We have previously shown that phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) is phosphorylated in vivo in the cotyledons of darkened cucumber seedlings and that phosphorylation is reversed by light [Walker and Leegood (1995) FEBS Lett. 362, 70–74]. In this study the molecular mass of PEPCK was estimated in a range of gluconeogenic seedlings and in leaves of C4 plants and plants with Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Phosphorylation of PEPCK was studied in these plants by feeding tissues with [32P]Pi and assessing phosphorylation by SDS/PAGE and autoradiography of either total proteins or of immunoprecipitated protein. In gluconeogenic seedlings and most CAM plants PEPCK had a molecular mass of 74 kDa, whereas in C4 grasses the molecular mass of PEPCK was always smaller and varied from 67–71 kDa. In all gluconeogenic seedlings and leaves of CAM plants PEPCK was phosphorylated, but it was not phosphorylated in all species of C4 grasses studied. In CAM plants, phosphorylation of PEPCK occurred at night and dephosphorylation occurred during the day. In C4 grasses phosphorylation occurred when leaves were darkened and the enzyme was dephosphorylated following illumination, but it was only phosphorylated in those plants with larger (71 kDa) molecular mass forms of PEPCK
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