Heterotrimeric GTP-binding proteins, composed of α, β, and γ subunits, are involved in signal transduction pathways in animal and plant systems. In plants, physiological analyses implicate heterotrimeric G-proteins in ion channel regulation, light signaling, and hormone and pathogen responses. However, only one class of plant Gα genes has been identified to date. We have cloned a novel gene, ‘Arabidopsis thaliana extra-large GTP-binding protein’ (AtXLG1). AtXLG1 appears to be a member of a small gene family and is transcribed in all tissues assayed: roots, leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. The conceptually translated protein from AtXLG1 is 99 kDa, twice as large as typical Gα proteins. The carboxy-terminal half of the AtXLG1 protein has significant homology to animal and plant Gα proteins. This region includes a GTP-binding domain, a predicted helical domain, and an aspartate/glutamate-rich loop, which are characteristics of Gα's. Despite the absence of some of the amino acids implicated in GTP binding and hydrolysis by crystallographic and mutational analyses of mammalian Gα's, recombinant AtXLGl binds GTP with specificity. The amino-terminal region of AtXLGl contains domains homologous to the bacterial TonB-box, which is involved in energy transduction between the inner and outer bacterial membranes, and to zinc-finger proteins. Given the unique structure of AtXLG1, it will be of interest to uncover its physiological functions.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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