Analysis of methionine oxides and nitrogen-transporting amino acids in chilled and acclimated maize seedlings
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In maize seedlings, chilling causes a reduction of glutamine synthetase (GS) activity, while acclimation protects GS (manuscript submitted). Since ROS can oxidize both protein-bound and free Met to methionine sulfoxide (MSO) and further to methionine sulfone (MSO2, a GS inhibitor), it was hypothesized that the chilling-induced oxidative stress may cause accumulation of MSO and MSO2, thus contributing to the inactivation of GS. MSO2 preferentially inhibited the chloroplastic isoform, GS2. HPLC analysis of polar amino acids from coleoptiles + leaves, mesocotyls and roots of control, chilled, acclimated, acclimated and chilled and chilled and rewarmed plants revealed that free MSO and MSO2 do not accumulate after low temperature treatments. Nevertheless, acclimation significantly increased the expression of putative protein methionine sulfoxide reductase (PMSR), especially in mesocotyls. Different low temperature treatments caused complex changes in the profiles of N-transporting amino acids, Asp, Glu, Asn and Gln.