Glutathione peroxidases (Gpxs) are antioxidant enzymes not studied so far in legume nodules, despite the fact that reactive oxygen species are produced at different steps of the symbiosis. The function of two Gpxs that are highly expressed in nodules of the model legume Lotus japonicus was examined. Gene expression analysis, enzymatic and nitrosylation assays, yeast cell complementation, in situ mRNA hybridization, immunoelectron microscopy, and LjGpx-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions were used to characterize the enzymes and to localize each transcript and isoform in nodules. The LjGpx1 and LjGpx3 genes encode thioredoxin-dependent phospholipid hydroperoxidases and are differentially regulated in response to nitric oxide (NO) and hormones. LjGpx1 and LjGpx3 are nitrosylated in vitro or in plants treated with S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO). Consistent with the modification of the peroxidatic cysteine of LjGpx3, in vitro assays demonstrated that this modification results in enzyme inhibition. The enzymes are highly expressed in the infected zone, but the LjGpx3 mRNA is also detected in the cortex and vascular bundles. LjGpx1 is localized to the plastids and nuclei, and LjGpx3 to the cytosol and endoplasmic reticulum. Based on yeast complementation experiments, both enzymes protect against oxidative stress, salt stress, and membrane damage. It is concluded that both LjGpxs perform major antioxidative functions in nodules, preventing lipid peroxidation and other oxidative processes at different subcellular sites of vascular and infected cells. The enzymes are probably involved in hormone and NO signalling, and may be regulated through nitrosylation of the peroxidatic cysteine essential for catalytic function.
Keywords: Antioxidants; Lotus japonicus; S-nitrosylation.; glutathione peroxidases; legume nodules; nitric oxide; reactive oxygen species.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.