J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2011, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (12): 930-941.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2011.01085.x

• Metabolism and Biochemistry • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Subcellular Distribution of Glutathione Precursors in Arabidopsis thaliana

Barbara Eva Koffler1†, Romana Maier1† and Bernd Zechmann1,2*   

  1. 1University of Graz, Institute of Plant Sciences, Schubertstrasse 51, 8010 Graz, Austria
    2Graz University of Technology, Institute for Electron Microscopy and Fine Structure Research, Steyrergasse 17, 8010 Graz, Austria
  • Received:2011-07-21 Accepted:2011-10-24 Published:2011-11-03
  • About author:*Corresponding author. Tel.: +43 316 380 5635; Fax: +43 316 380 9880; E-mail: bernd.zechmann@uni-graz.at


Glutathione is an important antioxidant and has many important functions in plant development, growth and defense. Glutathione synthesis and degradation is highly compartment-specific and relies on the subcellular availability of its precursors, cysteine, glutamate, glycine and γ-glutamylcysteine especially in plastids and the cytosol which are considered as the main centers for glutathione synthesis. The availability of glutathione precursors within these cell compartments is therefore of great importance for successful plant development and defense. The aim of this study was to investigate the compartment-specific importance of glutathione precursors in Arabidopsis thaliana. The subcellular distribution was compared between wild type plants (Col-0), plants with impaired glutathione synthesis (glutathione deficient pad2-1 mutant, wild type plants treated with buthionine sulfoximine), and one complemented line (OE3) with restored glutathione synthesis. Immunocytohistochemistry revealed that the inhibition of glutathione synthesis induced the accumulation of the glutathione precursors cysteine, glutamate and glycine in most cell compartments including plastids and the cytosol. A strong decrease could be observed in γ-glutamylcysteine (γ-EC) contents in these cell compartments. These experiments demonstrated that the inhibition of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GSH1) – the first enzyme of glutathione synthesis – causes a reduction of γ-EC levels and an accumulation of all other glutathione precursors within the cells.

Koffler BE, Maier R, Zechmann B (2011) Subcellular distribution of glutathione precursors in Arabidopsis thaliana. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(12), 930–941.

Key words: Arabidopsis, cysteine, glutamate, glutathione, glycine

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