Cloning, Sequence Analysis and Expression Patterns during Seed Germination of a Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) G-x-S-x-G-motif Lipase Gene
Lipases catalyze the hydrolysis of ester bonds in triacylglycerides, generating glycerol and free fatty acids. These enzymes are encoded by extremely complex gene families, and appear to fulfil many different biological functions. Although they are present in all types of organisms, available information on plant lipases is still very limited, as compared to their bacterial and animal counterparts. A full-length clone, BnLIP, encoding a putative lipase, has been isolated by PCR amplification of Brassica napus genomic DNA, with oligonucleotide primers derived from the sequence of an Arabidopsis thaliana homologue. The clone included an open reading frame of 1581 bp encoding a polypeptide of 526 amino acids, with a calculated molecular mass of 59.5 kDa. Analysis of the deduced protein sequence, sequence alignment with homologous proteins from related plant species, and a phylogenetic analysis revealed that the BnLIP protein belongs to the 'classical' GxSxG-motif lipase family. RT-PCR assays indicated that the BnLIP gene is expressed specifically, but only transiently, during seed germination: the lipase mRNA was not present at detectable levels in ungerminated seeds, was detected only three days after seed imbibition, but its levels decreased rapidly afterwards. No expression was observed in roots, stems or leaves of adult plants. This expression pattern suggests that BnLIP is one of the lipases involved in the hydrolysis of triacylglycerides stored in rapeseed seeds, ultimately providing nutrients and energy to sustain seedling growth until photosynthesis is activated.
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