Computational analysis of the glutamate receptor gene family of <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>

2016-09-15T23:43:05Z (GMT) by Bidhan Chandra Roy Ashutosh Mukherjee
<p>Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) function as glutamate-activated ion channels in rapid synaptic transmission in animals. <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> possess 20 glutamate receptor-like genes (AtGLRs) in its genome which are involved in many functions including light signal transduction and calcium homeostasis. However, little is known about the physico-chemical, functional and structural properties of AtGLRs. In this study, glutamate receptor-like genes of <i>A. thaliana</i> have been studied <i>in silico</i>. Exon–intron structures revealed common origin of majority of these genes. The presence of several phosphorylation and myristoilation sites indicate the involvement of AtGLRs in various signaling processes. Gene ontology analysis showed the participation of AtGLRs in various biological processes including different stress responses. In two genes namely AT2G17260 and AT4G35290, presence of RAV1-A binding site motif in the promoter coupled with results from gene ontology annotation indicate their role in stomatal movement through abscisic acid signaling. Expression analysis showed differential expression of several tandemly arranged genes which indicates neo or sub-functionalization. Two genes namely AT5G48400 and AT5G48410 showed significantly more expression in response to <i>Botrytis cinerea</i> infection. Five of these genes have shown G-protein-coupled γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor activity indicating a possible interaction between AtGLRs and GABA. Structurally, all of them were similar while differences were found regarding electrostatic surfaces as well as surface hydrophobicity. Results of this study provide a comprehensive reference regarding AtGLRs for further analysis regarding the structure, function, and evolution of the glutamate receptors in plants.</p>