The enzyme NAD-dependent sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH) is well characterized in the Rosaceae family of fruit trees, which synthesizes sorbitol as a translocatable photosynthate. Expressed sequence tags of SDH-like sequences have also been generated from various non-Rosaceae species that do not synthesize sorbitol as a primary photosynthetic product, but the physiological roles of the encoded proteins in non-Rosaceae plants are unknown. Therefore, we isolated an SDH-like cDNA (SDL) from tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Genomic Southern blot analysis suggested that SDL exists in the tomato genome as a single-copy gene. Northern blot analysis showed that SDL is ubiquitously expressed in tomato plants. Recombinant SDL protein was produced and purified for enzymatic characterization. SDL catalyzed the interconversion of sorbitol and fructose with NAD (H). SDL showed highest activity for sorbitol among the several substrates tested. SDL showed no activity with NADP+. Thus, SDL was identified as a SDH, although the Km values and substrate specificity of SDL were significantly different from those of SDH purified from the Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), a Rosaceae fruit tree. In addition, tomato was transformed with antisense SDL to evaluate the contribution of SDL to SDH activity in tomato. The transformation decreased SDH activity to approximately 50% on average. Taken together, these results provide molecular evidence of SDH in tomato, and SDL was renamed LeSDH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas