Two classes of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) sharing the same 107-kDa catalytic subunit (p107) were previously purified from developing castor oil seed (COS) endosperm. The association of p107 with an immunologically unrelated 64-kDa polypeptide (p64) causes pronounced physical and kinetic differences between the Class-1 PEPC p107 homotetramer and Class-2 PEPC p107/p64 hetero-octamer. Tryptic peptide sequencing matched p64 to the deduced C-terminal half of several bacterial-type PEPCs (BTPCs) of vascular plants. Immunoblots probed with anti-(COS p64 peptide or p107)-IgG established that: (i) BTPC exists in vivo as an approximately 118-kDa polypeptide (p118) that is rapidly truncated to p64 by an endogenous cysteine endopeptidase during incubation of COS extracts on ice, and (ii) mature and germinated COS contain Class-1 PEPC and p107, but no detectable Class-2 PEPC nor p118. Non-denaturing PAGE, in-gel PEPC activity staining and immunoblotting of developing COS extracts demonstrated that p118 and p107 are subunits of the non-proteolysed approximately 910-kDa Class-2 PEPC complex. As total PEPC activity of clarified COS extracts was unaffected following p118 truncation to p64, the BTPC p118 may function as a regulatory rather than catalytic subunit of the Class-2 PEPC. Moreover, recombinant AtPPC3 and AtPPC4 (Arabidopsis orthologs of COS p107 and p118) expressed as active and inactive PEPCs, respectively. Cloning of cDNAs encoding p118 (RcPpc4) and p107 (RcPpc3) confirmed their respective designation as bacterial- and plant-type PEPCs. Levels of RcPpc3 and RcPpc4 transcripts generally mirrored the respective amounts of p107 and p118. The collective findings provide insights into the molecular features and functional significance of vascular plant BTPCs.
- Oilseed metabolism
- Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC [Ppc])
- Protein-protein interactions
- Ricinus communis (castor oil seeds)