Calmodulin binding to glutamate decarboxylase is required for regulation of glutamate and GABA metabolism and normal development in plants

Gideon Baum, Simcha Lev-Yadun, Yael Fridmann, Tzahi Arazi, Hana Katsnelson, Moriyah Zik, Hillel Fromm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations

Abstract

Glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) catalyzes the decarboxylation of glutamate to CO2 and γ-aminobutyrate (GABA). GAD is ubiquitous in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, but only plant GAD has been shown to bind calmodulin (CaM). Here, we assess the role of the GAD CaM-binding domain in vivo. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing a mutant petunia GAD lacking the CaM-binding domain (GADΔC plants) exhibit severe morphological abnormalities, such as short stems, in which cortex parenchyma cells fail to elongate, associated with extremely high GABA and low glutamate levels. The morphology of transgenic plants expressing the full-length GAD (GAD plants) is indistinguishable from that of wild-type (WT) plants. In WT and GAD plant extracts, GAD activity is inhibited by EGTA and by the CaM antagonist trifluoperazine, and is associated with a CaM-containing protein complex of ~ 500 kDa. In contrast, GADΔC plants lack normal GAD complexes, and GAD activity in their extracts is not affected by EGTA and trifluoperazine. We conclude that CaM binding to GAD is essential for the regulation of GABA and glutamate metabolism, and that regulation of GAD activity is necessary for normal plant development. This study is the first to demonstrate an in vivo function for CaM binding to a target protein in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2988-2996
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amino acid metabolism
  • Calcium
  • Cell elongation
  • Signal transduction

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