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Title: The structures of cytosolic and plastid-located glutamine synthetases from Medicago truncatula reveal a common and dynamic architecture

The experimental models of dicotyledonous cytoplasmic and plastid-located glutamine synthetases unveil a conserved eukaryotic-type decameric architecture, with subtle structural differences in M. truncatula isoenzymes that account for their distinct herbicide resistance. The first step of nitrogen assimilation in higher plants, the energy-driven incorporation of ammonia into glutamate, is catalyzed by glutamine synthetase. This central process yields the readily metabolizable glutamine, which in turn is at the basis of all subsequent biosynthesis of nitrogenous compounds. The essential role performed by glutamine synthetase makes it a prime target for herbicidal compounds, but also a suitable intervention point for the improvement of crop yields. Although the majority of crop plants are dicotyledonous, little is known about the structural organization of glutamine synthetase in these organisms and about the functional differences between the different isoforms. Here, the structural characterization of two glutamine synthetase isoforms from the model legume Medicago truncatula is reported: the crystallographic structure of cytoplasmic GSII-1a and an electron cryomicroscopy reconstruction of plastid-located GSII-2a. Together, these structural models unveil a decameric organization of dicotyledonous glutamine synthetase, with two pentameric rings weakly connected by inter-ring loops. Moreover, rearrangement of these dynamic loops changes the relative orientation of the rings, suggesting a zipper-like mechanismmore » for their assembly into a decameric enzyme. Finally, the atomic structure of M. truncatula GSII-1a provides important insights into the structural determinants of herbicide resistance in this family of enzymes, opening new avenues for the development of herbicide-resistant plants.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [4]
  1. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas – CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid (Spain)
  2. IBMC – Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre 823, 4150-180 Porto (Portugal)
  3. University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QZ (United Kingdom)
  4. (Spain)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22347788
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Acta Crystallographica. Section D: Biological Crystallography; Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: Pt 4; Other Information: PMCID: PMC3975887; PMID: 24699643; PUBLISHER-ID: dw5085; OAI: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:3975887; Copyright (c) Torreira et al. 2014; This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are cited.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
Denmark
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; AMMONIA; ATOMS; CRYSTALS; ELECTRONS; NITROGEN; ORIENTATION; RINGS; STRUCTURAL MODELS; YIELDS