Species variation in the intracellular localization of pyruvate, Pi dikinase in leaves of crassulacean-acid-metabolism plants: an immunogold electron-microscope study

Planta. 2000 Mar;210(4):611-21. doi: 10.1007/s004250050051.


In malic enzyme-dependent crassulacean-acid-metabolism (ME-CAM) plants, malic acid is decarboxylated by NADP-ME and NAD-ME and generates pyruvate with CO2. Pyruvate is phosphorylated to phosphoenolpyruvate by pyruvate, Pi dikinase (PPDK) and is then conserved in gluconeogenesis. Although PPDK was considered to be located in chloroplasts (e.g., Mesembryanthemum crystallinum), it has recently been found to accumulate in both the chloroplasts and the cytosol in two Kalanchoë species. In this study, the intracellular localization of PPDK was investigated in 22 ME-CAM species in 13 genera of 5 families by immunogold labeling and electron microscopy. This revealed that the pattern of intracellular localization of PPDK varies among the ME-CAM plants and is divided into three types: Chlt, in which PPDK accumulates only in the chloroplasts; Cyt-Chlt, in which PPDK accumulates in both chloroplasts and cytosol; and Cyt, in which PPDK accumulates predominantly in the cytosol. Members of a particular genus tend to have a common PPDK-localization type. In the Cactaceae, all species from seven genera were classified as Cyt. The photosynthetic tissues of all ME-CAM species, including the Cyt type, had substantial PPDK activity, suggesting that PPDK in the cytosol is active and probably plays a functional role. In the Chlt species, NADP-ME activity was relatively greater than NAD-ME activity. In the Cyt-Chlt and Cyt species, however, either the activity of NAD-ME was higher than that of NADP-ME or they were approximately the same. The species variation in the intracellular localization of PPDK is discussed in relation to CAM function and to molecular and phylogenetic aspects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Western
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Malate Dehydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / enzymology
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / ultrastructure
  • Plants / classification
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Pyruvate, Orthophosphate Dikinase / metabolism*


  • Malate Dehydrogenase
  • malate dehydrogenase-(oxaloacetate-decarboxylating) (NAD+)
  • malate dehydrogenase (oxaloacetate-decarboxylating) (NADP+)
  • Pyruvate, Orthophosphate Dikinase