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Higher plants share with animals a responsiveness to the Ca(2+) mobilizing agents inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP(3)) and cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR). In this study, by using a vesicular (45)Ca(2+) flux assay, we demonstrate that microsomal vesicles from red beet and cauliflower also respond to nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP), a Ca(2+)-releasing molecule recently described in marine invertebrates. NAADP potently mobilizes Ca(2+) with a K(1/2) = 96 nM from microsomes of nonvacuolar origin in red beet. Analysis of sucrose gradient-separated cauliflower microsomes revealed that the NAADP-sensitive Ca(2+) pool was derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. This exclusively nonvacuolar location of the NAADP-sensitive Ca(2+) pathway distinguishes it from the InsP(3)- and cADPR-gated pathways. Desensitization experiments revealed that homogenates derived from cauliflower tissue contained low levels of NAADP (125 pmol/mg) and were competent in NAADP synthesis when provided with the substrates NADP and nicotinic acid. NAADP-induced Ca(2+) release is insensitive to heparin and 8-NH(2)-cADPR, specific inhibitors of the InsP(3)- and cADPR-controlled mechanisms, respectively. However, NAADP-induced Ca(2+) release could be blocked by pretreatment with a subthreshold dose of NAADP, as previously observed in sea urchin eggs. Furthermore, the NAADP-gated Ca(2+) release pathway is independent of cytosolic free Ca(2+) and therefore incapable of operating Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release. In contrast to the sea urchin system, the NAADP-gated Ca(2+) release pathway in plants is not blocked by L-type channel antagonists. The existence of multiple Ca(2+) mobilization pathways and Ca(2+) release sites might contribute to the generation of stimulus-specific Ca(2+) signals in plant cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A

Publication Date





8693 - 8698


Brassica, Calcium, Chenopodiaceae, Endoplasmic Reticulum, Rough, Intracellular Membranes, Microsomes, NADP, Plant Roots