We isolated the gene encoding lysine-ketoglutarate reductase (LKR, EC 220.127.116.11) and saccharopine dehydrogenase (SDH, ED 18.104.22.168) from an Arabidopsis thaliana genomic DNA library based on the homology between the yeast biosynthetic genes encoding SDH (lysine-forming) or SDH (glutamate-forming) and Arabidopsis expressed sequence tags. A corresponding cDNA was isolated from total Arabidopsis RNA using RT-PCR and 5′ and 3′ Race. DNA sequencing revealed that the gene encodes a bifunctional protein with an amino domain homologous to SDH (lysine-forming), thus corresponding to LKR, and a carboxy domain homologous to SDH (glutamate-forming). Sequence comparison between the plant gene product and the yeast lysine-forming and glutamate-forming SDHs showed 25% and 37% sequence identity, respectively. No intracellular targeting sequence was found at the N-terminal or C-terminal of the protein. The gene is interrupted by 24 introns ranging in size from 68 to 352 bp and is present in Arabidopsis in a single copy. 5′ sequence analysis revealed several conserved promoter sequence motifs, but did not reveal sequence homologies to either an Opaque 2 binding site or a Sph box. The 3′-flanking region does not contain a polyadenylation signal resembling the consensus sequence AATAAA. The plant SDH was expressed in Escherichia coli and exhibited similar biochemical characteristics to those reported for the purified enzyme from maize. This is the first report of the molecular cloning of a plant LKR-SDH genomic and cDNA sequence.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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