Origin, evolution, and metabolic role of a novel glycolytic GAPDH enzyme recruited by land plant plastids

J Mol Evol. 2003 Jul;57(1):16-26. doi: 10.1007/s00239-002-2441-y.


NAD-specific glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a cytosolic marker enzyme of eukaryotes (GapC; EC Land plants possess an additional NADP+-dependent enzyme (EC within their chloroplasts which is composed of two subunits, GapA and GapB. Another plastid GAPDH enzyme (GapCp) was recently discovered in gymnosperms and ferns. This novel GapCp is closely related to cytosolic GapC and displays glycolytic NAD+ cosubstrate specificity. Here we show that this new gene GapCp is also present and actively expressed in angiosperms, mosses, and liverworts. Phylogenetic analyses of the available GapC and GapCp sequences suggest that the gene duplication giving rise to GapCp occurred in ancestral charophyte algae. The data are also consistent with a monophyletic origin of charophytes and land plants and further support the view that land plants arose from a Coleochaete-like green alga. Northern hybridizations were employed to study the expression of the genes GapCp, GapC, GapA, and GapB in green and nongreen tissues from pepper (Capsicum annuum). The results demonstrate that GapCp mRNAs are mainly expressed in red pepper fruit and roots, in which the transcript levels of photosynthetic GapA and GapB are downregulated. This suggests that in flowering plants GapCp plays a specific role in glycolytic energy production of nongreen plastids such as chromoplasts and leukoplasts and that angiosperms may be the only land plants where glycolysis is absent in green chloroplasts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bryophyta / genetics
  • Capsicum / genetics
  • Characeae / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases / genetics*
  • Glycolysis
  • Hepatophyta / genetics
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plastids / genetics*


  • Glyceraldehyde-3-Phosphate Dehydrogenases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ236023
  • GENBANK/AJ246008
  • GENBANK/AJ246009
  • GENBANK/AJ246010
  • GENBANK/AJ246011
  • GENBANK/AJ246012
  • GENBANK/AJ246013
  • GENBANK/AJ246015
  • GENBANK/AJ246016
  • GENBANK/AJ246019
  • GENBANK/AJ246020
  • GENBANK/AJ246021
  • GENBANK/AJ246022
  • GENBANK/AJ246024
  • GENBANK/AJ246025
  • GENBANK/AJ272042
  • GENBANK/AJ272043