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Publikation

Ziegler, J., Qwegwer, J., Schubert, M., Erickson, J.L., Schattat, M., Bürstenbinder, K., Grubb, C.D. & Abel, S. Simultaneous analysis of apolar phytohormones and 1-aminocyclopropan-1-carboxylic acid by high performance liquid chromatography/electrospray negative ion tandem mass spectrometry via 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride derivatization J Chromatogr A 1362, 102-109, (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.chroma.2014.08.029

A strategy to detect and quantify the polar ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropan-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) along with the more apolar phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA), indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), jasmonic acid (JA), jasmonic acid-isoleucine conjugate (JA-Ile), 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), trans-zeatin, and trans-zeatin 9-riboside using a single extraction is presented. Solid phase resins commonly employed for extraction of phytohormones do not allow the recovery of ACC. We circumvent this problem by attaching an apolar group to ACC via derivatization with the amino group specific reagent 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride (Fmoc-Cl). Derivatization in the methanolic crude extract does not modify other phytohormones. The derivatized ACC could be purified and detected together with the more apolar phytohormones using common solid phase extraction resins and reverse phase HPLC/electrospray negative ion tandem mass spectrometry. The limit of detection was in the low nanomolar range for all phytohormones, a sensitivity sufficient to accurately determine the phytohormone levels from less than 50 mg (fresh weight) of Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana tissues. Comparison with previously published phytohormone levels and the reported changes in phytohormone levels after stress treatments confirmed the accuracy of the method.

Publikation

Kopycki, J., Wieduwild, E., Kohlschmidt, J., Brandt, W., Stepanova, A.N., Alonso, J.M., Pedras, M.S., Abel, S. & Grubb, C.D. Kinetic analysis of Arabidopsis glucosyltransferase UGT74B1 illustrates a general mechanism by which enzymes can escape product inhibition Biochem J 450, 37-46, (2013) DOI: 10.1042/BJ20121403

Plant genomes encode numerous small molecule glycosyltransferases which modulate the solubility, activity, immunogenicity and/or reactivity of hormones, xenobiotics and natural products. The products of these enzymes can accumulate to very high concentrations, yet somehow avoid inhibiting their own biosynthesis. Glucosyltransferase UGT74B1 (UDP-glycosyltransferase 74B1) catalyses the penultimate step in the core biosynthetic pathway of glucosinolates, a group of natural products with important functions in plant defence against pests and pathogens. We found that mutation of the highly conserved Ser284 to leucine [wei9-1 (weak ethylene insensitive)] caused only very mild morphological and metabolic phenotypes, in dramatic contrast with knockout mutants, indicating that steady state glucosinolate levels are actively regulated even in unchallenged plants. Analysis of the effects of the mutation via a structural modelling approach indicated that the affected serine interacts directly with UDP-glucose, but also predicted alterations in acceptor substrate affinity and the kcat value, sparking an interest in the kinetic behaviour of the wild-type enzyme. Initial velocity and inhibition studies revealed that UGT74B1 is not inhibited by its glycoside product. Together with the effects of the missense mutation, these findings are most consistent with a partial rapid equilibrium ordered mechanism. This model explains the lack of product inhibition observed both in vitro and in vivo, illustrating a general mechanism whereby enzymes can continue to function even at very high product/precursor ratios.

Publikation

Flores, R., Grubb, C.D., Elleuch, A., Nohales, M.A, Delgado, S. & Gago, S. Rolling-circle replication of viroids, viroid-like satellite RNAs and hepatitis delta virus RNA Biol 8(2), 200-206, (2011)

Viroids and viroid-like satellite RNAs from plants, and the human hepatitis delta virus (HDV) RNA share some properties that include small size, circularity and replication through a rolling-circle mechanism. Replication occurs in different cell compartments (nucleus, chloroplast and membrane-associated cytoplasmatic vesicles) and has three steps: RNA polymerization, cleavage and ligation. The first step generates oligomeric RNAs that result from the reiterative transcription of the circular templates of one or both polarities, and is catalyzed by either the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the helper virus on which viroid-like satellite RNAs are functionally dependent, or by host DNA-dependent RNA polymerases that, remarkably, viroids and HDV redirect to transcribe RNA templates. Cleavage is mediated by host enzymes in certain viroids and viroid-like satellite RNAs, while in others and in HDV is mediated by cis-acting ribozymes of three classes. Ligation appears to be catalyzed mainly by host enzymes. Replication most likely also involves many other non-catalytic proteins of host origin and, in HDV, the single virus-encoded protein.

Publikation

Grubb, C.D. & Abel, S. Glucosinolate metabolism and its control Trends in Plant Science 11, 89 - 100, (2006) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2005.12.006

Glucosinolates and their associated degradation products have long been recognized for their distinctive benefits to human nutrition and plant defense. Because most of the structural genes of glucosinolate metabolism have been identified and functionally characterized in Arabidopsis thaliana, current research increasingly focuses on questions related to the regulation of glucosinolate synthesis, distribution and degradation as well as to the feasibility of engineering customized glucosinolate profiles. Here, we highlight recent progress in glucosinolate research, with particular emphasis on the biosynthetic pathway and its metabolic relationships to auxin homeostasis. We further discuss emerging insight into the signaling networks and regulatory proteins that control glucosinolate accumulation during plant development and in response to environmental challenge.

Publikation

Grubb, C.D., Zipp, J.P., Ludwig-Müller, J., Masuno, M.N., Molinski, T.F. & Abel, S. Arabidopsis glucosyltransferase UGT74B1 functions in glucosinolate biosynthesis and auxin homeostasis Plant J 40, 893-908, (2004)

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Publikation

Wang, Q., Grubb, C.D. & Abel, S. Direct analysis of single leaf disks for chemopreventive glucosinolates Phytochem Anal 13, 152 - 157, (2002) DOI: 10.1002/pca.636

Natural isothiocyanates, produced during plant tissue damage from methionine-derived glucosinolates, are potent inducers of mammalian phase 2 detoxification enzymes such as quinone reductase (QR). A greatly simplified bioassay for glucosinolates based on induction and colorimetric detection of QR activity in murine hepatoma cells is described. It is demonstrated that excised leaf disks of Arabidopsis thaliana (ecotype Columbia) can directly and reproducibly substitute for cell-free leaf extracts as inducers of murine QR, which reduces sample preparation to a minimum and maximizes throughput. A comparison of 1 and 3 mm diameter leaf disks indicated that QR inducer potency was proportional to disk circumference (extent of tissue damage) rather than to area. When compared to the QR inducer potency of the corresponding amount of extract, 1 mm leaf disks were equally effective, whereas 3 mm disks were 70% as potent. The QR inducer potency of leaf disks correlated positively with the content of methionine-derived glucosinolates, as shown by the analysis of wild-type plants and mutant lines with lower or higher glucosinolate content. Thus, the microtitre plate-based assay of single leaf disks provides a robust and inexpensive visual method for rapidly screening large numbers of plants in mapping populations or mutant collections and may be applicable to other glucosinolate-producing species.

Publikation

Grubb, C.D., Gross, H.B., Chen, D.L. & Abel, S. Identification of Arabidopsis mutants with altered glucosinolate profiles based on isothiocyanate bioactivity Plant Sci 162, 143 - 152, (2002) DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9452(01)00550-7

Glucosinolates are a diverse class of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing secondary metabolites. They are rapidly hydrolyzed on tissue disruption to a number of biologically active compounds that are increasingly attracting interest as anticarcinogenic phytochemicals and crop protectants. Several glucosinolate-derived isothiocyanates are potent chemopreventive agents that favorably modulate carcinogen metabolism in mammals. Methylsulfinylalkyl isothiocyanates, in particular the 4-methylsulfinylbutyl derivative, are selective and potent inducers of mammalian detoxification enzymes such as quinone reductase (QR). Cruciferous plants including Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyhn, synthesize methylsulfinylalkyl glucosinolates, which are derived from methionine. Using a colorimetric assay for QR activity in murine hepatoma cells and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of desulfoglucosinolates, we have demonstrated a strong positive correlation between leaf QR inducer potency and leaf content of methionine-derived glucosinolates in various A. thaliana ecotypes and available glucosinolate mutants. In a molecular genetic approach to glucosinolate biosynthesis, we screened 3000 chemically mutagenized M2 plants of the Columbia ecotype for altered leaf QR inducer potency. Subsequent HPLC analysis of progeny of putative mutants identified six lines with significant and heritable changes in leaf glucosinolate content and composition.

Publikation

Gross, H.B., Dalebout, T., Grubb, C.D. & Abel, S. Functional detection of chemopreventive glucosinolates in Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Science 159, 265 - 272, (2000)

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