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Isolation and characterization of a tomato cDNA clone which codes for a salt-induced protein

King, G.J., Turner, V.A., Hussey, C.E. Jr., Wurtele, E.S., Lee, S.M.
Plant molecular biology 1988 v.10 no.5 pp. 401-412
salt tolerance, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, messenger RNA, salinity, amino acid sequences, gene expression, genes, nucleotide sequences, sodium chloride, immunocytochemistry, roots, cell suspension culture, plant proteins
The cDNA clone (pNP24) coding for a protein induced by exogenous NaCl has been isolated from a tomato root cDNA library, with the use of an inosine containing synthetic oligomer. The authenticity of the clone has been established by comparing the sequence of the clone to the NH2-terminal sequence of the protein which has been purified to homogeneity by HPLC. The nucleotide sequence of pNP24 reveals a 5' signal sequence, an open reading frame of 718 nucleotides, a 3' AT rich untranslated region containing a probable polyadenylation signal sequence, and a poly A stretch. The mature polypeptide sequence as deduced from the nucleotide sequence reveals a protein with a molecular weight of 24226. This protein has been named NP24. It is slightly basic and has an unusually high number of cysteines (15). Northern blot analyses reveal that the abundance of mRNA for NP24 is at least 100-fold greater in tomato suspension cells in log phase grown in medium with NaCl than in cells grown in the control medium. The mRNA for NP24 is below the level of detection in roots of young control tomato plants until several weeks after germination but it is induced earlier and to higher levels in roots stressed by 0.171 M NaCl. Thus salt stress accelerates the accumulation of message in tomato roots. A comparison of the steady state levels of mRNA for NP24 to the accumulation of NP24 by immuno analyses indicates that the accumulation of this protein is determined by its mRNA level. The protein is not secreted and is localized within the cytoplasm or the soluble fraction of the nucleus, vacuole, or microbodies. NP24 has a high degree of homology (58%) with thaumatin, a protein which has considerable value as an artificial sweetener.