AtPME3, a ubiquitous cell wall pectin methylesterase ofArabidopsis thaliana,alters the metabolism of cruciferin seed storage proteins during post-germinative growth of seedlings

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AtPME3 (At3g14310) is a ubiquitous cell wall pectin methylesterase.Atpme3-1loss-of-function mutants exhibited distinct phenotypes from the wild type (WT), and were characterized by earlier germination and reduction of root hair production. These phenotypical traits were correlated with the accumulation of a 21.5-kDa protein in the different organs of 4-day-oldAtpme3-1seedlings grown in the dark, as well as in 6-week-old mutant plants. Microarray analysis showed significant down-regulation of the genes encoding several pectin-degrading enzymes and enzymes involved in lipid and protein metabolism in the hypocotyl of 4-day-old dark grown mutant seedlings. Accordingly, there was a decrease in proteolytic activity of the mutant as compared with the WT. Among the genes specifying seed storage proteins, two encoding CRUCIFERINS were up-regulated. Additional analysis by RT-qPCR showed an overexpression of fourCRUCIFERINgenes in the mutantAtpme3-1, in which precursors of the α- and β-subunits of CRUCIFERIN accumulated. Together, these results provide evidence for a link between AtPME3, present in the cell wall, and CRUCIFERIN metabolism that occurs in vacuoles.

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