Structural Analysis and Molecular Model of a Self-Incompatibility RNase from Wild Tomato Academic Article uri icon


  • Self-incompatibility RNases (S-RNases) are an allelic series of style glycoproteins associated with rejection of self-pollen in solanaceous plants. The nucleotide sequences of S-RNase alleles from several genera have been determined, but the structure of the gene products has only been described for those from Nicotiana alata. We report on the N-glycan structures and the disulfide bonding of the S3-RNase from wild tomato (Lycopersicon peruvianum) and use this and other information to construct a model of this molecule. The S3-RNase has a single N-glycosylation site (Asn-28) to which one of three N-glycans is attached. S3-RNase has seven Cys residues; six are involved in disulfide linkages (Cys-16-Cys-21, Cys-46-Cys-91, and Cys-166-Cys-177), and one has a free thiol group (Cys-150). The disulfide-bonding pattern is consistent with that observed in RNase Rh, a related RNase for which radiographic-crystallographic information is available. A molecular model of the S3-RNase shows that four of the most variable regions of the S-RNases are clustered on one surface of the molecule. This is discussed in the context of recent experiments that set out to determine the regions of the S-RNase important for recognition during the self-incompatibility response.


  • Parry, Simon
  • Newbigin, Ed
  • Craik, David
  • Nakamura, Kazuo T
  • Bacic, Antony
  • Oxley, David

publication date

  • February 1, 1998