A second L-type isozyme of potato glucan phosphorylase: cloning, antisense inhibition and expression analysis
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In potato tubers two starch phosphorylase isozymes, types L and H, have been described and are believed to be responsible for the complete starch breakdown in this tissue. Type L has been localized in amyloplasts, whereas type H is located within the cytosol. In order to investigate whether the same isozymes are also present in potato leaf tissue a cDNA expression library from potato leaves was screened using a monoclonal antibody recognizing both isozyme forms. Besides the already described tuber L-type isozyme a cDNA clone encoding a second L-type isozyme was isolated. The 3171 nucleotide long cDNA clone contains an uninterrupted open reading frame of 2922 nucleotides which encodes a polypeptide of 974 amino acids. Sequence comparison between both L-type isozymes on the amino acid level showed that the polypeptides are highly homologous to each other, reaching 81–84% identity over most parts of the polypeptide. However the regions containing the transit peptide (amino acids 1–81) and the insertion sequence (amino acids 463–570) are highly diverse, reaching identities of only 22.0% and 29.0% respectively.
Northern analysis revealed that both forms are differentially expressed. The steady-state mRNA levels of the tuber L-type isozyme accumulates strongly in potato tubers and only weakly in leaf tissues, whereas the mRNA of the leaf L-type isozyme accumulates in both tissues to the same extent. Constitutive expression of an antisense RNA specific for the leaf L-type gene resulted in a strong reduction of starch phosphorylase L-type activity in leaf tissue, but had only sparse effects in potato tuber tissues. Determination of the leaf starch content revealed that antisense repression of the starch phosphorylase activity has no significant influence on starch accumulation in leaves of transgenic potato plants. This result indicated that different L-type genes are responsible for the starch phosphorylase activity in different tissues, but the function of the different enzymes remains unclear.
Key wordsantisense inhibition differential expression glucan phosphorylase type L isozymes starch breakdown transgenic plants
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