UDP-arabinopyranose mutase gene expressions are required for the biosynthesis of the arabinose side chain of both pectin and arabinoxyloglucan, and normal leaf expansion in Nicotiana tabacum
Plant cell walls are composed of polysaccharides such as cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectins, whose location and function differ depending on plant type. Arabinose is a constituent of many different cell wall components, including pectic rhamnogalacturonan I (RG-I) and II (RG-II), glucuronoarabinoxylans (GAX), and arabinoxyloglucan (AXG). Arabinose is found predominantly in the furanose rather than in the thermodynamically more stable pyranose form. The UDP-arabinopyranose mutases (UAMs) have been demonstrated to convert UDP-arabinopyranose (UDP-Arap) to UDP-arabinofuranose (UDP-Araf) in rice (Oryza sativa L.). The UAMs have been implicated in polysaccharide biosynthesis and developmental processes. Arabinose residues could be a component of many polysaccharides, including branched (1→5)-α-arabinans, arabinogalactans in pectic polysaccharides, and arabinoxyloglucans, which are abundant in the cell walls of solanaceous plants. Therefore, to elucidate the role of UAMs and arabinan side chains, we analyzed the UAM RNA interference transformants in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). The tobacco UAM gene family consists of four members. We generated RNAi transformants (NtUAM-KD) to down-regulate all four of the UAM members. The NtUAM-KD showed abnormal leaf development in the form of a callus-like structure and many holes in the leaf epidermis. A clear reduction in the pectic arabinan content was observed in the tissue of the NtUAM-KD leaf. The arabinose/xylose ratio in the xyloglucan-rich cell wall fraction was drastically reduced in NtUAM-KD. These results suggest that UAMs are required for Ara side chain biosynthesis in both RG-I and AXG in Solanaceae plants, and that arabinan-mediated cell wall networks might be important for normal leaf expansion.
KeywordsUDP-arabinopyranose mutase Rhamnogalacturonan-I Arabinoxyloglucan Nicotiana tabacum
This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas (18075004 to H. Iwai), a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (24114006 to S. Satoh and H. Iwai).
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