Change in expression levels of NAD kinase-encoding genes in Flaveria species

J Plant Physiol. 2021 Oct:265:153495. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2021.153495. Epub 2021 Aug 12.


Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotides (NAD(H)) and NAD phosphates (NADP(H)) are electron carriers involved in redox reactions and metabolic processes in all organisms. NAD kinase (NADK) is the only enzyme that phosphorylates NAD+ into NADP+, using ATP as a phosphate donor. In NADP-dependent malic enzyme (NADP-ME)-type C4 photosynthesis, NADP(H) are required for dehydrogenation by NADP-dependent malate dehydrogenase (NADP-MDH) in mesophyll cells, and decarboxylation by NADP-ME in bundle sheath cells. In this study, we identified five NADK genes (FbNADK1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 3) from the C4 model species Flaveria bidentis. RNA-Seq database analysis revealed higher transcript abundance in one of the chloroplast-type NADK2 genes of C4F. bidentis (FbNADK2a). Comparative analysis of NADK activity in leaves of C3, C3-C4, and C4Flaveria showed that C4Flaveria (F. bidentis and F. trinervia) had higher NADK activity than the other photosynthetic-types of Flaveria. Taken together, our results suggest that chloroplastic NAD kinase appeared to increase in importance as C3 plants evolved into C4 plants in the genus Flaveria.

Keywords: C(4) photosynthesis; Flaveria; NAD kinase; NAD(P) (H).

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chloroplasts / enzymology*
  • Chloroplasts / genetics*
  • Flaveria / enzymology*
  • Flaveria / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • NADP / genetics
  • NADP / metabolism*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / genetics*
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor) / metabolism*


  • NADP
  • Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor)