The Arabidopsis thaliana PPX/PP4 phosphatases: molecular cloning and structural organization of the genes and immunolocalization of the proteins to plastids

Plant Mol Biol. 2000 Nov;44(4):499-511. doi: 10.1023/a:1026587405656.


The PPX/PP4 Ser/Thr protein phosphatases belong to the type 2A phosphatase subfamily and are present in most eukaryotic organisms. We have previously isolated two closely related DNAs encoding PPX isoforms (PPX-1 and PPX-2) of Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we report the molecular cloning of the genes encoding these proteins. The genes PPX-1 and PPX-2 are composed of eight exons and seven introns located at equivalent positions related to the coding sequences. Whereas the intron-exon organization of the PPX genes is completely different from that of the PP2A-3/PP2A-4 A. thaliana family, specific intron-exon boundaries are conserved among PPX genes from distantly related organisms. Based on GUS expression, both PPX genes show the same spatial and temporal pattern of expression: they are expressed in all the organs and tissues analyzed, and from the earliest stage of development. When PPX proteins were localized to the root in semi-thin methacrylate sections by immunofluorescence, staining was predominantly confined to small organelles, shown to be plastids by co-localization of PPX and ferredoxin. Interestingly, only some ferredoxin-positive plastids were also PPX-positive, and PPX staining was consistently brighter in the epidermis. The localization was confirmed with immunogold and electron microscopy. Our results suggest that, despite its strong sequence conservation, PPX in plants functions differently than in animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Plant / chemistry
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • Exons
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Glucuronidase / genetics
  • Glucuronidase / metabolism
  • Introns
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / enzymology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plastids / enzymology
  • Plastids / ultrastructure
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tissue Distribution


  • DNA, Plant
  • Isoenzymes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • protein phosphatase 4
  • Glucuronidase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF030289
  • GENBANK/AF030290