Ethanol fermentation is considered as one of the main metabolic adaptations to ensure energy production in higher plants under anaerobic conditions. Following this pathway, pyruvate is decarboxylated and reduced to ethanol with the concomitant oxidation of NADH to NAD+. Despite its acknowledgement as an essential metabolic strategy, the conservation of this pathway and its regulation throughout plant evolution have not been assessed so far. To address this question, we compared ethanol fermentation in species representing subsequent steps in plant evolution and related it to the structural features and transcriptional regulation of the two enzymes involved: Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). We observed that, despite the conserved ability to produce ethanol upon hypoxia in distant phyla, transcriptional regulation of the enzymes involved is not conserved in ancient plant lineages, whose ADH homologues do not share structural features distinctive for acetaldehyde/ethanol-processing enzymes. Moreover, Arabidopsis mutants devoid of ADH expression exhibited enhanced PDC activity and retained substantial ethanol production under hypoxic conditions. Therefore, we concluded that, whereas ethanol production is a highly conserved adaptation to low oxygen, its catalysis and regulation in land plants probably involve components that will be identified in the future .

Conservation of ethanol fermentation and its regulation in land plants

Lombardi L.;Giuntoli B.;Licausi F.
Ultimo
2019-01-01

Abstract

Ethanol fermentation is considered as one of the main metabolic adaptations to ensure energy production in higher plants under anaerobic conditions. Following this pathway, pyruvate is decarboxylated and reduced to ethanol with the concomitant oxidation of NADH to NAD+. Despite its acknowledgement as an essential metabolic strategy, the conservation of this pathway and its regulation throughout plant evolution have not been assessed so far. To address this question, we compared ethanol fermentation in species representing subsequent steps in plant evolution and related it to the structural features and transcriptional regulation of the two enzymes involved: Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). We observed that, despite the conserved ability to produce ethanol upon hypoxia in distant phyla, transcriptional regulation of the enzymes involved is not conserved in ancient plant lineages, whose ADH homologues do not share structural features distinctive for acetaldehyde/ethanol-processing enzymes. Moreover, Arabidopsis mutants devoid of ADH expression exhibited enhanced PDC activity and retained substantial ethanol production under hypoxic conditions. Therefore, we concluded that, whereas ethanol production is a highly conserved adaptation to low oxygen, its catalysis and regulation in land plants probably involve components that will be identified in the future .
2019
Bui, L. T.; Novi, G.; Lombardi, L.; Iannuzzi, C.; Rossi, J.; Santaniello, A.; Mensuali, A.; Corbineau, F.; Giuntoli, B.; Perata, P.; Zaffagnini, M.; Licausi, F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/998039
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