[Yuki Nakamura] “non-toxic” role of a “toxic” enzyme

A research team led by Dr. Nakamura discovered that NPC2 and NPC6, a pair of bacterial toxin-like phospholipases C found only in bacteria and seed plants, produce phosphocholine (PCho) from membrane phospholipids to promote root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. PCho is an emerging root growth-promoting factor, which is produced by methyltransferase activity. Thus, our results reveal a new pathway for PCho production catalyzed by the NPCs, highlighting a “non-toxic” role of a “toxic” enzyme activity. The results may contribute to the understanding of root growth, an important agronomic trait.

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