Sucrose synthase (SUS) is a key enzyme of carbon metabolism in heterotrophic tissues of plants. The Arabidopsis genome contains six SUS genes. Two members of this family, namely AtSUS2 (At5g49190) and AtSUS3 (At4g02280) are strongly and differentially expressed in Arabidopsis seed. Expression analysis was carried out using SUS:promoter-GUS fusion lines in a wild-type genetic background or in a mutant carrying a lesion in the transcription factor LEAFY COTYLEDON 2 (LEC2; At1g28300). The accumulation patterns of mRNA, protein, and SUS activity were altered in the lec2 mutant during seed development 9–18 days after flowering. This indicates that LEC2 acts epistatically on the expression of AtSUS2 and AtSUS3. It appears that LEC2 is required for cotyledon-specific expression of both SUS genes but it is not responsible for expression in the radicle tip during embryo development. The AtSUS2 promoter was induced in planta by feeding of glucose but less so by sucrose and trehalose. Non-phosphorylable glucose analogs such as 3-O-methyl-glucose and 2-deoxyglucose also caused an induction, suggesting that sugar signaling proceeds by a hexokinase-independent pathway, possibly involving hexose sensing. Analysis of transgenic lines carrying of truncated versions of the AtSUS2:promoter fused to Beta-glucuronidase activity revealed an internal 421 bp region that was responsible for expression in seeds. Bioinformatic sequence analysis revealed regulatory cis-elements putatively responsible for the spatio-temporal pattern of AtSUS2 expression such as the SEF3 (aaccca) and W-box (ttgact) motifs. These findings are discussed in relation to the roles played by AtSUS2, AtSUS3 and LEC2 in the biosynthesis of seed storage products in Arabidopsis.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 7, 2012
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