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Characterization of five polyamine oxidase isoforms in Arabidopsis thaliana


The genome of Arabidopsis thaliana contains five genes (AtPAO1 to AtPAO5) encoding polyamine oxidase (PAO) which is an enzyme responsible for polyamine catabolism. To understand the individual roles of the five AtPAOs, here we characterized their tissue-specific and space-temporal expression. AtPAO1 seems to have a specific function in flower organ. AtPAO2 was expressed in shoot meristem and root tip of seedlings, and to a higher extent in the later growth stage within restricted parts of the organs, such as shoot meristem, leaf petiole and also in anther. The expression of AtPAO3 was constitutive, but highest in flower organ. AtPAO3 promoter activity was detected in cotyledon, distal portion of root, boundary region of mature rosette leaf and in filaments of flower. AtPAO4 was expressed at higher level all over young seedlings including roots, and in the mature stage its expression was ubiquitous with rather lower level in stem. AtPAO5 expression was observed in the whole plant body throughout various growth stages. Its highest expression was in flowers, particularly in sepals, but not in petals. Furthermore, we determined the substrate specificity of AtPAO1 to AtPAO4. None of the AtPAO enzymes recognized putrescine (Put). AtPAO2 and AtPAO3 showed almost similar substrate recognition patterns in which the most preferable substrate is spermidine (Spd) followed by less specificity to other tetraamines tested. AtPAO4 seemed to be spermine (Spm)-specific. More interestingly, AtPAO1 preferred thermospermine (T-Spm) and norspermine (NorSpm) to Spm, but did not recognize Spd. Based on the results, the individual function of AtPAOs is discussed.

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Amine oxidase






Polyamine oxidase


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This work was supported in part by Grant-in-Aids from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to TK (21380063) and YT (21780087). TB was supported by a JSPS-BRIDGE fellowship (BR090101).

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Correspondence to Yoshihiro Takahashi or Tomonobu Kusano.

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Communicated by H. Ebinuma.

Y. Takahashi and R. Cong contributed equally to this work.

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Takahashi, Y., Cong, R., Sagor, G.H.M. et al. Characterization of five polyamine oxidase isoforms in Arabidopsis thaliana . Plant Cell Rep 29, 955–965 (2010).

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  • A. thaliana
  • Gene expression
  • Polyamine oxidase
  • Space-temporal expression
  • Substrate specificity