Evidence is accumulating that the activity of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) leaf NADH:nitrate reductase (NR) is modulated both in vitro and in vivo by protein phosphorylation. From the present study we report the partial purification of the two protein factors needed for NR inactivation. We identified NR-protein kinase (NR-PK) as a calcium-dependent and metabolite-regulated protein kinase and have provided additional evidence that phosphorylation of NR is necessary but not sufficient to inactivate the enzyme. The inhibitor protein required for inactivation of phospho-NR was purified 625-fold by polyethylene glycol fractionation and sequential column chromatography. Using partially purified inhibitor protein and NR-PK, we characterized NR inactivation (increased sensitivity to Mg2+ inhibition) in a reconstituted in vitro system. NR-PK activity was inhibited by a variety of metabolic phosphate esters including dihydroxyacetone phosphate, glucose-6-phosphate, and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. Light-to-dark transition experiments with a starchless tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) mutant, which accumulates phosphate esters during the photoperiod, indicated that NR inactivation in vivo might, indeed, be down-regulated by metabolites. Additionally, we postulate that cytosolic free calcium could play an important role in the regulation of NR activity in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science