Isolation and characterization of hexokinase genes PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 from tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews)

  • Chao Zhang
  • Lili Zhang
  • Jianxin Fu
  • Li DongEmail author
Original Article


Hexokinase (HXK) plays important roles in hexose phosphorylation and sugar signaling. HXK regulates the glucose-induced accumulation of anthocyanin in many species. Little is known about the biological function of the HXK gene family in Paeonia suffruticosa. cDNA sequences of two hexokinase genes PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 were isolated using RACE-PCR and RT-PCR from P. suffruticosa. PsHXK1 encodes 498 amino acids with a 1497-bp open reading frame (ORF), and PsHXK2 contains 493 amino acids with a 1482-bp ORF. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses suggest that PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 belong to type-B HXK and may function as glucose sensors. PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 mRNA were detected in all tested tissues. PsHXK1 is highly expressed in petals and stamens, while PsHXK2 is highly expressed in stamens. At the former stages of flower opening, PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 show higher expression levels in on-tree flowers compared with cut flowers. Overexpressing PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 in Arabidopsis enhances glucose sensitivity, inhibits plant growth in response to glucose, and induces anthocyanin accumulation in response to the high level of glucose. Overall, our results primarily reveal the biological function of PsHXK1 and PsHXK2, especially their involvement in glucose-induced anthocyanin accumulation.


Paeonia suffruticosa Hexokinase Anthocyanin accumulation Glucose sensor 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31572164 and 30972030) and National Key Research and Development Project (2018YFD1000407).

Author contributions

LD conceived and designed the research. CZ, LZ and JF conducted the experiments. CZ analyzed the data. CZ and LD wrote the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies conducted on human or animal subjects.

Supplementary material

11033_2019_5135_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (553 kb)
Supplementary material 1 Fig. S1 PCR amplification of isolation of PsHXK1 (A) and PsHXK2 (B) in P. suffruticosa. M: DL2000 marker; M′: DL2000 plus marker; Lane 1: PCR amplification of 3′ end of cDNA sequence of PsHXK1; Lane 2: PCR amplification of 5′ end of cDNA sequence of PsHXK1; Lane 3: PCR amplification of ORF sequence of PsHXK1; Lane 4: PCR amplification of 3′ end of cDNA sequence of PsHXK2; Lane 5: PCR amplification of 5′ end of cDNA sequence of PsHXK2; Lane 6: PCR amplification of ORF sequence of PsHXK2 (JPEG 552 kb)
11033_2019_5135_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (130 kb)
Supplementary material 2 Fig. S2 Comparison of the N-terminal region of PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 proteins with other plant HXK proteins. TargetP scores and predictions are shown on the right. cTP: chloroplast transit peptide; mTP: mitochondrial targeting peptide; SP: secretory pathway signal peptide; other: any other location; S: predicted secretory pathway. For each protein, the predicted location with the highest score is shown in bold. Predicted membrane anchor of PsHXK1 and PsHXK2 is annotated in the box (JPEG 129 kb)
11033_2019_5135_MOESM3_ESM.tif (626 kb)
Supplementary material 3 Fig. S3 Expression of the endogenous hexokinase genes AtHXK1, AtHXK2, AtHXK3, AtHKL1 and AtHKL2 in transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing PsHXK1 or PsHXK2 and wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis using semiquantitative RT-PCR. AtUBQ5 was used as an internal reference gene (TIFF 625 kb)
11033_2019_5135_MOESM4_ESM.docx (15 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Key Laboratory of Ornamental Plants Germplasm Innovation and Molecular Breeding, National Engineering Research Center for Floriculture and College of Landscape ArchitectureBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Ornamental Horticulture, School of Landscape ArchitectureZhejiang Agriculture and Forestry UniversityHangzhouChina

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