Protein phosphorylation as a mechanism for osmotic-stress activation of sucrose-phosphate synthase in spinach leaves

Dikran Toroser, Steven C. Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments were performed to investigate the mechanism of sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS) activation by osmotic stress in darkened spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) leaves. The activation was stable through immunopurification and was not the result of an increased SPS protein level. The previously described Ca2+-independent peak III kinase, obtained by ion-exchange chromatography, is confirmed to be the predominant enzyme catalyzing phosphorylation and inactivation of dephosphoserine-158-SPS. A new, Ca2+-dependent SPS-protein kinase activity (peak IV kinase) was also resolved and shown to phosphorylate and activate phosphoserine-158-SPS in vitro. The peak IV kinase also phosphorylated a synthetic peptide (SP29) based on the amino acid sequence surrounding serine-424, which also contains the motif described for the serine-158 regulatory phosphorylation site; i.e. basic residues at P-3 and P-6 and a hydrophobic residue at P-5. Peak IV kinase had a native molecular weight of approximately 150,000 as shown by gel filtration. The SP29 peptide was not phosphorylated by the inactivating peak III kinase. Osmotically stressed leaves showed increased peak IV kinase activity with the SP29 peptide as a substrate. Tryptic 32P-phosphopeptide analysis of SPS from excised spinach leaves fed [32P]inorganic P showed increased phosphorylation of the tryptic peptide containing serine-424. Therefore, at least part of the osmotic stress activation of SPS in dark leaves results from phosphorylation of serine-424 catalyzed by a Ca2+-dependent, 150-kD protein kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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