The arabinose-sensitive ara1-1 mutant of Arabidopsis is deficient in arabinose kinase activity. A candidate for the ARA1 gene, ISA1, has been previously identified through the Arabidopsis genome sequencing initiative. Here we demonstrate that (1) the ARA1 gene coincides with ISA1 in a positional cloning strategy; (2) there are mutations in the ISA1 gene in both the ara1-1 mutant and an intragenic suppressor mutant; and (3) the ara1-1 and suppressor mutant phenotypes can be complemented by the expression of the ISA1 cDNA in transgenic plants. Together these observations confirm that ISA1 is the ARA1 gene. ARA1 is a member of the galactose kinase family of genes and represents a new substrate specificity among this and other families of sugar kinases. A second gene with similarities to members of the galactose kinase gene family has been identified in the EST database. A 1.8 kb cDNA contained an open reading-frame predicted to encode a 496 amino acid polypeptide. The GAL1 cDNA was expressed in a galK mutant of Escherichia coli and in vitro assays of extracts of the strain expressing GAL1 confirmed that the cDNA encodes a galactose kinase activity. Both GAL1 and ARA1 cross-hybridise at low stringency to other sequences suggesting the presence of additional members of the galactose kinase gene family.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 19, 2004
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