Competitive Inhibition of Abscisic Acid-Regulated Gene Expression by Stereoisomeric Acetylenic Analogs of Abscisic Acid. Academic Article uri icon


  • The properties of two enantiomeric synthetic acetylenic abscisic acid (ABA) analogs (PBI-51 and PBI-63) in relation to ABA-sensitive gene expression are reported. Using microspore-derived embryos of Brassica napus as the biological material and their responsiveness to ABA in the expression of genes encoding storage proteins as a quantitative bioassay, we measured the biological activity of PBI-51 and PBI-63. Assays to evaluate agonistic activity of either compound applied individually showed a dose-dependent increase in napin gene expression on application of PBI-63. Maximal activity of about 40 [mu]M indicated that PBI-63 was an agonist, although somewhat weaker than ABA. PBI-63 has a similar stereochemistry to natural ABA at the junction of the ring and side chain. In contrast, PBI-51 showed no agonistic effects until applied at 40 to 50 [mu]M. Even then, the response was fairly weak. PBI-51 has the opposite stereochemistry to natural ABA at the junction of the ring and side chain. When applied concurrently with ABA, PBI-63 and PBI-51 had distinctly different properties. PBI-63 (40 [mu]M) and ABA (5 [mu]M) combined gave results similar to the application of either compound separately with high levels of induction of napin expression. PBI-51 displayed a reversible antagonistic effect with ABA, shifting the typical ABA dose-response curve by a factor of 4 to 5. This antagonism was noted for the expression of two ABA-sensitive genes, napin and oleosin. To test whether this antagonism was at the level of ABA recognition or uptake, ABA uptake was monitored in the presence of PBI-51 or PBI-63. Neither compound decreased ABA uptake. Treatments with either PBI-51 or PBI-63 showed an effect on endogenous ABA pools by permitting increases of 5- to 7-fold. It is hypothesized that this increase occurs because of competition for ABA catabolic enzymes by both compounds. The fact that ABA pools did not decrease in the presence of PBI-51 suggests that PBI-51 must exert its antagonistic properties through direct competition with ABA at a hormone-recognition site.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Wilen, R. W., Hays, D. B., Mandel, R. M., Abrams, S. R., & Moloney, M. M.

citation count

  • 37

complete list of authors

  • Wilen, RW||Hays, DB||Mandel, RM||Abrams, SR||Moloney, MM

publication date

  • February 1993