The nucleotide sequences of cDNAs encoding two isoforms of Arabidopsis glutamate decarboxylase, designated GAD1 (57.1 kDa) and GAD2 (56.1 kDa) and sharing 82% identical amino acid sequences, were determined. The recombinant proteins bound [35S] calmodulin (CAM) in the presence of calcium, and a region of 30-32 amino acids from the C-terminal of each isoform was sufficient for CaM binding when fused to glutathione S-transferase. Full-length GAD1 and GAD2 were expressed in Sf9 insect cells infected with recombinant baculovirus vectors. Recombinant proteins were partially purified by CaM affinity chromatography and were found to exhibit glutamate decarboxylase activity, which was dependent on the presence of Ca2+/CaM at pH 7.3. Southern hybridizations with GAD gene-specific probes suggest that Arabidopsis possesses one gene related to GADI and one to GAD2. Northern hybridization and western blot analysis revealed that GAD1 was expressed only in roots and GAD2 in roots, leaves, inflorescence stems and flowers. Our study provides the first evidence for the occurrence of multiple functional Ca2+/CaM-regulated GAD gene products in a single plant, suggesting that regulation of Arabidopsis GAD activity involves modulation of isoform-specific gene expression and stimulation of the catalytic activity of GAD by calcium signalling via CaM.
- GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid)
- Sf9 insect cells