The AAE14 gene encodes the Arabidopsis o-succinylbenzoyl-CoA ligase that is essential for phylloquinone synthesis and photosystem-I function

Plant J. 2008 Apr;54(2):272-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03416.x. Epub 2008 Jan 16.


Phylloquinone is the one-electron carrier at the A(1) site of photosystem I, and is essential for photosynthesis. Arabidopsis mutants deficient in early steps of phylloquinone synthesis do not become autotrophic and are seedling lethals, even when grown on sucrose-supplemented media. Here, we identify acyl-activating enzyme 14 (AAE14, At1g30520) as the o-succinylbenzoyl-coenzyme A (OSB-CoA) ligase acting in phylloquinone synthesis. Three aae14 mutant alleles, identified by reverse genetics, were found to be seedling lethal, to contain no detectable phylloquinone (< 0.1 pmol mg(-1) fresh weight) compared with 10 pmol mg(-1) fresh weight in wild-type leaves, and to accumulate OSB. AAE14 was able to restore menaquinone biosynthesis when expressed in an Escherichia coli mutant disrupted in the menE gene that encodes the bacterial OSB-CoA ligase. Weak expression of an AAE14 transgene in mutant plants (controlled by the uninduced XVE promoter) resulted in chlorotic, slow-growing plants that accumulated an average of 4.7 pmol mg(-1) fresh weight of phylloquinone. Inducing the XVE promoter in these plants, or expressing an AAE14 transgene under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter, led to full complementation of the mutant phenotype. aae14-mutant plants were also able to synthesize phylloquinone when provided with 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoate, an intermediate in phylloquinone synthesis downstream of the OSB-CoA ligase reaction. Expression of an AAE14:GFP reporter construct indicated that the protein accumulated in discrete foci within the chloroplasts. This and other evidence suggests that the enzymes of phylloquinone synthesis from isochorismate may form a complex in the chloroplast stroma to facilitate the efficient channeling of intermediates through the pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / genetics
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Molecular Structure
  • Mutation
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Seedlings / genetics
  • Seedlings / growth & development
  • Succinate-CoA Ligases / genetics
  • Succinate-CoA Ligases / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K 1 / chemistry
  • Vitamin K 1 / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex
  • Chlorophyll
  • Vitamin K 1
  • AAE14 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Coenzyme A Ligases
  • Succinate-CoA Ligases
  • O-succinylbenzoate - CoA ligase