Identification of genes encoding adenylate isopentenyltransferase, a cytokinin biosynthesis enzyme, in Arabidopsis thaliana

J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 13;276(28):26405-10. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M102130200. Epub 2001 Apr 19.


The initial step in the de novo biosynthesis of cytokinin in higher plants is the formation of isopentenyladenosine 5'-monophosphate (iPMP) from AMP and dimethylallylpyrophosphate (DMAPP), which is catalyzed by adenylate isopentenyltransferase (IPT). Although cytokinin is an essential hormone for growth and development, the nature of the enzyme for its biosynthesis in higher plants has not been identified. Herein, we describe the molecular cloning and biochemical identification of IPTs from Arabidopsis thaliana. Eight cDNAs encoding putative IPT, designated as AtIPT1 to AtIPT8, were picked up from A. thaliana. The Escherichia coli transformants expressing the recombinant proteins excreted cytokinin species into the culture medium except for that expressing AtIPT2 that is a putative tRNA IPT. A purified recombinant AtIPT1 catalyzed the formation of iPMP from DMAPP and AMP. These results indicate that the small multigene family contains both types of isopentenyltransferase, which could synthesize cytokinin and mature tRNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA, Complementary / isolation & purification
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Cytokines
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • adenylate isopentenyltransferase