Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate) is an essential cofactor in enzymatic reactions involved in numerous cellular processes and also plays a role in oxidative stress responses. In plants, the pathway for de novo synthesis of pyridoxal phosphate has been well characterized, however only two enzymes, pyridoxal (pyridoxine, pyridoxamine) kinase (SOS4) and pyridoxamine (pyridoxine) 5′ phosphate oxidase (PDX3), have been identified in the salvage pathway that interconverts between the six vitamin B6 vitamers. A putative pyridoxal reductase (PLR1) was identified in Arabidopsis based on sequence homology with the protein in yeast. Cloning and expression of the AtPLR1 coding region in a yeast mutant deficient for pyridoxal reductase confirmed that the enzyme catalyzes the NADPH-mediated reduction of pyridoxal to pyridoxine. Two Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutant lines with insertions in the promoter sequences of AtPLR1 were established and characterized. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of the plr1 mutants showed little change in expression of the vitamin B6 de novo pathway genes, but significant increases in expression of the known salvage pathway genes, PDX3 and SOS4. In addition, AtPLR1 was also upregulated in pdx3 and sos4 mutants. Analysis of vitamer levels by HPLC showed that both plr1 mutants had lower levels of total vitamin B6, with significantly decreased levels of pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxamine 5′-phosphate. By contrast, there was no consistent significant change in pyridoxine and pyridoxine 5′-phosphate levels. The plr1 mutants had normal root growth, but were significantly smaller than wild type plants. When assayed for abiotic stress resistance, plr1 mutants did not differ from wild type in their response to chilling and high light, but showed greater inhibition when grown on NaCl or mannitol, suggesting a role in osmotic stress resistance. This is the first report of a pyridoxal reductase in the vitamin B6 salvage pathway in plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2011
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