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Calmodulin stimulation of unidirectional calcium uptake by the endoplasmic reticulum of barley aleurone

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The role of calmodulin (CaM) in gibberellic acid (GA3)-stimulated Ca2+ uptake was investigated in endomembranes isolated from aleurone cells of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Unidirectional Ca2+ -uptake activity of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) was higher in membranes isolated from aleurone layers treated for 16 h with GA3 and Ca2+ compared with those isolated from layers incubated in Ca2+ alone. However, the level of uptake from Ca2+-treated tissue could be stimulated to that of the GA3-treated cells by applying exogenous CaM which increased the V max of the Ca2+ transporter approximately threefold. Calcium uptake in ER from GA3-treated tissue was inhibited by the CaM antagonist W7 in 50% of experiments, whereas the activity in membranes from non-GA3-treated tissue was unaffected. Treatment with GA3 also led to a twofold increase in CaM levels in aleurone layers within 4–6 h, paralleling the time course of the stimulation of Ca2+ uptake and preceding the stimulation of α-amylase secretion. We propose that the elevation of Ca2+ uptake into the ER induced by GA3 may be coordinated and regulated by elevated levels of membrane-associated CaM and this may regulate Ca2+-dependent α-amylase synthesis in the lumen of the ER.

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cytochrome-c reductase


ethylene glycol bis (β-aminoethylether)-N,N,N′N′-tetraacetic acid

GA3 :

gibberellic acid


Golgi apparatus


inosine diphosphatase


plasma membrane




sarcoplasmic reticulum








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Author information

Correspondence to Russell L. Jones.

Additional information

We thank Belen Garrido for excellent technical assistance, Eleanor Crump for help in preparation of the manuscript and Professor Daniel Roberts (Biochemistry Department, University of Tennessee, USA) for the CaM RIA kit. This work was supported by grants to R.L.J. from the National Science Foundation.

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Gilroy, S., Jones, R.L. Calmodulin stimulation of unidirectional calcium uptake by the endoplasmic reticulum of barley aleurone. Planta 190, 289–296 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00196956

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Key words

  • Aleurone
  • Calcium uptake
  • Calmodulin
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • Gibberellic acid
  • Hordeum
  • (Ca2+ uptake)