyl jasmonate of genes encoding ornithine decarboxylase and other enzymes involved in nicotine biosynthesis in tobacco cell cultures.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences Nagoya University, Chikusa, Japan.


A cDNA of tobacco BY-2 cells corresponding to an mRNA species which was rapidly induced by methyl jasmonate (MeJA) in the presence of cycloheximide (CHX) was found to encode ornithine decarboxylase (ODC). Another cDNA from a MeJA-inducible mRNA encoded S-adenosylmethionine synthase (SAMS). Although these enzymes could be involved in the biosynthesis of polyamines, the level of putrescine, a reaction product of ODC, increased slowly and while the levels of spermidine and spermine did not change following treatment of cells with MeJA. However, N-methylputrescine, which is a precursor of pyrrolidine ring of nicotine, started to increase shortly after MeJA-treatment of cells and the production of nicotine occured thereafter. The levels of mRNA for arginine decarboxylase (ADC), an alternative enzyme for putrescine synthesis, and that for S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (SAMDC), required for polyamine synthesis, were not affected by MeJA. In addition to mRNAs for ODC and SAMS, mRNA for putrescine N-methyltransferase (PMT) was also induced by MeJA. Unlike the MeJA-induction of ODC mRNA, MeJA-induction of SAMS and PMT mRNAs were blocked by CHX. The level of ODC mRNA declined after 1 to 4 h following MeJA treatment, while the levels of mRNAs for SAMS and PMT continued to increase. Auxin significantly reduced the MeJA-inducible accumulation of mRNAs for ODC, SAMS and PMT. These results indicate that MeJA sequentially induces expression of a series of genes involved in nicotine biosynthesis by multiple regulatory mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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