Sequestration of nucleotides in cells through protein binding could influence the availability of nucleotides and free energy for metabolic reactions and, therefore, affect rates of physiological processes. We have estimated the proportion of nucleotides bound to proteins in maize (Zea mays L.) root tips. Binding of nucleoside mono- and diphosphates to total root-tip protein was studied in vitro using high-performance liquid chromatography and a new ligand-binding technique. We estimate that approximately 40% of the ADP, 65% of the GDP, 50% of the AMP, and virtually all the GMP in aerobic cells are bound to proteins. In hypoxic cells, free concentrations of these nucleotides increase proportionately much more than total intracellular concentrations. Little or no binding of CDP, UDP, CMP, and UMP was observed in vitro. Binding of nucleoside triphosphate (NTP) to protein was estimated from in vivo 31P-nuclear magnetic resonance relaxation measurements. In aerobic root tips most (approximately 70%) of the NTP is free, whereas under hypoxia NTP appears predominantly bound to protein. Our results indicate that binding of nucleotides to proteins in plant cells will significantly influence levels of free purine nucleotides available to drive and regulate respiration, protein synthesis, ion transport, and other physiological processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science