|Funakoshi M, Sekine M, Katane M, Furuchi T, Yohda M, Yoshikawa T, Homma H.
|Cloning and functional characterization of Arabidopsis thaliana D-amino acid aminotransferase--D-aspartate behavior during germination.
|The understanding of D-amino acid metabolism in higher plants lags far behind that in mammals, for which the biological functions of these unique amino acids have already been elucidated. In this article, we report on the biochemical behavior of D-amino acids (particularly D-Asp) and relevant metabolic enzymes in Arabidopsis thaliana. During germination and growth of the plant, a transient increase in D-Asp levels was observed, suggesting that D-Asp is synthesized in the plant. Administration of D-Asp suppressed growth, although the inhibitory mechanism responsible for this remains to be clarified. Exogenous D-Asp was efficiently incorporated and metabolized, and was converted to other D-amino acids (D-Glu and D-Ala). We then studied the related metabolic enzymes, and consequently cloned and characterized A. thaliana D-amino acid aminotransferase, which is presumably involved in the metabolism of D-Asp in the plant by catalyzing transamination between D-amino acids. This is the first report of cDNA cloning and functional characterization of a D-amino acid aminotransferase in eukaryotes. The results presented here provide important information for understanding the significance of D-amino acids in the metabolism of higher plants.