Cytoplasmic male sterility in the common bean plant is associated with a dominant mitochondrial mutation designated pvs-orf239 (for Phaseolus vulgaris sterility sequence open reading frame 239). The sequence is transcribed in both vegetative and reproductive tissues, but the translation product, ORF239, is present only in reproductive tissues. We present evidence to support a model of post-translational regulation of ORF239 expression based on the following observations. In organello translation experiments using purified mitochondria from young seedlings demonstrated accumulation of ORF239 only when a protease inhibitor was included. Proteolytic activity against ORF239 was observed in mitochondrial extracts fractionating with the mitochondrial inner membrane. The DNA sequence encoding a serine-type protease, similar to the ion protease gene of Escherichia coli, was cloned from the Arabidopsis genome. The expression product of this sequence demonstrated proteolytic activity against ORF239 in vitro, with features resembling the activity detected in mitochondrial inner membrane preparations. Antibodies generated against the overexpressed Lon homolog reduced proteolytic activity against ORF239 when added to mitochondrial extracts. Our data suggest that ORF239 was undetected in vegetative tissue due to rapid turnover by at least one mitochondrial protease that acts against ORF239 post-translationally.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology