Fructose 2,6-bisphosphate (fru-2,6-P-2) is a signalling metabolite that regulates photosynthetic carbon partitioning in plants. The content of fru-2,6-P-2 in Arabidopsis leaves varied in response to photosynthetic activity with an abrupt decrease at the start of the photoperiod, gradual increase through the day, and modest decrease at the start of the dark period. In Arabidopsis suspension cells, fru-2,6-P-2 content increased in response to an unknown signal upon transfer to fresh culture medium. This increase was blocked by either 2-deoxyglucose or the protein phosphatase inhibitor, calyculin A, and the effects of calyculin A were counteracted by the general protein kinase inhibitor K252a. The changes in fru-2,6-P-2 at the start of dark period in leaves and in the cell experiments generally paralleled changes in nitrate reductase (NR) activity. NR is inhibited by protein phosphorylation and binding to 14-3-3 proteins, raising the question of whether fructose-6-phosphate,2-kinase/fructose-2,6-bisphosphatase protein from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtF2KP), which both generates and hydrolyses fru-2,6-P-2, is also regulated by phosphorylation and 14-3-3s. Consistent with this hypothesis, AtF2KP and NR from Arabidopsis cell extracts bound to a 14-3-3 column, and were eluted specifically by a synthetic 14-3-3-binding phosphopeptide (ARAApSAPA). 14-3-3s co-precipitated with recombinant glutathione S-transferase (GST)-AtF2KP that had been incubated with Arabidopsis cell extracts in the presence of Mg-ATP. 14-3-3s bound directly to GST-AtF2KP that had been phosphorylated on Ser220 (SLSASGpSFR) and Ser303 (RLVKSLpSASSF) by recombinant Arabidopsis calcium-dependent protein kinase isoform 3 (CPK3), or on Ser303 by rat liver mammalian AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK; homologue of plant SNF-1 related protein kinases (SnRKs)) or an Arabidopsis cell extract. We have failed to find any direct effect of 14-3-3s on the F2KP activity in vitro to date. Nevertheless, our findings indicate the possibility that 14-3-3 binding to SnRK1-phosphorylated sites on NR and F2KP may regulate both nitrate assimilation and sucrose/starch partitioning in leaves.
- Protein phosphorylation
- 14-3-3 proteins
- Calcium-activated protein kinase
- AMP-activated protein kinase