Site-Directed Mutagenesis of IRX9, IRX9L and IRX14 Proteins Involved in Xylan Biosynthesis: Glycosyltransferase Activity Is Not Required for IRX9 Function in Arabidopsis
AuthorRen, Y; Hansen, SF; Ebert, B; Lau, J; Scheller, HV
Source TitlePLoS One
PublisherPUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE
University of Melbourne Author/sEbert, Berit
AffiliationSchool of BioSciences
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsRen, Y., Hansen, S. F., Ebert, B., Lau, J. & Scheller, H. V. (2014). Site-Directed Mutagenesis of IRX9, IRX9L and IRX14 Proteins Involved in Xylan Biosynthesis: Glycosyltransferase Activity Is Not Required for IRX9 Function in Arabidopsis. PLOS ONE, 9 (8), https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0105014.
Access StatusOpen Access
Xylans constitute the main non-cellulosic polysaccharide in the secondary cell walls of plants. Several genes predicted to encode glycosyltransferases are required for the synthesis of the xylan backbone even though it is a homopolymer consisting entirely of β-1,4-linked xylose residues. The putative glycosyltransferases IRX9, IRX14, and IRX10 (or the paralogs IRX9L, IRX14L, and IRX10L) are required for xylan backbone synthesis in Arabidopsis. To investigate the function of IRX9, IRX9L, and IRX14, we identified amino acid residues known to be essential for catalytic function in homologous mammalian proteins and generated modified cDNA clones encoding proteins where these residues would be mutated. The mutated gene constructs were used to transform wild-type Arabidopsis plants and the irx9 and irx14 mutants, which are deficient in xylan synthesis. The ability of the mutated proteins to complement the mutants was investigated by measuring growth, determining cell wall composition, and microscopic analysis of stem cross-sections of the transgenic plants. The six different mutated versions of IRX9 and IRX9-L were all able to complement the irx9 mutant phenotype, indicating that residues known to be essential for glycosyltransferases function in homologous proteins are not essential for the biological function of IRX9/IRX9L. Two out of three mutated IRX14 complemented the irx14 mutant, including a mutant in the predicted catalytic amino acid. A IRX14 protein mutated in the substrate-binding DxD motif did not complement the irx14 mutant. Thus, substrate binding is important for IRX14 function but catalytic activity may not be essential for the function of the protein. The data indicate that IRX9/IRX9L have an essential structural function, most likely by interacting with the IRX10/IRX10L proteins, but do not have an essential catalytic function. Most likely IRX14 also has primarily a structural role, but it cannot be excluded that the protein has an important enzymatic activity.
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