Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 21, Issue 3, pp 487–502

Sorghum phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase gene family: structure, function and molecular evolution

  • Loïc Lepiniec
  • Eliane Keryer
  • Herve Philippe
  • Pierre Gadal
  • Claude Crétin
Research Articles


Although housekeeping functions have been shown for the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (EC, PEPC) in plants and in prokaryotes, PEPC is mainly known for its specific role in the primary photosynthetic CO2 fixation in C4 and CAM plants. We have shown that in Sorghum, a monocotyledonous C4 plant, the enzyme is encoded in the nucleus by a small multigene family. Here we report the entire nucleotide sequence (7.5 kb) of the third member (CP21) that completes the structure of the Sorghum PEPC gene family. Nucleotide composition, CpG islands and GC content of the three Sorghum PEPC genes are analysed with respect to their possible implications in the regulation of expression. A study of structure/function and phylogenetic relationships based on the compilation of all PEPC sequences known so far is presented. Data demonstrate that (1) the different forms of plant PEPC have very similar primary structures, functional and regulatory properties, (2) neither apparent amino acid sequences nor phylogenetic relationships are specific for the C4 and CAM PEPCs and (3) expression of the different genes coding for the Sorghum PEPC isoenzymes is differently regulated (i.e. by light, nitrogen source) in a spatial and temporal manner. These results suggest that the main distinguishing feature between plant PEPCs is to be found at the level of genes expression rather than in their primary structure.

Key words

C4 metabolism evolution GC content gene family PEPC Sorghum 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loïc Lepiniec
    • 1
  • Eliane Keryer
    • 1
  • Herve Philippe
    • 2
  • Pierre Gadal
    • 1
  • Claude Crétin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie Végétale Moléculaire (URA-CNRS, 1128)Université de Paris-SudOrsay CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Biologie Cellulaire 4 (URA-CNRS, 1134)Université de Paris-SudOrsay CedexFrance

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