Diacylglycerols induce both ion pumping in patch-clamped guard-cell protoplasts and opening of intact stomata

Youngsook Lee, Sarah M. Assmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Stomatal guard cells in leaves regulate the apertures of microscopic pores through which photosynthetic gas exchange and water vapor loss occur. Environmental signals, including light, high humidity, and low CO2 concentrations, open stomata by increasing the volume of guard cells. Activation of a plasma membrane H+ pump initiates K+ and Cl- influx, accompanied by malate synthesis, resulting in osmotic water flow into the guard cells, a bowing apart of the guard-cell pair, and consequent stomatal opening. Physiological and electrophysiological techniques were employed to investigate the possibility that a second-messenger lipid, 1,2-diacylglycerol, is involved in the transduction of opening stimuli. The synthetic diacylglycerols 1,2-dihexanoylglycerol and 1,2-dioctanoylglycerol enhanced light-induced stomatal opening in Commelina communis and induced stomatal opening under darkness, whereas an isomer with no known second-messenger role, 1,3-dioctanoylglycerol, did not affect stomatal responses. 1-(5-Isoquinolinylsulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine (H-7), an inhibitor of protein kinase C, the enzyme typically activated by 1,2-diacylglycerol in animal cells, inhibited light-stimulated stomatal opening and enhanced dark-induced stomatal closure. N-[(2-Methylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide (H-8), which inhibits cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases preferentially over lipid-dependent protein kinases such as protein kinase C, had little effect on stomatal apertures. Whole-cell patch clamping of guard-cell protoplasts of Vicia faba revealed that 1,2-dihexanoylglycerol and 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol activated an ATP-dependent, voltage-independent current, suggesting activation of an electrogenic ion pump such as the H+ pump. Diacylglycerol or functionally similar lipids may act through protein phosphorylation to provide the intracellular signals that mediate H-ATPase activation and stomatal opening in response to light or other opening stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2131
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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