Quality Protein Maize (QPM) is a hard-endosperm version of the high-lysine opaque2 (o2) maize (Zea mays) mutant, but the genes involved in modification of the soft o2 endosperm are largely unknown. Pyrophosphate-dependent fructose-6-phosphate 1-phosphotransferase (PFP) catalyzes the ATP-independent conversion of fructose-6-phosphate to fructose-1,6-bisphosphate in glycolysis. We found a large increase in transcript and protein levels of the a-regulatory subunit of PFP (PFPa) in QPM endosperm. In vitro enzyme assays showed a significant increase in forward PFP activity in developing endosperm extracts of QPM relative to the wild type and o2. An expressed retrogene version of PFPa of unknown function that was not up-regulated in QPM was also identified. The elevated expression levels of a number of ATP-requiring heat shock proteins (Hsps) in o2 endosperm are ameliorated in QPM. PFPa is also coinduced with Hsps in maize roots in response to heat, cold, and the unfolded protein response stresses. We propose that reduced ATP availability resulting from the generalized Hsp response in addition to the reduction of pyruvate, orthophosphate dikinase activity in o2 endosperm is compensated in part by increased PFP activity in QPM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science