Proteins of Cotyledons of Mature Horse Chestnut Seeds

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This is the first characterization of proteins from storage parenchyma of cotyledons of mature dormant recalcitrant horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum L.) seeds and evaluation the cell protein-synthesizing capacity. It was established that the content of protein in cotyledons did not exceed 0.5% of tissue fresh weight. Soluble proteins (the proteins of the postmitochondrial supernatant or cytosol) comprised the bulk (up to 90%) of total proteins. Protein of subcellular structures (20000 g-pellet) comprised 5–7% of total protein. Cotyledon proteins were heterogenous in their charges and molecular weights of subunits. Cotyledon protein was easily extracted with a salt (1 M NaCl); they comprised 90% of water-soluble albumin-like proteins. The proportion of globulins was insignificant; it did not exceed 5%. Most water-soluble proteins (more than 80%) were tolerant to heat denaturing. Among these heat-stable proteins, two major groups of polypeptides dominated: an electrophoretically homogeneous component with a mol wt of 24–25 kD and a complex group from three to five polypeptides with mol wts in the range between 6 and 12 kD. Native heat-stable proteins had disulfide bonds. Four fractions of heat-stable proteins were obtained by ammonium sulfate fractionation; three of them were alike in their polypeptide composition and contained major components with mol wts of 24–25 and 5–12 kD. It was established that the active translational machinery functioned in the cells of storage parenchyma in cotyledons of mature dormant horse chestnut seeds. During each stage of stratification, cotyledon fragments incorporated 35S-methionine into TCA-insoluble material more actively than axial organs. We discuss cotyledon protein composition, their function as a storage organ, and a possible role of heat-stable proteins.

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