The GPAT4/6/8 clade functions in Arabidopsis root suberization nonredundantly with the GPAT5/7 clade required for suberin lamellae


Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2024 May 21;121(21):e2314570121. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2314570121. Epub 2024 May 13.


Lipid polymers such as cutin and suberin strengthen the diffusion barrier properties of the cell wall in specific cell types and are essential for water relations, mineral nutrition, and stress protection in plants. Land plant-specific glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferases (GPATs) of different clades are central players in cutin and suberin monomer biosynthesis. Here, we show that the GPAT4/6/8 clade in Arabidopsis thaliana, which is known to mediate cutin formation, is also required for developmentally regulated root suberization, in addition to the established roles of GPAT5/7 in suberization. The GPAT5/7 clade is mainly required for abscisic acid-regulated suberization. In addition, the GPAT5/7 clade is crucial for the formation of the typical lamellated suberin ultrastructure observed by transmission electron microscopy, as distinct amorphous globular polyester structures were deposited in the apoplast of the gpat5 gpat7 double mutant, in contrast to the thinner but still lamellated suberin deposition in the gpat4 gpat6 gpat8 triple mutant. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the intrinsic phosphatase activity of GPAT4, GPAT6, and GPAT8, which leads to monoacylglycerol biosynthesis, contributes to suberin formation. GPAT5/7 lack an active phosphatase domain and the amorphous globular polyester structure observed in the gpat5 gpat7 double mutant was partially reverted by treatment with a phosphatase inhibitor or the expression of phosphatase-dead variants of GPAT4/6/8. Thus, GPATs that lack an active phosphatase domain synthetize lysophosphatidic acids that might play a role in the formation of the lamellated structure of suberin. GPATs with active and nonactive phosphatase domains appear to have nonredundant functions and must cooperate to achieve the efficient biosynthesis of correctly structured suberin.

PMID:38739804 | DOI:10.1073/pnas.2314570121