Comparative biochemical characterization of mutants at the nitrate reductase/molybdenum cofactor loci cnxA, cnxB, and cnxC of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia

Mendel, R.R.; Márton, L.; Müller, A.J.

Plant Science 43(2): 125-129


ISSN/ISBN: 0168-9452
DOI: 10.1016/0168-9452(86)90152-4
Accession: 066905904

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Mutations in any of the three gene loci cnx A, cnx B, cnx C can lead to a total loss of nitrate reductase activity in Nicotiana species. The cnx loci are involved in synthesis and processing of the molybdenum cofactor, which is an essential structural constituent of nitrate reductase. The biochemical properties of cnx A, cnx B and cnx C mutant cell lines of Nicotiana plumbaginifolia were examined further. The cnx A line (N×9) was found to possess a catalytically defective but dimerization-active and under in vivo/in vitro-conditions repairable molybdenum cofactor, thus, resembling the properties of N. tabacum cnx A lines. The cnx B (N×24) and cnx C (N×21) mutants. however, show a phenotype very different from cnx A. This new phenotype is characterised by an irreversible loss of both the catalytic function and dimerization ability of the molybdenum cofactor which makes it likely that the molybdopterin moiety of the cofactor is defective or lacking in these mutants. In this report we summarize and compare the phenotypic data presently available for the Nicotiana loci cnx A, cnx B and cnx C. Possible functions of the gene products of these loci will be discussed.