Journal Article

GCN2-dependent phosphorylation of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2α in Arabidopsis

Yuhua Zhang, Yifei Wang, Kostya Kanyuka, Martin A. J. Parry, Stephen J. Powers and Nigel G. Halford

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 11, pages 3131-3141
Published in print August 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


The yeast regulatory protein kinase, general control non-derepressible-2 (GCN2) plays a key role in general amino acid control. GCN2 phosphorylates the α subunit of the trimeric eukaryotic translation initiation factor-2 (eIF2), bringing about a decrease in the general rate of protein synthesis but an increase in the synthesis of GCN4, a transcription factor that promotes the expression of genes encoding enzymes for amino acid biosynthesis. The present study concerned the phosphorylation of Arabidopsis eIF2α (AteIF2α) by the Arabidopsis homologue of GCN2, AtGCN2, and the role of AtGCN2 in regulating genes encoding enzymes of amino acid biosynthesis and responding to virus infection. A null mutant for AtGCN2 called GT8359 was obtained and western analysis confirmed that it lacked AtGCN2 protein. GT8359 was more sensitive than wild-type Arabidopsis to herbicides that affect amino acid biosynthesis. Phosphorylation of AteIF2α occurred in response to herbicide treatment but only in wild-type Arabidopsis, not GT8359, showing it to be AtGCN2-dependent. Expression analysis of genes encoding key enzymes for amino acid biosynthesis and nitrate assimilation revealed little effect of loss of AtGCN2 function in GT8359 except that expression of a nitrate reductase gene, NIA1, was decreased. Analysis of wild-type and GT8359 plants infected with Turnip yellow mosaic virus or Turnip crinkle virus showed that AteIF2α was not phosphorylated.

Keywords: Amino acid signalling; general control non-derepressible; metabolic regulation; phosphorylation; protein kinase; virus infection

Journal Article.  6346 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.