Structure and organ-specific expression of plant genes encoding proteins of PR10 class
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Intracellular Pathogenesis-Related (IPR) Proteins of PR10 class are ubiquitous in the plant kingdom. Their homologues were found in both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. PR10 proteins are small polypeptides of Mr 16 000 - 18 000, slightly acidic and resistant to proteases. The absence of an apparent signal peptide and their structural properties indicate that they are cytosolic. PR10 proteins are encoded by small multigene families. They accumulate around sites of pathogen invasion, wounding and are induced by other environmental stress, suggesting their involvement in a general defence mechanism. The physiological function and any contribution of PR10 proteins to a defence mechanism remain unknown. However, high amino acid sequence homology and the similarity of the expression pattern with that of ginseng ribonuclease suggest that an RNase activity associated with these proteins may be involved in the defence reaction. There are also suggestions that PR10 proteins play an important role in the plant development, since they have been identified in dry seeds, developed roots, stems, various parts of flowers and senescent leaves. Some PR10 protein homologues appeared to be induced by plant hormones (abscisic acid, cytokinin and ethylene) and show organ-specific expression, what indicates their involvement in different physiological processes of non stressed plant.
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M.M. Sikorski, Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej PAN, ul. Noskowskiego 12/14, 61-704 Poznan, Poland e-mail: mmsik@ibch. poznan.pl