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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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Trempel, F.; Kajiura, H.; Ranf, S.; Grimmer, J.; Westphal, L.; Zipfel, C.; Scheel, D.; Fujiyama, K.; Lee, J. Altered glycosylation of exported proteins, including surface immune receptors, compromises calcium and downstream signaling responses to microbe-associated molecular patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana BMC Plant Biol 16, 31, (2016) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0718-3

BackgroundCalcium, as a second messenger, transduces extracellular signals into cellular reactions. A rise in cytosolic calcium concentration is one of the first plant responses after exposure to microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). We reported previously the isolation of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with a “changed calcium elevation” (cce) response to flg22, a 22-amino-acid MAMP derived from bacterial flagellin.ResultsHere, we characterized the cce2 mutant and its weaker allelic mutant, cce3. Besides flg22, the mutants respond with a reduced calcium elevation to several other MAMPs and a plant endogenous peptide that is proteolytically processed from pre-pro-proteins during wounding. Downstream defense-related events such flg22-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, accumulation of reactive oxygen species and growth arrest are also attenuated in cce2/cce3. By genetic mapping, next-generation sequencing and allelism assay, CCE2/CCE3 was identified to be ALG3 (Asparagine-linked glycosylation 3). This encodes the α-1,3-mannosyltransferase responsible for the first step of core oligosaccharide Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 glycan assembly on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) luminal side. Complementation assays and glycan analysis in yeast alg3 mutant confirmed the reduced enzymatic function of the proteins encoded by the cce2/cce3 alleles – leading to accumulation of M5ER, the immature five mannose-containing oligosaccharide structure found in the ER. Proper protein glycosylation is required for ER/Golgi processing and trafficking of membrane proteins to the plasma membrane. Endoglycosidase H-insensitivity of flg22 receptor, FLS2, in the cce2/cce3 mutants suggests altered glycan structures in the receptor.ConclusionProper glycosylation of MAMP receptors (or other exported proteins) is required for optimal responses to MAMPs and is important for immune signaling of host plants.

Chen, S.; Wirthmueller, L.; Stauber, J.; Lory, N.; Holtkotte, X.; Leson, L.; Schenkel, C.; Ahmad, M.; Hoecker, U. The functional divergence between SPA1 and SPA2 in Arabidopsis photomorphogenesis maps primarily to the respective N-terminal kinase-like domain BMC Plant Biol 16, 165, (2016) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0854-9

BackgroundPlants have evolved complex mechanisms to adapt growth and development to the light environment. The COP1/SPA complex is a key repressor of photomorphogenesis in dark-grown Arabidopsis plants and acts as an E3 ubiquitin ligase to ubiquitinate transcription factors involved in the light response. In the light, COP1/SPA activity is inhibited by photoreceptors, thereby allowing accumulation of these transcription factors and a subsequent light response. Previous results have shown that the four members of the SPA family exhibit partially divergent functions. In particular, SPA1 and SPA2 strongly differ in their responsiveness to light, while they have indistinguishable activities in darkness. The much higher light-responsiveness of SPA2 is partially explained by the much stronger light-induced degradation of SPA2 when compared to SPA1. Here, we have conducted SPA1/SPA2 domain swap experiments to identify the protein domain(s) responsible for the functional divergence between SPA1 and SPA2.ResultsWe have individually swapped the three domains between SPA1 and SPA2 - the N-terminal kinase-like domain, the coiled-coil domain and the WD-repeat domain - and expressed them in spa mutant Arabidopsis plants. The phenotypes of transgenic seedlings show that the respective N-terminal kinase-like domain is primarily responsible for the respective light-responsiveness of SPA1 and SPA2. Furthermore, the most divergent part of the N-terminal domain was sufficient to confer a SPA1- or SPA2-like activity to the respective SPA protein. The stronger light-induced degradation of SPA2 when compared to SPA1 was also primarily conferred by the SPA2 N-terminal domain. At last, the different affinities of SPA1 and SPA2 for cryptochrome 2 are defined by the N-terminal domain of the respective SPA protein. In contrast, both SPA1 and SPA2 similarly interacted with COP1 in light-grown seedlings.ConclusionsOur results show that the distinct activities and protein stabilities of SPA1 and SPA2 in light-grown seedlings are primarily encoded by their N-terminal kinase-like domains. Similarly, the different affinities of SPA1 and SPA2 for cry2 are explained by their respective N-terminal domain. Hence, after a duplication event during evolution, the N-terminal domains of SPA1 and SPA2 underwent subfunctionalization, possibly to allow optimal adaptation of growth and development to a changing light environment.

Ranf, S.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Fröhlich, K.; Westphal, L.; Scheel, D.; Lee, J. Microbe-associated molecular pattern-induced calcium signaling requires the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases, PBL1 and BIK1 BMC Plant Biol 14, 374, (2014) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-014-0374-4

BackgroundPlant perception of conserved microbe-derived or damage-derived molecules (so-called microbe- or damage-associated molecular patterns, MAMPs or DAMPs, respectively) triggers cellular signaling cascades to initiate counteracting defence responses. Using MAMP-induced rise in cellular calcium levels as one of the earliest biochemical readouts, we initiated a genetic screen for components involved in early MAMP signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana.ResultsWe characterized here the “changed calcium elevation 5” (cce5) mutant, where five allelic cce5 mutants were isolated. They all show reduced calcium levels after elicitation with peptides representing bacteria-derived MAMPs (flg22 and elf18) and endogenous DAMP (AtPep1), but a normal response to chitin octamers. Mapping, sequencing of the mutated locus and complementation studies revealed CCE5 to encode the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (RLCK), avrPphB sensitive 1-like 1 (PBL1). Kinase activities of PBL1 derived from three of the cce5 alleles are abrogated in vivo. Validation with T-DNA mutants revealed that, besides PBL1, another RLCK, Botrytis-induced kinase 1 (BIK1), is also required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium elevations.ConclusionsHence, PBL1 and BIK1 (but not two related RLCKs, PBS1 and PBL2) are required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium signaling. It remains to be investigated if the many other RLCKs encoded in the Arabidopsis genome affect early calcium signal transduction – perhaps in dependence on the type of MAMP/DAMP ligands. A future challenge would be to identify the substrates of these various RLCKs, in order to elucidate their signaling role between the receptor complexes at the plasma membrane and downstream cellular signaling components.

Brunner, F.; Rosahl, S.; Lee, J.; Rudd, J.J.; Geiler, C.; Kauppinen, S.; Rasmussen, G.; Scheel, D.; Nürnberger, T. Pep-13, a plant defense-inducing pathogen-associated pattern from <em>Phytophthora transglutaminases</em> EMBO J 21, 6681-6688, (2002)

Innate immunity, an ancient form of defense against microbial infection, is well described for animals and is also suggested to be important for plants. Discrimination from self is achieved through receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) not found in the host. PAMPs are evolutionarily conserved structures which are functionally important and, thus, not subject to frequent mutation. Here we report that the previously described peptide elicitor of defense responses in parsley, Pep-13, constitutes a surface-exposed fragment within a novel calcium-dependent cell wall transglutaminase (TGase) from Phytophthora sojae. TGase transcripts and TGase activity are detectable in all Phytophthora species analyzed, among which are some of the most destructive plant pathogens. Mutational analysis within Pep-13 identified the same amino acids indispensable for both TGase and defense-eliciting activity. Pep-13, conserved among Phytophthora TGases, activates defense in parsley and potato, suggesting its function as a genus-specific recognition determinant for the activation of plant defense in host and non-host plants. In summary, plants may recognize PAMPs with characteristics resembling those known to trigger innate immune responses in animals.
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