Mevalonate kinase (MVK), the enzyme that catalyzes the phosphorylation of mevalonate to produce mevalonate 5-phosphate, is considered as a potential regulatory enzyme of the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway. The Arabidopsis thaliana MVK gene corresponding to the MVK cDNA previously isolated has been cloned and characterized. RNAse protection analysis indicated that the expression of the MVK gene generates three mRNA populations with 5′ ends mapping 203, 254 and 355 nt upstream of the MVK ATG start codon. Northern blot analysis showed that the MVK mRNA accumulates preferentially in roots and inflorescences. Histochemical analysis, with transgenic A. thaliana plants containing a translational fusion of a 1.8 kb fragment of the 5′ region of the MVK gene to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene, indicated that the MVK 5′-flanking region directs widespread expression of the GUS gene throughout development, although the highest levels of GUS activity are detected in roots (meristematic region) and flowers (sepals, petals, anthers, style and stigmatic papillae). The expression pattern of the MVK gene suggests that the role of the encoded MVK is the production of a general pool of mevalonate-5-phosphate for the synthesis of different classes of isoprenoids involved in both basic and specialized plant cell functions. Functional promoter deletion analysis in transfected A. thaliana protoplasts indicated that regulatory elements between positions −295 and −194 of the MVK 5′-flanking region are crucial for high-level MVK gene expression.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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