The serine acetyltransferase gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana and the regulation of its expression by cadmium

Plant Mol Biol. 2003 Mar;51(4):589-98. doi: 10.1023/a:1022349623951.


Expression of the serine acetyltransferase (SAT) gene family from Arabidopsis thaliana was investigated in response to treatment with the heavy metal cadmium (Cd). A fourth member of the SAT gene family, Sat-106, was also cloned and the complete SAT gene family from A. thaliana is discussed. Northern analysis of the gene family revealed tissue-specific expression patterns for each isogene. A. thaliana plants grown under 50 microM CdCl2 for a 24 h time course were also used for northern analysis. Expression of all SAT genes was increased to some extent by Cd treatment. Sat-5 expression showed particularly high levels of induction in the leaves of treated plants and was chosen for study by in situ hybridisation. Sat-5 expression was induced in the root and stem cortex and the leaf lamella and trichomes in response to heavy metal stress. SAT and its product O-acetylserine have previously been shown to be implicated in the control of sulphate reduction and cysteine biosynthesis in plants. These results suggest that specific SAT isoforms have a role in increasing cysteine production under conditions of heavy-metal stress when increased biosynthesis of glutathione and phytochelatins is required for detoxification purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / genetics*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cadmium / pharmacology*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / chemistry
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Plant / drug effects
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Serine O-Acetyltransferase


  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Plant
  • Cadmium
  • Acetyltransferases
  • Serine O-Acetyltransferase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF112303