Isopentenyl Phosphate Kinases are Ubiquitous and Copy Numbers are Conserved in Plant Genomes

Isopentenyl phosphate kinase (IPK) is a recently
discovered enzyme playing a key role in mevalonate
pathway in isoprenoid biosynthesis, while systematic
investigation of IPKs in plants is lack Here, through
genome-wide identification and analysis of IPKs, we
showed that IPKs gene are ubiquitously present in
plant genomes. All IPKs protein previously identified
had AAK (Amino Acid Kinase) domain. From 35 plant
species with genome assembly data available, we
extracted all AAK family members. Using OrthoMCL,
we identified a group of 37 sequences in which
Arabidopsis IPK protein was included. Further
analysis showed that each peptide sequence in
this group has a His residue which is a signature of
IPK enzyme, indicating that the genes in this group
were IPKs protein. Not like these in other domains
of life which showed spotty distribution over the tree
of life, virtually all plant genomes we analyzed here
had IPK genes. Further, copy numbers of IPKs gene
were very conserved in that no higher than 2 copies
remained in each plant genome. Plant IPKs formed
a distinctive clade in phylogenetic tree of plant
AAK gene family, and had a phylogenetic topology
conformed to that of plant species. Our results
indicate IPK plays important roles in plant physiology
and is conserved in plant evolution. The IPKs gene we
identified here would provide new molecular targets
for characterization of plant mevalonate pathway,
and shed light on biochemistry of plant isoprenoids


Ben Hu, Heng Yao, Yulong Gao, Ran Wang, Feng Li, Zefeng Li, Lifeng Jin and Yanxiang

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