Stereo-Specific Transcript Regulation of the Polyamine Biosynthesis Genes by Enantiomers of Ornithine in Tobacco Cell Culture


1 Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Basic Sciences, University of Zabol, Zabol, Iran

3 Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



Background: Ornithine (Orn) plays an essential role in the metabolism of plant cells through incorporation in polyamines biosynthesis, the urea cycle and nitrogen metabolism. Physiological response of the plant cells to its two enantiomers have not been widely investigated yet.
Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate effect of ornithine enantiomers on expression of certain polyamine (PAs) biosynthetic genes in tobacco cells.
Materials and Methods: Suspension-cultured tobacco cells were treated with different concentrations of L- and D- Orn for 24 h. Cell viability was assayed by Evans Blue and hydrogen peroxide content. The changes of gene expression were analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR.
Results: Exogenous D-Orn resulted in enhancement of expression of genes involved in Orn, arginine and S-adenosyl methionine metabolism. Additionally, exogenous D-Orn treatment resulted in sustained viability of cultured tobacco cells and normal levels of hydrogen peroxide were maintained. Supplied L-Orn increased the hydrogen peroxide level and lowered viability of cells. Treatment with L-Orn had a negative effect on the transcript levels for most analyzed PA-related genes. It was also illustrated that transcription of putrescine methyl transferase, key enzyme for nicotine production, was highly upregulated by L-Orn.
Conclusions: Based on the results, D-Orn was shown to have a stereo-selective function in regulation of the PAs-related genes.