S-Adenosyl-L-methionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC; EC 220.127.116.11) is one of the key regulatory enzymes in the biosynthesis of polyamines. Isolation of genomic and cDNA sequences from rice and Arabidopsis had indicated that this enzyme is encoded by a small multigene family in monocot and dicot plants. Analysis of rice, maize and Arabidopsis AdoMetDC cDNA species revealed that the monocot enzyme possesses an extended C-terminus relative to dicot and human enzymes. Interestingly, we discovered that all expressed plant AdoMetDC mRNA 5´ leader sequences contain a highly conserved pair of overlapping upstream open reading frames (uORFs) that overlap by one base. The 5´ tiny uORF consists of two or three codons and the 3´ small uORF encodes 50Ő54 residues. Sequences of the small uORFs are highly conserved between monocot, dicot and gymnosperm AdoMetDC mRNA species and the C-terminus of the plant small uORFs is conserved with the C-terminus of nematode AdoMetDC uORFs; such a conserved arrangement is strongly suggestive of a translational regulatory mechanism. No introns were found in the main AdoMetDC proenzyme ORF from any of the plant genes encoding AdoMetDC, whereas introns were found in conserved positions flanking the overlapping uORFs. The absence of the furthest 3´ intron from the Arabidopsis gene encoding AdoMetDC2 suggests that this intron was lost recently. Reverse-transcriptase-mediated PCR analysis of the two Arabidopsis genes for AdoMetDC indicated that AdoMetDC1 is abundant and ubiquitous, whereas the gene for AdoMetDC2 is expressed preferentially in leaves and inflorescences. Investigation of recently released Arabidopsis genome sequences has revealed that in addition to the two genes encoding AdoMetDC isolated as part of the present work, four additional genes are present in Arabidopsis but they are probably not expressed.
- translational regulation
- The Biochemical Society, London © 2001