Acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) formed within the plastid is the precursor for the biosynthesis of fatty acids and, through them, a range of important biomolecules. The source of acetyl-CoA in the plastid is not known, but two enzymes are thought to be involved: acetyl-CoA synthetase and plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase. To determine the importance of these two enzymes in synthesizing acetyl-CoA during lipid accumulation in developing Arabidopsis seeds, we isolated cDNA clones for acetyl-CoA synthetase and for the ptE1α- and ptE1β-subunits of plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase. To our knowledge, this is the first reported acetyl-CoA synthetase sequence from a plant source. The Arabidopsis acetyl-CoA synthetase preprotein has a calculated mass of 76,678 D, an apparent plastid targeting sequence, and the mature protein is a monomer of 70 to 72 kD. During silique development, the spatial and temporal patterns of the ptE1β mRNA level are very similar to those of the mRNAs for the plastidic heteromeric acetyl-CoA carboxylase subunits. The pattern of ptE1β mRNA accumulation strongly correlates with the formation of lipid within the developing embryo. In contrast, the level of mRNA for acetyl-CoA synthetase does not correlate in time and space with lipid accumulation. The highest level of accumulation of the mRNA for acetyl-CoA synthetase during silique development is within the funiculus. These mRNA data suggest a predominant role for plastidic pyruvate dehydrogenase in acetyl-CoA formation during lipid synthesis in seeds.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/basil-nikolau/26/