, Volume 221, Issue 2, pp 243–254

The inositol oxygenase gene family of Arabidopsis is involved in the biosynthesis of nucleotide sugar precursors for cell-wall matrix polysaccharides

  • Ulrike Kanter
  • Björn Usadel
  • François Guerineau
  • Yong Li
  • Markus Pauly
  • Raimund Tenhaken
Original Article


The nucleotide sugar UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcA) is the principal precursor for galacturonic acid, xylose, apiose and arabinose residues of the plant cell-wall polymers. UDP-GlcA can be synthesized by two different functional pathways in Arabidopsis involving either UDP-glucose dehydrogenase or inositol oxygenase as the initial enzyme reaction to channel carbohydrates into a pool of UDP sugars used for cell-wall biosynthesis. The genes for the enzyme myo-inositol oxygenase (MIOX) were analyzed in Arabidopsis. They represent a small gene family containing four members. The transcription of all those members indicates a transient and organ-specific gene expression pattern in growing plant tissues as analyzed by RT-PCR and in promoter::GUS reporter gene lines. Two isoforms (MIOX1, MIOX2) are expressed in almost all tissues of the plant, whereas the expression of MIOX4 and MIOX5 is largely restricted to flowers, particularly maturing pollen. T-DNA insertion lines in MIOX genes were isolated; however, single knock-outs show growth phenotypes similar to the wild type. The monosaccharide composition of the cell wall in these mutants is not significantly changed compared to wild type plants. However, the incorporation of 3H-inositol into wall polymers of seedlings is greatly impaired in the mutant lines ΔMIOX1 and ΔMIOX2, which are the only isoforms that are expressed in seedlings.


Ascorbic acid Hemicellulose Inositol oxygenation pathway Nucleotide sugars UDP-glucuronic acid 



Glucuronic acid


β-Glucuronidase (uidA-gene from E. coli)


Myo-inositol oxygenase




Uridine-diphospho-glucuronic acid


UDP-glucose dehydrogenase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ulrike Kanter
    • 1
  • Björn Usadel
    • 2
  • François Guerineau
    • 3
  • Yong Li
    • 4
  • Markus Pauly
    • 2
  • Raimund Tenhaken
    • 1
  1. 1.Plant Molecular BiologyUniversity of FrankfurtFrankfurtGermany
  2. 2.Plant Cell Wall GroupMax Planck Institute of Molecular Plant PhysiologyGolmGermany
  3. 3.Université de Picardie Jules VerneAmiensFrance
  4. 4.MPI for Plant Breeding ResearchCologneGermany

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