Aberrant gene expression in the Arabidopsis SULTR1;2 mutants suggests a possible regulatory role for this sulfate transporter in response to sulfur nutrient status

Bo Zhang, Rita Pasini, Hanbin Dan, Naveen Joshi, Yihong Zhao, Thomas Leustek, Zhi Liang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sulfur is required for the biosynthesis of cysteine, methionine and numerous other metabolites, and thus is critical for cellular metabolism and various growth and developmental processes. Plants are able to sense their physiological state with respect to sulfur availability, but the sensor remains to be identified. Here we report the isolation and characterization of two novel allelic mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana, sel1-15 and sel1-16, which show increased expression of a sulfur deficiency-activated gene β-glucosidase 28 (BGLU28). The mutants, which represent two different missense alleles of SULTR1;2, which encodes a high-affinity sulfate transporter, are defective in sulfate transport and as a result have a lower cellular sulfate level. However, when treated with a very high dose of sulfate, sel1-15 and sel1-16 accumulated similar amounts of internal sulfate and its metabolite glutathione (GSH) to wild-type, but showed higher expression of BGLU28 and other sulfur deficiency-activated genes than wild-type. Reduced sensitivity to inhibition of gene expression was also observed in the sel1 mutants when fed with the sulfate metabolites Cys and GSH. In addition, a SULTR1;2 knockout allele also exhibits reduced inhibition in response to sulfate, Cys and GSH, consistent with the phenotype of sel1-15 and sel1-16. Taken together, the genetic evidence suggests that, in addition to its known function as a high-affinity sulfate transporter, SULTR1;2 may have a regulatory role in response to sulfur nutrient status. The possibility that SULTR1;2 may function as a sensor of sulfur status or a component of a sulfur sensory mechanism is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Journal
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

Keywords

  • Arabidopsis
  • SULTR1;2
  • sulfate transporter
  • sulfur sensor
  • transceptor

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