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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2009

Alternative Splicing Studies of the Reactive Oxygen Species Gene Network in Populus Reveal Two Isoforms of High-Isoelectric-Point Superoxide Dismutase

Srivastava, Vaibhav; Srivastava, Manoj Kumar; Chibani, Kamel; Nilsson, Robert; Rouhier, Nicolas; Melzer, Michael; Wingsle, Gunnar


Recent evidence has shown that alternative splicing (AS) is widely involved in the regulation of gene expression, substantially extending the diversity of numerous proteins. In this study, a subset of expressed sequence tags representing members of the reactive oxygen species gene network was selected from the PopulusDB database to investigate AS mechanisms in Populus. Examples of all known types of AS were detected, but intron retention was the most common. Interestingly, the closest Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) homologs of half of the AS genes identified in Populus are not reportedly alternatively spliced. Two genes encoding the protein of most interest in our study (high-isoelectric-point superoxide dismutase [hipI-SOD]) have been found in black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa), designated PthipI-SODC1 and PthipI-SODC2. Analysis of the expressed sequence tag libraries has indicated the presence of two transcripts of PthipI-SODC1 (hipI-SODC1b and hipI-SODC1s). Alignment of these sequences with the PthipI-SODC1 gene showed that hipI-SODC1b was 69 bp longer than hipI-SODC1s due to an AS event involving the use of an alternative donor splice site in the sixth intron. Transcript analysis showed that the splice variant hipI-SODC1b was differentially expressed, being clearly expressed in cambial and xylem, but not phloem, regions. In addition, immunolocalization and mass spectrometric data confirmed the presence of hipI-SOD proteins in vascular tissue. The functionalities of the spliced gene products were assessed by expressing recombinant hipI-SOD proteins and in vitro SOD activity assays.

Published in

Plant Physiology
2009, Volume: 149, number: 4, pages: 1848-1859