Plant & cell physiology

15N Tracing Studies on In Vitro Reactions of Ferredoxin-Dependent Nitrite Reductase and Glutamate Synthase Using Reconstituted Electron Donation Systems.

PMID 25745028


It is known that plants contain ferredoxin (Fd)-dependent nitrite reductase (NiR) and glutamate synthase (GOGAT). The Fd-NiR reaction produces ammonia from nitrite, and the activity is usually measured by nitrite disappearance. The Fd-GOGAT reaction forms two glutamates of different origin, from glutamine and 2-oxoglutarate, and the activity is measured by the oxidation of reductant (NADPH) or by formation of total glutamate. Here, a quantitative probe of the products and efficiency of the process was conducted using (15)N tracing techniques on these reactions in vitro. We quantified the reduction of (15)N-labeled [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] and the formation of [(15)N]glutamate and [(14)N]glutamate from [5-(15)N-amide]glutamine plus 2-oxoglutarate by NiR and GOGAT, respectively, with the reductant-Fd-NADP(+) oxidoreductase (FNR)-Fd system as the sequential electron donors. The supply of dithionite or NADPH to recombinant cyanobacterial NiR led to electron donation system-dependent formation of [(15)N]ammonium from [(15)N]nitrite. Addition of 20 mM NaCl and 20 mM Na-ascorbate accelerated nitrite reduction under high concentrations of NADPH. A sufficient supply of NADPH to recombinant Zea mays Fd-GOGAT generated complete GOGAT activity (transferring the [5-(15)N]amide of glutamine to 2-oxoglutarate to form [(15)N]glutamate), whereas a shortage of NADPH resulted in glutaminase activity only, which removed the amide from glutamine and released ammonia and [(14)N]glutamate. We conclude that although the recombinant Fd-GOGAT enzyme has two forms of glutamate synthesis, the first by glutaminase (ammonia release by glutamine amidotransferase) and the second by glutamate synthase (coupling of the ammonia and exogenously applied 2-oxoglutarate), the first works without NADPH, while the second is strictly dependent on NADPH availability.