Distinct Isoprenoid Origins of cis- and trans-Zeatin Biosyntheses in Arabidopsis

Hiroyuki Kasahara, Kentaro Takei, Nanae Ueda, Shojiro Hishiyama, Tomoyuki Yamaya, Yuji Kamiya, Shinjiro Yamaguchi, Hitoshi Sakakibara

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146 Citations (Scopus)


Plants produce the common isoprenoid precursors isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) through the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway in plastids and the mevalonate (MVA) pathway in the cytosol. To assess which pathways contribute DMAPP for cytokinin biosynthesis, metabolites from each isoprenoid pathway were selectively labeled with 13C in Arabidopsis seedlings. Efficient 13C labeling was achieved by blocking the endogenous pathway genetically or chemically during the feed of a 13C labeled precursor specific to the MEP or MVA pathways. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that the prenyl group of trans-zeatin (tZ) and isopentenyladenine is mainly produced through the MEP pathway. In comparison, a large fraction of the prenyl group of cis-zeatin (cZ) derivatives was provided by the MVA pathway. When expressed as fusion proteins with green fluorescent protein in Arabidopsis cells, four adenosine phosphate-isopentenyltransferases (AtIPT1, AtIPT3, AtIPT5, and AtIPT8) were found in plastids, in agreement with the idea that the MEP pathway primarily provides DMAPP to tZ and isopentenyladenine. On the other hand, AtIPT2, a tRNA isopentenyltransferase, was detected in the cytosol. Because the prenylated adenine moiety of tRNA is usually of the cZ type, the formation of cZ in Arabidopsis seedlings might involve the transfer of DMAPP from the MVA pathway to tRNA. Distinct origins of large proportions of DMAPP for tZ and cZ biosynthesis suggest that plants are able to separately modulate the level of these cytokinin species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14049-14054
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Apr 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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