The expression and accumulation of soybean vegetative-cell thiol protease is temporally and developmentally regulated

A. Kalinski, D. Rowley, R. S. Dwivedi, E. M. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Plants possess a salvage pathway in which proteins accumulated during prior developmental stages are catabolized and recycled as building blocks for new rounds of synthesis. Soybean leaves and pods accumulate vegetative storage proteins prior to and during reproductive stage that function as transient nitrogen resources. These proteins are mobilized to provide carbon and nitrogen for the synthesis of seed storage proteins during seed maturation. We have isolated two thiol protease cDNAs that correspond to the two isoforms that are expressed in soybean leaves and pods. Immunoblot analysis with an antipeptide antibody elicited against the 15 C-terminal amino acids of the leaf protease cross-react with an identical Mr polypeptide in leaves, pods, roots, flowers and cotyledons after 9 days of seedling growth. The distribution of the protease in various soybean organs indicates the thiol protease is a vegetative cell protease. The expression of the vegetative protease mRNA in soybean leaves occurs during leaf expansion but only after the loaves are sufficiently mature to undergo the sink to source transition. In contrast thiol protease gene expression in pods occurs throughout seed maturation. The leaves of podded and depodded soybean plants both express the thiol protease mRNAs, however depodding soybean plants partially represses thiol protease gene expression. The expression of the leaf protease is subject to temporal control with higher levels of expression occurring in the late afternoon in plants exposed to the ambient day/night cycle. The accumulation of the proteins encoded by the vegetative thiol protease mRNAs are likely to be responsible for amine acid salvage from vegetative storage protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-802
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997


  • Gene expression
  • Glycine max
  • Leaf-pod-soybean
  • Thiol protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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