The accumulation of toxic compounds generated by the interaction between reactive oxygen species and polyunsaturated fatty acids of membrane lipids can significantly damage plant cells. A plethora of enzymes act on these reactive carbonyls, reducing their toxicity. Based on the chromosomal localization and on their homology with other stress-induced aldo–keto reductases (AKRs) we have selected three rice AKR genes. The transcription level of OsAKR1 was greatly induced by abscisic acid and various stress treatments; the other two AKR genes tested were moderately stress-inducible. The OsAKR1 recombinant protein exhibited a high nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-dependent catalytic activity to reduce toxic aldehydes including glycolysis-derived methylglyoxal (MG) and lipid peroxidation-originated malondialdehyde (MDA). The function of this enzyme in MG detoxification was demonstrated in vivo in E. coli and in transgenic plants overproducing the OsAKR1 protein. Heterologous synthesis of the OsAKR1 enzyme in transgenic tobacco plants resulted in increased tolerance against oxidative stress generated by methylviologen (MV) and improved resistance to high temperature. In these plants lower levels of MDA were detected both following MV and heat treatment due to the activity of the OsAKR1 enzyme. The transgenic tobaccos also exhibited higher AKR activity and accumulated less MG in their leaves than the wild type plants; both in the presence and absence of heat stress. These results support the positive role of OsAKR1 in abiotic stress-related reactive aldehyde detoxification pathways and its use for improvement of stress tolerance in plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 19, 2011
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