Journal Article

NAD(H)-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase is essential for the survival of <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> during dark-induced carbon starvation

Yo Miyashita and Allen G. Good

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 3, pages 667-680
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

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Interconversion between glutamate and 2-oxoglutarate, which can be catalysed by glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), is a key reaction in plant carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) metabolism. However, the physiological role of plant GDH has been a controversial issue for several decades. To elucidate the function of GDH, the expression of GDH in various tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana was studied. Results suggested that the expression of two Arabidopsis GDH genes was differently regulated depending on the organ/tissue types and cellular C availability. Moreover, Arabidopsis mutants defective in GDH genes were identified and characterized. The two isolated mutants, gdh1-2 and gdh2-1, were crossed to make a double knockout mutant, gdh1-2/gdh2-1, which contained negligible levels of NAD(H)-dependent GDH activity. Phenotypic analysis on these mutants revealed an increased susceptibility of gdh1-2/gdh2-1 plants to C-deficient conditions. This conditional phenotype of the double knockout mutant supports the catabolic role of GDH and its role in fuelling the TCA cycle during C starvation. The reduced rate of glutamate catabolism in the gdh2-1 and gdh1-2/gdh2-1 plants was also evident by the growth retardation of these mutants when glutamate was supplied as the alternative N source. Furthermore, amino acid profiles during prolonged dark conditions were significantly different between WT and the gdh mutant plants. For instance, glutamate levels increased in WT plants but decreased in gdh1-2/gdh2-1 plants, and aberrant accumulation of several amino acids was detected in the gdh1-2/gdh2-1 plants. These results suggest that GDH plays a central role in amino acid breakdown under C-deficient conditions.

Keywords: Amino acid metabolism; carbon starvation; glutamate; glutamate dehydrogenase

Journal Article.  8145 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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