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Localization of enzymes of assimilatory sulfate reduction in pea roots

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The localization of enzymes of assimilatory sulfate reduction was examined in roots of 5-d-old pea (Pisum sativum L.) seedlings. During an 8-h period, roots of intact plants incorporated more label from 35SO 4 2- in the nutrient solution into the amino-acid and protein fractions than shoots. Excised roots and roots of intact plants assimilated comparable amounts of radioactivity from 35SO 4 2- into the amino-acid and protein fractions during a 1-h period, demonstrating that roots of pea seedlings at this stage of development were not completely dependent on the shoots for reduced sulfur compounds. Indeed, these roots contained activities of ATP-sulfurylase (EC, adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase, sulfite reductase (EC and O-acetyl-l-serine sulfhydrylase (EC at levels of 50, 30, 120 and 100%, respectively, of that in shoots. Most of the extractable activity of adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase was detected in the first centimeter of the root tip. Using sucrose density gradients for organelle separation from this part of the root showed that almost 40% of the activity of ATP-sulfurylase, adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase and sulfite reductase banded with the marker enzyme for proplastids, whereas only approximately 7% of O-acetyl-l-serine sulfhydrylase activity was detected in these fractions. Because their distributions on the gradients were very similar to that of nitrite reductase, a proplastid enzyme, it is concluded that ATP-sulfurylase, adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase and sulfite reductase are also exclusively or almost exclusively localized in the proplastids of pea roots. O-Acetyl-l-serine sulfhydrylase is predominantly present in the cytoplasm.

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adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase


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Brunold, C., Suter, M. Localization of enzymes of assimilatory sulfate reduction in pea roots. Planta 179, 228–234 (1989).

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Key words

  • ATP-sulfurylase-adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate sulfotransferase
  • Pisum (sulfate reduction)
  • Proplastid
  • Sulfite reductase