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Publikationen - Molekulare Signalverarbeitung

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Goetz, S., Hellwege, A., Stenzel, I., Kutter, C., Hauptmann, V., Forner, S., Mc Caig, B., Hause, G., Miersch, O., Wasternack, C. & Hause, B. Role of cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid in tomato embryo development. Plant Physiol 158 (4), 1715-1727, (2012)

Oxylipins including jasmonates are signaling compounds in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) most mutants affected in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signaling are male sterile, whereas the JA-insensitive tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mutant jai1 is female sterile. The diminished seed formation in jai1 together with the ovule-specific accumulation of the JA biosynthesis enzyme allene oxide cyclase (AOC), which correlates with elevated levels of JAs, suggest a role of oxylipins in tomato flower/seed development. Here, we show that 35S::SlAOC-RNAi lines with strongly reduced AOC in ovules exhibited reduced seed set similarly to the jai1 plants. Investigation of embryo development of wild-type tomato plants showed preferential occurrence of AOC promoter activity and AOC protein accumulation in the developing seed coat and the embryo, whereas 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) was the dominant oxylipin occurring nearly exclusively in the seed coat tissues. The OPDA- and JA-deficient mutant spr2 was delayed in embryo development and showed an increased programmed cell death in the developing seed coat and endosperm. In contrast, the mutant acx1a, which accumulates preferentially OPDA and residual amount of JA, developed embryos similar to the wild type, suggesting a role of OPDA in embryo development. Activity of the residual amount of JA in the acx1a mutant is highly improbable since the known reproductive phenotype of the JA-insensitive mutant jai1 could be rescued by wound-induced formation of OPDA. These data suggest a role of OPDA or an OPDA-related compound for proper embryo development possibly by regulating carbohydrate supply and detoxification.


Gasperini, D., Greenland, A., Hedden, P., Dreos, R., Harwood, W. & Griffiths, S. Genetic and physiological analysis of Rht8 in bread wheat: an alternative source of semi-dwarfism with a reduced sensitivity to brassinosteroids.. In: J. Exp. Bot. 63, 4419-4436, (2012) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers138


Fellenberg, C., Ziegler, J., Handrick, V. & Vogt, T. Polyamine homeostasis in wild type and phenolamide deficient Arabidopsis thaliana stamens. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00180 3, 180, (2012)

Polyamines (PAs) like putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are ubiquitous polycationic molecules that occur in all living cells and have a role in a wide variety of biological processes. High amounts of spermidine conjugated to hydroxycinnamic acids are detected in the tryphine of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen grains. Tapetum localized spermidine hydroxycinnamic acid transferase (SHT) is essential for the biosynthesis of these anther specific tris-conjugated spermidine derivatives. Sht knockout lines show a strong reduction of hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs). The effect of HCAA-deficient anthers on the level of free PAs was measured by a new sensitive and reproducible method using 9-fluorenylmethyl chloroformate (FMOC) and fluorescence detection by HPLC. PA concentrations can be accurately determined even when very limited amounts of plant material, as in the case of A. thaliana stamens, are available. Analysis of free PAs in wild type stamens compared to sht deficient mutants and transcript levels of key PA biosynthetic genes revealed a highly controlled regulation of PA homeostasis in A. thaliana anthers.


Terrile, M.C., París, R., Calderón Villalobos, L.I., Iglesias, M.J., Lamattina, L., Estelle, M. & Casalongué, C.A. Nitric oxide influences auxin signaling through S-nitrosylation of the Arabidopsis TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE 1 auxin receptor. Plant J 70, 492-500, (2012) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04885.x.

Previous studies have demonstrated that auxin (indole-3-acetic acid) and nitric oxide (NO) are plant growth regulators that coordinate several plant physiological responses determining root architecture. Nonetheless, the way in which these factors interact to affect these growth and developmental processes is not well understood. The Arabidopsis thaliana F-box proteins TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE 1/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX (TIR1/AFB) are auxin receptors that mediate degradation of AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) repressors to induce auxin-regulated responses. A broad spectrum of NO-mediated protein modifications are known in eukaryotic cells. Here, we provide evidence that NO donors increase auxin-dependent gene expression while NO depletion blocks Aux/IAA protein degradation. NO also enhances TIR1-Aux/IAA interaction as evidenced by pull-down and two-hybrid assays. In addition, we provide evidence for NO-mediated modulation of auxin signaling through S-nitrosylation of the TIR1 auxin receptor. S-nitrosylation of cysteine is a redox-based post-translational modification that contributes to the complexity of the cellular proteome. We show that TIR1 C140 is a critical residue for TIR1Aux/IAA interaction and TIR1 function. These results suggest that TIR1 S-nitrosylation enhances TIR1Aux/IAA interaction, facilitating Aux/IAA degradation and subsequently promoting activation of gene expression. Our findings underline the importance of NO in phytohormone signaling pathways.

Bücher und Buchkapitel

Carbonell, A., Flores, R. & Gago, S. Hammerhead Ribozymes Against Virus and Viroid RNAs. In: From Nucleic Acids Sequences to Molecular Medicine (Erdmann, V. A., Barciszewski, J.). Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 411-427, (2012)


Janitza, P., Ullrich, K.K. & Quint, M. Towards a comprehensive phylogenetic reconstruction of the evolutionary history of mitogen-activated protein kinases in the plant kingdom Front. Plant Sci 3, 1-11, (2012)

The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a three-tier signaling cascade that transmits cellular information from the plasma membrane to the cytoplasm where it triggers downstream responses. The MAPKs represent the last step in this cascade and are activated when both tyrosine and threonine residues in a conserved TxY motif are phosphorylated by MAPK kinases, which in turn are themselves activated by phosphorylation by MAPK kinase kinases. To understand the molecular evolution of MAPKs in the plant kingdom, we systematically conducted a Hidden-Markov-Model based screen to identify MAPKs in 13 completely sequenced plant genomes. In this analysis, we included green algae, bryophytes, lycophytes, and several mono- and dicotyledonous species covering >800 million years of evolution. The phylogenetic relationships of the 204 identified MAPKs based on Bayesian inference facilitated the retraction of the sequence of emergence of the four major clades that are characterized by the presence of a TDY or TEY-A/TEY-B/TEY-C type kinase activation loop. We present evidence that after the split of TDY- and TEY-type MAPKs, initially the TEY-C clade emerged. This was followed by the TEY-B clade in early land plants until the TEY-A clade finally emerged in flowering plants. In addition to these well characterized clades, we identified another highly conserved clade of 45 MAPK-likes, members of which were previously described as MHKs. In agreement with their essential functions, molecular population genetic analysis of MAPK genes in Arabidopsis thaliana accessions reveal that purifying selection drove the evolution of the MAPK family, implying strong functional constraints on MAPK genes. Closely related MAPKs most likely subfunctionalized, a process in which differential transcriptional regulation of duplicates may be involved.


Stenzel, I., Ischebeck, T., Quint, M. & Heilmann, I. Variable regions of PI4P 5-kinases direct PtdIns(4,5)P2 towards alternative regulatory functions in tobacco pollen tubes Front. Plant Sci 2, 114, (2012)

The apical plasma membrane of pollen tubes contains different PI4P 5-kinases that all produce phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] but exert distinct cellular effects. In the present example, overexpression of Arabidopsis AtPIP5K5 or tobacco NtPIP5K6-1 caused growth defects previously attributed to increased pectin secretion. In contrast, overexpression of Arabidopsis AtPIP5K2 caused apical tip swelling implicated in altering actin fine structure in the pollen tube apex. AtPIP5K5, NtPIP5K6-1, and AtPIP5K2 share identical domain structures. Domains required for correct membrane association of the enzymes were identified by systematic deletion of N-terminal domains and subsequent expression of fluorescence-tagged enzyme truncations in tobacco pollen tubes. A variable linker region (Lin) contained in all PI4P 5-kinase isoforms of subfamily B, but not conserved in sequence, was recognized to be necessary for correct subcellular localization of AtPIP5K5, NtPIP5K6-1, and AtPIP5K2. Deletion of N-terminal domains including the Lin domain did not impair catalytic activity of recombinant AtPIP5K5, NtPIP5K6-1, or AtPIP5K2 in vitro; however, the presence of the Lin domain was necessary for in vivo effects on pollen tube growth upon overexpression of truncated enzymes. Overexpression of catalytically inactive variants of AtPIP5K5, NtPIP5K6-1, or AtPIP5K2 did not influence pollen tube growth, indicating that PtdIns(4,5)P2 production rather than structural properties of PI4P 5-kinases was relevant for the manifestation of growth phenotypes. When Lin domains were swapped between NtPIP5K6-1 and AtPIP5K2 and the chimeric enzymes overexpressed in pollen tubes, the chimeras reciprocally gained the capabilities to invoke tip swelling or secretion phenotypes, respectively. The data indicate that the Lin domain directed the enzymes into different regulatory contexts, possibly contributing to channeling of PtdIns(4,5)P2 at the interface of secretion and actin cytoskeleton.


Quint, M., Drost, H-G., Gabel, A., Ullrich, K., Bönner, M. & Grosse, I. A transcriptomic hourglass in plant embryogenesis Nature 490, 98-101, (2012)

Animal and plant development starts with a constituting phase called embryogenesis, which evolved independently in both lineages1. Comparative anatomy of vertebrate developmentbased on the Meckel-Serrès law2 and von Baers laws of embryology3 from the early nineteenth centuryshows that embryos from various taxa appear different in early stages, converge to a similar form during mid-embryogenesis, and again diverge in later stages. This morphogenetic series is known as the embryonic hourglass4, 5, and its bottleneck of high conservation in mid-embryogenesis is referred to as the phylotypic stage6. Recent analyses in zebrafish and Drosophila embryos provided convincing molecular support for the hourglass model, because during the phylotypic stage the transcriptome was dominated by ancient genes7 and global gene expression profiles were reported to be most conserved8. Although extensively explored in animals, an embryonic hourglass has not been reported in plants, which represent the second major kingdom in the tree of life that evolved embryogenesis. Here we provide phylotranscriptomic evidence for a molecular embryonic hourglass in Arabidopsis thaliana, using two complementary approaches. This is particularly significant because the possible absence of an hourglass based on morphological features in plants suggests that morphological and molecular patterns might be uncoupled. Together with the reported developmental hourglass patterns in animals, these findings indicate convergent evolution of the molecular hourglass and a conserved logic of embryogenesis across kingdoms.


Wasternack, C., Goetz, S., Hellwege, A., Forner, S., Strnad, M. & Hause, B. Another JA/COI1-independent role of OPDA detected in tomato embryo development Plant Signal Behav 7(10), 1349-1353, (2012)

Jasmonates (JAs) are ubiquitously occurring signaling compounds in plants formed in response to biotic and abiotic stress as well as in development. (+)-7-iso-jasmonoyl isoleucine, the bioactive JA, is involved in most JA-dependent processes mediated by the F-box protein COI1 in a proteasome-dependent manner. However, there is an increasing number of examples, where the precursor of JA biosynthesis, cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) is active in a JA/COI1-independent manner. Here, we discuss those OPDA-dependent processes, thereby giving emphasis on tomato embryo development. Recent data on seed coat-generated OPDA and its role in embryo development is discussed based on biochemical and genetic evidences.


Calderón Villalobos, L.I., Lee, S., De Oliveira, C., Ivetac, A., Brandt, W., Armitage, L., Sheard, LB., Tan, X., Parry, G., Mao, H., Zheng, N., Napier, R., Kepinski, S. & Estelle, M. A combinatorial TIR1/AFB-Aux/IAA co-receptor system for differential sensing of auxin. Nat. Chem. Biol 8, 477-485, (2012) DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.926

The plant hormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant growth and development. Auxin acts by binding the F-box protein transport inhibitor response 1 (TIR1) and promotes the degradation of the AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) transcriptional repressors. Here we show that efficient auxin binding requires assembly of an auxin co-receptor complex consisting of TIR1 and an Aux/IAA protein. Heterologous experiments in yeast and quantitative IAA binding assays using purified proteins showed that different combinations of TIR1 and Aux/IAA proteins form co-receptor complexes with a wide range of auxin-binding affinities. Auxin affinity seems to be largely determined by the Aux/IAA. As there are 6 TIR1/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX proteins (AFBs) and 29 Aux/IAA proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana, combinatorial interactions may result in many co-receptors with distinct auxin-sensing properties. We also demonstrate that the AFB5Aux/IAA co-receptor selectively binds the auxinic herbicide picloram. This co-receptor system broadens the effective concentration range of the hormone and may contribute to the complexity of auxin response.

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