|Nakamura, T.; Yamaguchi, Y.; Sano, H.
|Four rice genes encoding cysteine synthase: isolation and differential responses to sulfur, nitrogen and light
|Amino Acid Sequence
|Four cDNA clones, rcs1, rcs2, rcs3 and rcs4, encoding cysteine synthase [O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase] were isolated from rice. The predicted amino acid sequences contain the conserved PXXSVKDR region characteristic of cysteine synthase, which includes the lysine residue that binds the cofactor, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate. Molecular phylogenic analysis suggests that, whereas rcs1 and rcs3 belong to the cytosolic isoform family, rcs2 and rcs4 form a new family of cysteine synthase. Transcript accumulation of each gene was examined for organ specificity, and also for response to sulfur, nitrogen and light. The rcs1 transcript accumulated in all organs examined, and was induced in shoots and roots upon sulfur starvation under non-limiting nitrogen conditions. The rcs2 transcript accumulated in shoots grown in the light, but disappeared almost completely by dark treatment. The rcs3 transcript was found more abundantly in roots than in shoots, and was reduced in the dark, as well as under sulfur and nitrogen deprivation. The rcs4 transcript was scarce in all organs examined. These observations indicate that cysteine synthase genes encode functionally distinct cysteine synthase isoforms, and that they are coordinately regulated by the availability of sulfur, nitrogen, and light.