In search of monocot phosphodiesterases: Identification of a calmodulin stimulated phosphodiesterase from brachypodium distachyon

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In plants, rapid and reversible biological responses to environmental cues may require complex cellular reprograming. This is enabled by signaling molecules such as the cyclic nucleotide monophosphates (cNMPs) cAMP and cGMP, as well as Ca2+. While the roles and synthesis of cAMP and cGMP in plants are increasingly well-characterized, the “off signal” afforded by cNMP-degrad-ing enzymes, the phosphodiesterases (PDEs), is, however, poorly understood, particularly so in monocots. Here, we identified a candidate PDE from the monocot Brachypodium distachyon (BDPDE1) and showed that it can hydrolyze cNMPs to 5′NMPs but with a preference for cAMP over cGMP in vitro. Notably, the PDE activity was significantly enhanced by Ca2+ only in the presence of calmodulin (CaM), which interacts with BDPDE1, most likely at a predicted CaM-binding site. Finally, based on our biochemical, mutagenesis and structural analyses, we constructed a com-prehensive amino acid consensus sequence extracted from the catalytic centers of annotated and/or experimentally validated PDEs across species to enable a broad application of this search motif for the identification of similar active sites in eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences



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