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The 4 Arabidopsis Choline/Ethanolamine Kinase Isozymes Play Distinct Roles in Metabolism and Development.

  • Lin, Ying-Chen1
  • Araguirang, Galileo Estopare1
  • Ngo, Anh Hai1
  • Lin, Kui-Ting1
  • Angkawijaya, Artik Elisa1
  • Nakamura, Yuki2
  • 1 Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica CITY: Taipei Taiwan. , (Taiwan)
  • 2 Academia Sinica CITY: Taipei POSTAL_CODE: 11529 Taiwan [email protected] , (Taiwan)
Published Article
Plant physiology
Publication Date
Mar 23, 2020
DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.01399
PMID: 32205454


Phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine are 2 major phospholipid classes in eukaryotes. Each biosynthesis pathway starts with the phosphorylation of choline (Cho) or ethanolamine (Etn) catalyzed by either choline or ethanolamine kinase (CEK). Arabidopsis contains 4 CEK isoforms but their isozyme-specific roles in metabolism and development are poorly described. Here, we showed that these 4 CEKs have distinct substrate specificities in vitro. While CEK1 and CEK2 showed substrate preference for choline over ethanolamine, CEK3 and CEK4 had a clear substrate specificity for choline or ethanolamine, respectively. In vivo, CEK1, CEK2, and CEK3 exhibited kinase activity for choline but not ethanolamine, although the latter 2 isoforms showed rather minor contributions to total choline kinase activity in both shoots and roots. The knockout mutants of CEK2 and CEK3 both affected root growth, and these isoforms had non-overlapping cell-type-specific expression patterns in the root meristematic zone. In-depth phenotype analysis, as well as chemical and genetic complementation, revealed that CEK3, a choline-specific kinase, is involved in cell elongation during root development. Phylogenetic analysis of CEK orthologs in Brassicaceae species showed evolutionary divergence between Etn kinases and Cho kinases. Collectively, our results demonstrate the distinct roles of the 4 CEK isoforms in choline/ethanolamine metabolism and plant development. {copyright, serif} 2020 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

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