Tocopherols modulate extraplastidic polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism in Arabidopsis at low temperature.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.
The Plant Cell (Impact Factor: 9.58). 03/2008; 20(2):452-70. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.107.054718
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Tocopherols (vitamin E) are synthesized in plastids and have long been assumed to have essential functions restricted to these organelles. We previously reported that the vitamin e-deficient2 (vte2) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is defective in transfer cell wall development and photoassimilate transport at low temperature (LT). Here, we demonstrate that LT-treated vte2 has a distinct composition of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs): lower levels of linolenic acid (18:3) and higher levels of linoleic acid (18:2) compared with the wild type. Enhanced 18:3 oxidation was not involved, as indicated by the limited differences in oxidized lipid species between LT-treated vte2 and the wild type and by a lack of impact on the LT-induced vte2 phenotype in a vte2 fad3 fad7 fad8 quadruple mutant deficient in 18:3. PUFA changes in LT-treated vte2 occur primarily in phospholipids due to reduced conversion of dienoic to trienoic fatty acids in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) pathway. Introduction of the ER fatty acid desaturase mutation, fad2, and to a lesser extent the plastidic fad6 mutation into the vte2 background suppressed the LT-induced vte2 phenotypes, including abnormal transfer cell wall development. These results provide biochemical and genetic evidence that plastid-synthesized tocopherols modulate ER PUFA metabolism early in the LT adaptation response of Arabidopsis.

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    ABSTRACT: Tocopherols (vitamin E) are lipid-soluble antioxidants produced by all plants and algae, and many cyanobacteria, yet their functions in these photosynthetic organisms are still not fully understood. We have previously reported that the vitamin E deficient 2 (vte2) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana is sensitive to low temperature (LT) due to impaired transfer cell wall (TCW) development and photoassimilate export associated with massive callose deposition in transfer cells of the phloem. To further understand the roles of tocopherols in LT induced TCW development we compared the global transcript profiles of vte2 and wild-type leaves during LT treatment. Tocopherol deficiency had no significant impact on global gene expression in permissive conditions, but significantly affected expression of 77 genes after 48 h of LT treatment. In vte2 relative to wild type, genes associated with solute transport were repressed, while those involved in various pathogen responses and cell wall modifications, including two members of callose synthase gene family, GLUCAN SYNTHASE LIKE 4 (GSL4) and GSL11, were induced. However, introduction of gsl4 or gsl11 mutations individually into the vte2 background did not suppress callose deposition or the overall LT-induced phenotypes of vte2. Intriguingly, introduction of a mutation disrupting GSL5, the major GSL responsible for pathogen-induced callose deposition, into vte2 substantially reduced vascular callose deposition at LT, but again had no effect on the photoassimilate export phenotype of LT-treated vte2. These results suggest that GSL5 plays a major role in TCW callose deposition in LT-treated vte2 but that this GSL5-dependent callose deposition is not the primary cause of the impaired photoassimilate export phenotype.
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