Sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS; E.C. is the plant enzyme thought to play a major role in sucrose biosynthesis. In photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic tissues, SPS is regulated by metabolites and by reversible protein phosphorylation. In leaves, phosphorylation modulates SPS activity in response to light/dark signals and end-product accumulation. SPS is phosphorylated on multiple seryl residues in vivo, and the major regulatory phosphorylation site involved is Ser158 in spinach leaves and Ser162 in maize leaves. Regulation of the enzymatic activity of SPS appears to involve calcium, metabolites, and novel “coarse” control of the protein phosphatase that activates SPS. Activation of SPS also occurs during osmotic stress of leaf tissue in darkness, which may function to facilitate sucrose formation for osmoregulation. Manipulation of SPS expression in vivo confirms the role of this enzyme in the control of sucrose biosynthesis.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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