Amino Acids

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 113–131 | Cite as

Molecular cloning and expression analyses of mitochondrial and plastidic isoforms of cysteine synthase (O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase) fromArabidopsis thaliana

  • Holger Hesse
  • J. Lipke
  • T. Altmann
  • R. Höfgen
Full Papers


Cysteme synthase, the key enzyme for fixation of inorganic sulfide, catalyses the formation of cysteine from O-acetylserine and inorganic sulfide. Here we report the cloning of cDNAs encoding cysteine synthase isoforms fromArabidopsis thaliana. The isolated cDNA clones encode for a mitochondrial and a plastidic isoform of cysteine synthase (O-acetylserine (thiol)-lyase, EC, designated cysteine synthase C (AtCS-C, CSase C) and B (AtCS-B; CSase B), respectively.AtCS-C andAtCS-B, having lengths of 1569-bp and 1421-bp, respectively, encode polypeptides of 430 amino acids (∼45.8 kD) and of 392 amino acids (∼ 41.8 kD), respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of the mitochondrial and plastidic isoforms exhibit high homology even with respect to the presequences. The predicted presequence of AtCS-C has a N-terminal extension of 33 amino acids when compared to the plastidic isoform. Northern blot analysis showed thatAtCS-C is higher expressed in roots than in leaves whereas the expression ofAtCS-B is stronger in leaves. Furthermore, gene expression of both genes was enhanced by sulfur limitation which in turn led to an increase in enzyme activity in crude extracts of plants. Expression of theAtCS-B gene is regulated by light. The mitochondrial, plastidic and cytosolic (Hesse and Altmann, 1995) isoforms of cysteine synthase ofArabidopsis are able to complement a cysteine synthasedeficient mutant ofEscherichia coli unable to grow on minimal medium without cysteine, indicating synthesis of functional plant proteins in the bacterium. Two lines of evidence proved thatAtCS-C encodes a mitochondrial form of cysteine synthase; first, import ofin vitro translation products derived from AtCS-C in isolated intact mitochondria and second, Western blot analysis of mitochondria isolated from transgenic tobacco plants expressing AtCS-C cDNA/c-myc DNA fusion protein.


Amino acids Targeting Mitochondria Chloroplasts Cysteine synthase Transit peptide Transgenic plants Processing 



cysteine synthase


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holger Hesse
    • 1
  • J. Lipke
    • 2
  • T. Altmann
    • 2
  • R. Höfgen
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute für Angewandte GenetikFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare PflanzenphysiologieGolmGermany

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