Analysis of knockout mutants suggests that Arabidopsis NADP-MALIC ENZYME2 does not play an essential role in responses to oxidative stress of intracellular or extracellular origin

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NADPH is a pivotal molecule in oxidative stress, during which it is potentially produced by several cytosolic NADP-linked dehydrogenases. This study investigated the response and functional importance of the major leaf cytosolic NADP-malic enzyme in Arabidopsis (NADP-ME2) during oxidative stress. Data from both microarray and targeted quantitative PCR analyses showed that NADP-ME2 transcripts accumulated in response to ozone or in mutants undergoing intracellular oxidative stress. To test the functional importance of this response, loss-of-function nadp-me2 mutants were obtained and the effects of oxidative stress of intracellular and extracellular origin were tested. Despite much decreased leaf NADP-ME activity, nadp-me2 showed a wild-type phenotype when exposed to ozone. Introduction of the nadp-me2 mutations into the catalase-deficient cat2 background did not alter growth inhibition or lesions triggered by intracellular oxidative stress. Similarly, loss of NADP-ME2 function had little effect on cat2-triggered changes in glutathione or NADPH. While single nadp-me2 mutations produced slight effects on basal resistance to one type of bacteria, they did not affect resistance induced by the cat2 mutation. Taken together, the results suggest that, although NADP-ME2 induction is part of the response to oxidative stress, the enzyme is not an essential determinant of the outcome of such stress.

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