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PLANT CELL 12 (9): 1679-1688

Copyright © 2000 by the American Society of Plant Physiologists.

Plant Cell, Vol. 12, 1679-1688, September 2000, Copyright © 2000, American Society of Plant Physiologists Association of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase with Nuclear Transcription Sites in Higher Plants Tom D. Bunneya, Peter A. C. Watkinsa, Alison F. Bevena, Peter J. Shawa, Luis E. Hernandeza, George P. Lomonossoffa, Mike Shanksa, Jan Pearta, and Bjørn K. Drøbaka a John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, NR4 7UH, United Kingdom Bjørn K. Drøbak, bjorn.drobak{at}bbsrc.ac.uk (E-mail), 44-0-1603-501771 (fax)

The kinases responsible for phosphorylation of inositol-containing lipids are essential for many aspects of normal eukaryotic cell function. Genetic and biochemical studies have established that the phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 3-kinase encoded by the yeast VPS34 gene is essential for the efficient sorting and delivery of proteins to the vacuole; the kinase encoded by the human VPS34 homolog has been equally implicated in the control of intracellular vesicle traffic. The plant VPS34 homolog also is required for normal growth and development, and although a role for PtdIns 3-kinase in vesicle trafficking is likely, it has not been established. In this study, we have shown that considerable PtdIns 3-kinase activity is associated with the internal matrix of nuclei isolated from carrot suspension cells. Immunocytochemical and confocal laser scanning microscopy studies using the monoclonal antibody JIM135 (John Innes Monoclonal 135), raised against a truncated version of the soybean PtdIns 3-kinase, SPI3K-5p, revealed that this kinase appears to have a distinct and punctate distribution within the plant nucleus and nucleolus. Dual probing of root sections with JIM135 and anti–bromo-UTP antibodies, after in vitro transcription had been allowed to proceed in the presence of bromo-UTP, showed that SPI3K-5p associates with active nuclear and nucleolar transcription sites. These findings suggest a possible link between PtdIns 3-kinase activity and nuclear transcription in plants.

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