Plant Physiol 2000 Sep;124(1):95-104
Departamento de Biología Molecular de Plantas, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Avenida Universidad 2001 Chamilpa, Apdo Postal 510-3 Cuernavaca Morelos 62271, México.
The discovery of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids raises the important question of the nature and regulation of the enzymes involved in this pathway. CLA1, a gene previously isolated from Arabidopsis, encodes the first enzyme of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway, 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase. We demonstrate this enzyme activity by complementation of the cla1-1 mutant phenotype and by direct enzymatic assays. Based on mRNA and protein expression patterns this enzyme is expressed mainly in developing photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic tissues. The beta-glucuronidase expression pattern driven from the CLA1 gene regulatory region supports the northern and protein data while also showing that this gene has some level of expression in most tissues of the plant. A mutation in the CLA1 gene interferes with the normal development of chloroplasts and etioplasts, but does not seem to affect amyloplast structure. Microscopic analysis also shows a pleiotropic effect of the CLA1 gene mutation in mesophyll tissue formation.