Although the physiological role of the enzyme glutamate dehydrogenase which catalyses in vitro the reversible amination of 2-oxoglutarate to glutamate remains to be elucidated, it is now well established that in higher plants the enzyme preferentially occurs in the mitochondria of phloem companion cells. The Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and Arabidopis thaliana enzyme is encoded by two distinct genes encoding either an α- or a β-subunit. Using antisense plants and mutants impaired in the expression of either of the two genes, we showed that in leaves and stems both the α- and β- subunits are targeted to the mitochondria of the companion cells. In addition, we found in both species that there is a compensatory mechanism up-regulating the expression of the α-subunit in the stems when the expression of the β-subunit is impaired in the leaves, and of the β-subunit in the leaves when the expression of the α-subunit is impaired in the stems. When one of the two genes encoding glutamate dehydrogenase is ectopically expressed, the corresponding protein is targeted to the mitochondria of both leaf and stem parenchyma cells and its production is increased in the companion cells. These results are discussed in relation to the possible signalling and/or physiological function of the enzyme which appears to be coordinated in leaves and stems.
Control of the Synthesis and Subcellular Targeting of the Two GDH Genes Products in Leaves and Stems of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia and Arabidopsis thaliana / JEAN-XAVIER FONTAINE; FRANCESCA SALADINO; CATERINA AGRIMONTI; MAGALI BEDU; THERESE TERCE-LAFORGUE; THIERRY TETU; BERTRAND HIREL; RESTIVO F.M.; FREDERIC DUBOIS. - In: PLANT AND CELL PHYSIOLOGY. - ISSN 0032-0781. - 47(2006), pp. 410-418. [10.1093/pcp/pcj008]