Tissue specific expression and in-silico characterization of a putative cysteine synthase gene from Lathyrus sativus L.

Saikat Chakraborty, Joy Mitra, Milan Kumar Samanta, Narattam Sikdar, Jagannath Bhattacharyya, Anulina Manna, Subrata Pradhan, Anirban Chakraborty, Bikas Ranjan Pati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Grass pea (Lathyrus sativus L.) is a worldwide popular pulse crop especially for its protein rich seeds with least production cost. However, the use of the crop became controversial due to the presence of non-protein amino acid, β-N-oxalyl-L-α β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP) in its seed and leaf, which is known as the principle neurotoxin to cause neurolathyrism (a motor neurodegenerative disease of humans and animals) during prolonged consumption as regular diet. Till date, the knowledge on β-ODAP biosynthesis in Lathyrus sp. is limited only to a small part of the complex bio-chemical steps involved including a few known sulfur-containing enzymes (viz. cysteine synthase, ODAP synthase etc.). In Lathyrus sativus, biosynthesis of β-ODAP varies differentially in a tissue-specific manner as well as in response to several environmental stresses viz. zinc deficiency, iron over-exposure, moisture stress etc. In the present study, a novel cysteine synthase gene (LsCSase) from Lathyrus sativus L was identified and characterized through bioinformatics approaches. The bioinformatic analysis revealed that LsCSase showed maximum similarity with the O-acetyl serine (thiol) lyase of Medicago truncatula with respect to several significant sequence-specific conserved motifs (cysK, CBS like, ADH_zinc_N, PALP), sub-cellular localization (chloroplast or cytoplasm) etc., similar to other members of cysteine synthase protein family. Moreover, the tissue-specific regulation of the LsCSase as well as its transcriptional activation under certain previously reported stressed conditions (low Zn+2-high Fe+2, PEG induced osmotic stress) were also documented through quantitative real-time PCR analyses, suggesting a possible link between the LsCSase gene activation and β-ODAP biosynthesis to manage external stresses in grass pea. This preliminary study offers a probable way towards the development of less toxic consumer-safe grass pea by down-regulation or deactivation of such gene/s (cysteine synthase) through genetic manipulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalGene Expression Patterns
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Cysteine synthase
  • L. sativus
  • Neurolathyrism
  • Real-time PCR
  • Seedling stage
  • β-ODAP
  • β-ODAP biosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology


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