Adenosine Kinase Deficiency Is Associated with Developmental Abnormalities and Reduced Transmethylation
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Adenosine (Ado) kinase (ADK; ATP:Ado 5' phosphotransferase, EC 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the salvage synthesis of adenine monophosphate from Ado and ATP. In Arabidopsis, ADK is encoded by two cDNAs that share 89% nucleotide identity and are constitutively, yet differentially, expressed in leaves, stems, roots, and flowers. To investigate the role of ADK in plant metabolism, lines deficient in this enzyme activity have been created by sense and antisense expression of the ADK1 cDNA. The levels of ADK activity in these lines range from 7% to 70% of the activity found in wild-type Arabidopsis. Transgenic plants with 50% or more of the wild-type activity have a normal morphology. In contrast, plants with less than 10% ADK activity are small with rounded, wavy leaves and a compact, bushy appearance. Because of the lack of elongation of the primary shoot, the siliques extend in a cluster from the rosette. Fertility is decreased because the stamen filaments do not elongate normally; hypocotyl and root elongation are reduced also. The hydrolysis of S-adenosyl-L-homo-cysteine (SAH) produced from S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent methylation reactions is a key source of Ado in plants. The lack of Ado salvage in the ADK-deficient lines leads to an increase in the SAH level and results in the inhibition of SAM-dependent transmethylation. There is a direct correlation between ADK activity and the level of methylesterified pectin in seed mucilage, as monitored by staining with ruthenium red, immunofluorescence labeling, or direct assay. These results indicate that Ado must be steadily removed by ADK to prevent feedback inhibition of SAH hydrolase and maintain SAM utilization and recycling.
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