Cytosolic calcium levels and stress induced y-amino butyrate synthesis in asparagus mesophyll cells
Cholewa, Ewa M.
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Numerous investigations have demonstrated large increases in y-amino butyrate (GABA) levels in response to a variety of stresses such as touch or cold shock (Wallace et ale 1984) Circumstantial evidence indicating a role of Ca2 + in these increases includes elevated Ca2+ levels in response to touch and cold shock (Knight et ale 1991), and the demonstration of a calmodulin binding domain on glutamate decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme responsible for GABA synthesis (Baum et al 1993) In the present study the possible role of Ca2+ and calmodulin in stimulation of GAD and subsequent GABA accumulation was examined using asparagus mesophyll cells. Images of cells loaded with the Ca2+ indicator Fluo-3 revealed a rapid and transient increase in cytosolic Ca2+ in response to cold shock. GABA levels increased by 106% within 15 min. of cold shock. This increase was inhibited 70% by the calmodulin antagonist W7, and 42% by the Ca2+ channel blocker La3+.. Artificial elevation of intracellular Ca2+ by the Ca2+ionophore A23187 resulted in an 61% increase in GABA levels. Stimulation of GABA synthesis by ABA resulted in an 83% increase in GABA levels which was inhibited 55% by W7. These results support the hypothesis that cold shock stimulates Ca2+ entry into the cytosol of the cells which results in Ca2+/calmodulin mediated activation of GAD and consequent GABA synthesis.