Biochemical and Immunological Characterization of Nitrate Reductase Deficient nia Mutants of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia

Chérel, I.; Gonneau, M.; Meyer, C.; Pelsy, F.; Caboche, M.

Plant Physiology 92(3): 659-665


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0889
PMID: 16667331
DOI: 10.1104/pp.92.3.659
Accession: 001764028

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Sixty-five Nicotiana plumbaginifolia mutants affected in the nitrate reductase structural gene (nia mutants) have been analyzed and classified. The properties evaluated were: (a) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (two-site ELISA) using a monoclonal antibody as coating reagent and (b) presence of partial catalytic activities, namely nitrate reduction with artificial electron donors (reduced methyl viologen, reduced flavin mononucleotide, or reduced bromphenol blue), and cytochrome c (Cyt c) reduction with NADH. Four classes have been defined: 40 mutants fall within class 1 which includes all mutants that have no protein detectable in ELISA and no partial activities; mutants of classes 2 and 3 exhibit an ELISA-detectable nitrate reductase protein and lack either Cyt c reductase activity (class 2: fourteen mutants) or the terminal nitrate reductase activities (class 3: eight mutants) of the enzyme. Three mutants (class 4) are negative in the ELISA test, lack Cyt c reductase activity, and lack or have a very low level of reduced methyl viologen or reduced flavin mononucleotide-nitrate reductase activities; however, they retain the reduced bromphenol blue nitrate reductase activity. Variations in the degrees of terminal nitrate reductase activities among the mutants indicated that the flavin mononucleotide and methyl viologen-dependent activities were linked while the bromphenol blue-dependent activity was independent of the other two. The putative positions of the lesions in the mutant proteins and the nature of structural domains of nitrate reductase involved in each partial activity are discussed.