Image_1_Cysteine and Methionine Biosynthetic Enzymes Have Distinct Effects on Seed Nutritional Quality and on Molecular Phenotypes Associated With Acc.pdf (375.74 kB)

Image_1_Cysteine and Methionine Biosynthetic Enzymes Have Distinct Effects on Seed Nutritional Quality and on Molecular Phenotypes Associated With Accumulation of a Methionine-Rich Seed Storage Protein in Rice.pdf

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posted on 22.07.2020, 04:27 by Sarah J. Whitcomb, Apidet Rakpenthai, Franziska Brückner, Axel Fischer, Saroj Parmar, Alexander Erban, Joachim Kopka, Malcolm J. Hawkesford, Rainer Hoefgen

Staple crops in human and livestock diets suffer from deficiencies in certain “essential” amino acids including methionine. With the goal of increasing methionine in rice seed, we generated a pair of “Push × Pull” double transgenic lines, each containing a methionine-dense seed storage protein (2S albumin from sunflower, HaSSA) and an exogenous enzyme for either methionine (feedback desensitized cystathionine gamma synthase from Arabidopsis, AtD-CGS) or cysteine (serine acetyltransferase from E. coli, EcSAT) biosynthesis. In both double transgenic lines, the total seed methionine content was approximately 50% higher than in their untransformed parental line, Oryza sativa ssp. japonica cv. Taipei 309. HaSSA-containing rice seeds were reported to display an altered seed protein profile, speculatively due to insufficient sulfur amino acid content. However, here we present data suggesting that this may result from an overloaded protein folding machinery in the endoplasmic reticulum rather than primarily from redistribution of limited methionine from endogenous seed proteins to HaSSA. We hypothesize that HaSSA-associated endoplasmic reticulum stress results in redox perturbations that negatively impact sulfate reduction to cysteine, and we speculate that this is mitigated by EcSAT-associated increased sulfur import into the seed, which facilitates additional synthesis of cysteine and glutathione. The data presented here reveal challenges associated with increasing the methionine content in rice seed, including what may be relatively low protein folding capacity in the endoplasmic reticulum and an insufficient pool of sulfate available for additional cysteine and methionine synthesis. We propose that future approaches to further improve the methionine content in rice should focus on increasing seed sulfur loading and avoiding the accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum.

Oryza sativa ssp. japonica: urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:60471378-2.

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