The soybean vegetative storage proteins VSP alpha and VSP beta are acid phosphatases active on polyphosphates. Academic Article uri icon


  • The soybean vegetative storage protein genes (vspA, and vspB) are regulated in a complex manner developmentally and in response to external stimuli such as wounding and water deficit. The proteins accumulate to almost one-half the amount of soluble leaf protein when soybean plants are continually depodded and have been identified as storage proteins because of their abundance and pattern of expression in plant tissues. We have shown that purified VSP homodimers (VSP alpha and VSP beta) and heterodimers (VSP alpha/beta) possess acid phosphatase activity (alpha = 0.3-0.4 units/mg; beta = 2-4 units/mg; alpha/beta = 7-10 units/mg). Specific activities were determined by monitoring o-carboxyphenyl phosphate (0.7 mM) cleavage at pH 5.5 (VSP alpha) or pH 5.0 (VSP alpha/beta and VSP beta) in 0.15 M sodium acetate buffer at 25 degrees C. These enzymes are active over a broad pH range, maintaining greater than 40% of maximal activity from pH 4.0 to 6.5 and having maximal activity at pH 5.0-5.5. They are inactivated by sodium fluoride, sodium molybdate, and heating at 70 degrees C for 10 min. These phosphatases can liberate Pi from several different substrates, including napthyl acid phosphate, carboxyphenyl phosphate, sugar-phosphates, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate, dihydroxyacetone phosphate, phosphoenolpyruvate, ATP, ADP, PPi, and short chain polyphosphates. VSP alpha/beta cleaved phosphoenolpyruvate, ATP, ADP, PPi, and polyphosphates most efficiently. Apparent Km and Vmax values at 25 degrees C and pH 5.0 were 42 microM and 2.0 mumol/min/mg, 150 microM and 4.2 mumol/min/mg, and 420 microM and 4.1 mumol/min/mg, for tetrapolyphosphate, pyrophosphate, and phosphoenolpyruvate, respectively.

published proceedings

  • J Biol Chem

author list (cited authors)

  • DeWald, D. B., Mason, H. S., & Mullet, J. E.

citation count

  • 65

complete list of authors

  • DeWald, DB||Mason, HS||Mullet, JE

publication date

  • January 1992