Expansive evolution of the Trehalose-6-phosphatase gene family in Arababidopsis thaliana.
Trehalose is a non-reducing sugar used as a reserve carbohydrate and stress protectant in a variety of organisms. While higher plants typically do not accumulate high levels of trehalose, they encode large families of putative trehalose biosynthesis genes. Trehalose biosynthesis in plants involves a two-step reaction in which trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) is synthesized from UDP-glc and Glc-6-P (catalysed by T6P synthase, TPS), and subsequently dephosphorylated to produce the disaccharide trehalose (catalysed by T6P phosphatase, TPP). In Arabidopsis thaliana, eleven genes encode proteins with both TPS- and TPP-like domains but only one of these (AtTPS1) appears to be an active (TPS) enzyme. In addition, plants contain a large family of smaller proteins with a conserved TPP domain. Here, we present an in-depth analysis of the 10 TPP genes and gene products in Arabidopsis (TPPA-TPPJ). Phylogenetic and collinearity analysis revealed that all of these genes originate from whole genome duplication events. Heterologous expression in yeast showed that all encode active TPP enzymes with an essential role for some conserved residues in the catalytic domain. These results suggest that the TPP genes function in the regulation of T6P levels, with T6P emerging as a novel key regulator of growth and development in higher plants. Extensive gene expression analyses using a complete set of promoter-beta-glucuronidase/green fluorescent protein (GUS/GFP) reporter lines further uncovered cell- and tissue-specific expression patterns, conferring spatio-temporal control of trehalose metabolism. Consistently, phenotypic characterisation of knock-down and overexpression lines of a single TPP, AtTPPG, points to unique properties of individual TPPs in Arabidopsis, and underlines the intimate connection between trehalose metabolism and abscisic acid (ABA)-signaling.
* Vandesteene, L., * Lopez-Galvis, L., Vanneste, K., Maere, S., Lammens, T., Rolland, F., Lunn, J., Avonce, N., Beeckman, T., Van Dijck, P. (2012) Expansive evolution of the Trehalose-6-phosphatase gene family in Arababidopsis thaliana. Plant Physiol. 160, 884-96. *contributed equally
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