The GTPase cycle of Rab/Ypt proteins is strictly controlled by several classes of regulators to ensure their proper roles in membrane traffic. GDP dissociation inhibitor (GDI) is known to play essential roles in regulating nucleotide states and subcellular localizations of Rab/Ypt proteins. To obtain further knowledge on this regulator molecule in plants, we isolated and characterized two genes of Arabidopsis thaliana that encode different GDIs. AtGDI1 has been identified by a novel functional cloning in yeast and AtGDI2 was isolated by cross-hybridization in this study. AtGDI2, as well as AtGDI1, complements the yeast sec19/gdi1 mutant, indicating that they can replace the function of yeast GDI. Evidence is shown that both AtGDI1 and AtGDI2 can interact with Ara4, an Arabdopsis Rab protein, in the yeast ypt1 mutant cells. AtGDI2 is ubiquitously expressed in Arabidopsis tissues with some difference from AtGDI1 in expression level. Genomic DNA hybridization using specific probes reveals the presence of one more GDI gene in Arabidopsis. This may imply differentiated roles of GDI in higher plants.
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