Plant responses to high salt stress have been studied for several decades. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these responses still elude us. In order to understand better the molecular mechanism related to NaCl stress in plants, we initiated the cloning of a large number of NaCl-induced genes in Arabidopsis. Here, we report the cloning of a cDNA encoding a novel Ca2+-binding protein, named AtCP1, which shares sequence similarities with calmodulins. AtCP1 exhibits, in particular, a high degree of amino acid sequence homology to the Ca2+-binding loops of the EF hands of calmodulin. However, unlike calmodulin, AtCP1 appears to have only three Ca2+-binding loops. We examined Ca2+ binding of the protein by a Ca2+-dependent electrophoretic mobility shift assay. A recombinant AtCP1 protein that was expressed in Escherichia coli did show a Ca2+-dependent electrophoretic mobility shift. To gain insight into the expression of the AtCP1 gene, northern blot analysis was carried out. The AtCP1 gene had a tissue-specific expression pattern: high levels of expression in flower and root tissues and nearly undetectable levels in leaves and siliques. Also, the expression of the AtCP1 gene was induced by NaCl treatment but not by ABA treatment. Finally, subcellular localization experiments using an AtCP1:smGFP fusion gene in soybean suspension culture cells and tobacco leaf protoplasts indicate that AtCP1 is most likely a cytosolic protein.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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