Linley, P.J., Landsberger, M., Kohchi, T., Cooper, J.B. and Terry, M.J.
The molecular basis of heme oxygenase deficiency in the pcd1 mutant of pea
Febs Journal, 273, . (doi:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05264.x).
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The pcd1 mutant of pea lacks heme oxygenase (HO) activity required for the synthesis of the phytochrome chromophore and is consequently severely deficient in all responses mediated by the phytochrome family of plant photoreceptors. Here we describe the isolation of the gene encoding pea heme oxygenase 1 (PsHO1) and confirm the presence of a mutation in this gene in the pcd1 mutant. PsHO1 shows a high degree of sequence homology to other higher plant HOs, in particular with those from other legume species. Expression of PsHO1 increased in response to white light, but did not respond strongly to narrow band light treatments. Analysis of the biochemical activity of PsHO1 expressed in Escherichia coli demonstrated requirements for reduced ferredoxin, a secondary reductant such as ascorbate and an iron chelator for maximum enzyme activity. Using the crystal structure data from homologous animal and bacterial HOs we have modelled the structure of PsHO1 and demonstrated a high degree of structural conservation despite limited primary sequence homology. However, the catalytic site of PsHO1 is larger than that of animal HOs indicating that it may accommodate an ascorbate molecule in close proximity to the heme. This could provide an explanation for why plant HOs show a strong and saturable dependence on this reductant.
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