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Wasternack, C.; Termination in Jasmonate Signaling by MYC2 and MTBs Trends Plant Sci. 24, 667-669, (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2019.06.001

Jasmonic acid (JA) signaling can be switched off by metabolism of JA. The master regulator MYC2, interacting with MED25, has been shown to be deactivated by the bHLH transcription factors MTB1, MTB2, and MTB3. An autoregulatory negative feedback loop has been proposed for this termination in JA signaling.

Wasternack, C.; New Light on Local and Systemic Wound Signaling Trends Plant Sci. 24, 102-105, (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.11.009

Electric signaling and Ca2+ waves were discussed to occur in systemic wound responses. Two new overlapping scenarios were identified: (i) membrane depolarization in two special cell types followed by an increase in systemic cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt), and (ii) glutamate sensed by GLUTAMATE RECEPTOR LIKE proteins and followed by Ca2+-based defense in distal leaves.

Wasternack, C.; Hause, B.; A Bypass in Jasmonate Biosynthesis – the OPR3-independent Formation Trends Plant Sci. 23, 276-279, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.02.011

For the first time in 25 years, a new pathway for biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) has been identified. JA production takes place via 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) including reduction by OPDA reductases (OPRs). A loss-of-function allele, opr3-3, revealed an OPR3-independent pathway converting OPDA to JA.

Wasternack, C.; Hause, B.; Blütenduft, Abwehr, Entwicklung: Jasmonsäure - ein universelles Pflanzenhormon Biologie in unserer Zeit 44, 164-171, (2014) DOI: 10.1002/biuz.201410535

Pflanzen müssen gegen vielfältige biotische und abiotische Umwelteinflusse eine Abwehr aufbauen. Aber gleichzeitig müssen sie wachsen und sich vermehren. Jasmonate sind neben anderen Hormonen ein zentrales Signal bei der Etablierung von Abwehrmechanismen, aber auch Signal von Entwicklungsprozessen wie Blüten‐ und Trichombildung, sowie der Hemmung von Wachstum. Biosynthese und essentielle Komponenten der Signaltransduktion von JA und seinem biologisch aktiven Konjugat JA‐Ile sind gut untersucht. Der Rezeptor ist ein Proteinkomplex, der “JA‐Ile‐Wahrnehmung” mit proteasomalem Abbau von Repressorproteinen verbindet. Dadurch können positiv agierende Transkriptionsfaktoren wirksam werden und vielfältige Genexpressionsänderungen auslösen. Dies betrifft die Bildung von Abwehrproteinen, Enzymen der JA‐Biosynthese und Sekundärstoffbildung, und Proteinen von Signalketten und Entwicklungsprozessen. Die Kenntnisse zur JA‐Ile‐Wirkung werden in Landwirtschaft und Biotechnologie genutzt.

Vandenborre, G.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Smagghe, G.; Wasternack, C.; Van Damme, E. J.; Spodoptera littoralis-Induced Lectin Expression in Tobacco Plant Cell Physiol. 50, 1142-1155, (2009) DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcp065

The induced defense response in plants towards herbivores is mainly regulated by jasmonates and leads to the accumulation of so-called jasmonate-induced proteins. Recently, a jasmonate (JA) inducible lectin called Nicotiana tabacum agglutinin or NICTABA was discovered in tobacco (N. tabacum cv Samsun) leaves. Tobacco plants also accumulate the lectin after insect attack by caterpillars. To study the functional role of NICTABA, the accumulation of the JA precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA), JA as well as different JA metabolites were analyzed in tobacco leaves after herbivory by larvae of the cotton leafworm (Spodoptera littoralis) and correlated with NICTABA accumulation. It was shown that OPDA, JA as well as its methyl ester can trigger NICTABA accumulation. However, hydroxylation of JA and its subsequent sulfation and glucosylation results in inactive compounds that have lost the capacity to induce NICTABA gene expression. The expression profile of NICTABA after caterpillar feeding was recorded in local as well as in systemic leaves, and compared to the expression of several genes encoding defense proteins, and genes encoding a tobacco systemin and the allene oxide cyclase, an enzyme in JA biosynthesis. Furthermore, the accumulation of NICTABA was quanti-fied after S. littoralis herbivory and immunofluorescence microscopy was used to study the localization of NICTABA in the tobacco leaf.

Lannoo, N.; Vandenborre, G.; Miersch, O.; Smagghe, G.; Wasternack, C.; Peumans, W. J.; Van Damme, E. J. M.; The Jasmonate-Induced Expression of the Nicotiana tabacum Leaf Lectin Plant Cell Physiol. 48, 1207-1218, (2007) DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcm090

Previous experiments with tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv Samsun NN) plants revealed that jasmonic acid methyl ester (JAME) induces the expression of a cytoplasmic/nuclear lectin in leaf cells and provided the first evidence that jasmonates affect the expression of carbohydrate-binding proteins in plant cells. To corroborate the induced accumulation of relatively large amounts of a cytoplasmic/nuclear lectin, a detailed study was performed on the induction of the lectin in both intact tobacco plants and excised leaves. Experiments with different stress factors demonstrated that the lectin is exclusively induced by exogeneously applied jasmonic acid and JAME, and to a lesser extent by insect herbivory. The lectin concentration depends on leaf age and the position of the tissue in the leaf. JAME acts systemically in intact plants but very locally in excised leaves. Kinetic analyses indicated that the lectin is synthesized within 12 h exposure time to JAME, reaching a maximum after 60 h. After removal of JAME, the lectin progressively disappears from the leaf tissue. The JAME-induced accumulation of an abundant nuclear/cytoplasmic lectin is discussed in view of the possible role of this lectin in the plant.

Schneider, K.; Kienow, L.; Schmelzer, E.; Colby, T.; Bartsch, M.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Kombrink, E.; Stuible, H.-P.; A New Type of Peroxisomal Acyl-Coenzyme A Synthetase from Arabidopsis thaliana Has the Catalytic Capacity to Activate Biosynthetic Precursors of Jasmonic Acid J. Biol. Chem. 280, 13962-13972, (2005) DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M413578200

Arabidopsis thaliana contains a large number of genes that encode carboxylic acid-activating enzymes, including nine long-chain fatty acyl-CoA synthetases, four 4-coumarate:CoA ligases (4CL), and 25 4CL-like proteins of unknown biochemical function. Because of their high structural and sequence similarity with bona fide 4CLs and their highly hydrophobic putative substrate-binding pockets, the 4CL-like proteins At4g05160 and At5g63380 were selected for detailed analysis. Following heterologous expression, the purified proteins were subjected to a large scale screen to identify their preferred in vitro substrates. This study uncovered a significant activity of At4g05160 with medium-chain fatty acids, medium-chain fatty acids carrying a phenyl substitution, long-chain fatty acids, as well as the jasmonic acid precursors 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid and 3-oxo-2-(2′-pentenyl)-cyclopentane-1-hexanoic acid. The closest homolog of At4g05160, namely At5g63380, showed high activity with long-chain fatty acids and 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, the latter representing the most efficiently converted substrate. By using fluorescent-tagged variants, we demonstrated that both 4CL-like proteins are targeted to leaf peroxisomes. Collectively, these data demonstrate that At4g05160 and At5g63380 have the capacity to contribute to jasmonic acid biosynthesis by initiating the β-oxidative chain shortening of its precursors.

Fortes, A. M.; Miersch, O.; Lange, P. R.; Malhó, R.; Testillano, P. S.; Risueño, M. d. C.; Wasternack, C.; Pais, M. S.; Expression of Allene Oxide Cyclase and Accumulation of Jasmonates during Organogenic Nodule Formation from Hop (Humulus lupulus var. Nugget) Internodes Plant Cell Physiol. 46, 1713-1723, (2005) DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pci187

A crucial step in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) is the formation of its stereoisomeric precursor, cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA), which is catalyzed by allene oxide cyclase (AOC, EC A cDNA of AOC was isolated from Humulus lupulus var. Nugget. The ORF of 765 bp encodes a 255 amino acid protein, which carries a putative chloroplast targeting sequence. The recombinant protein without its putative chloroplast target sequence showed significant AOC activity. Previously we demonstrated that wounding induces organogenic nodule formation in hop. Here we show that the AOC transcript level increases in response to wounding of internodes, peaking between 2 and 4 h after wounding. In addition, Western blot analysis showed elevated levels of AOC peaking 24 h after internode inoculation. The AOC increase was accompanied by increased JA levels 24 h after wounding, whereas OPDA had already reached its highest level after 12 h. AOC is mostly present in the vascular bundles of inoculated internodes. During prenodule and nodule formation, AOC levels were still high. JA and OPDA levels decreased down to 10 and 118 pmol (g FW)–1, respectively, during nodule formation, but increased during plantlet regeneration. Double immunolocalization analysis of AOC and Rubisco in connection with lugol staining showed that AOC is present in amyloplasts of prenodular cells and in the chloroplasts of vacuolated nodular cells, whereas meristematic cells accumulated little AOC. These data suggest a role of AOC and jasmonates in organogenic nodule formation and plantlet regeneration from these nodules.

Hause, B.; Hause, G.; Kutter, C.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Enzymes of Jasmonate Biosynthesis Occur in Tomato Sieve Elements Plant Cell Physiol. 44, 643-648, (2003) DOI: 10.1093/pcp/pcg072

The allene oxide cyclase (AOC) is a plastid-located enzyme in the biosynthesis of the signaling compound jasmonic acid (JA). In tomato, AOC occurs specifically in ovules and vascular bundles [Hause et al. (2000)PlantJ. 24; 113]. Immunocytological analysis of longitudinal sections of petioles and flower stalks revealed the occurrence of AOC in companion cells (CC) and sieve elements (SE). Electron microscopic analysis led to the conclusion that the AOC-containing structures of SE are plastids. AOC was not detected in SE of 35S::AOCantisense plants. The enzymes preceding AOC in JA biosynthesis, the allene oxide synthase (AOS) and the lipoxygenase, were also detected in SE. In situ hybridization showed that the SE are free of AOC-mRNA suggesting AOC protein traffic from CC to SE via plasmodesmata. A control by in situ hybridization of AOS mRNA coding for a protein with a size above the exclusion limit of plasmodesmata indicated mRNA in CC and SE. The data suggest that SE carry the capacity to form 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, the unique precursor of JA. Together with preferential generation of JA in vascular bundles [Stenzel et al. (2003)Plant J. 33: 577], the data support a role of JA in systemic wound signaling.

Gidda, S. K.; Miersch, O.; Levitin, A.; Schmidt, J.; Wasternack, C.; Varin, L.; Biochemical and Molecular Characterization of a Hydroxyjasmonate Sulfotransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana J. Biol. Chem. 278, 17895-17900, (2003) DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M211943200

12-Hydroxyjasmonate, also known as tuberonic acid, was first isolated from Solanum tuberosum and was shown to have tuber-inducing properties. It is derived from the ubiquitously occurring jasmonic acid, an important signaling molecule mediating diverse developmental processes and plant defense responses. We report here that the gene AtST2a from Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a hydroxyjasmonate sulfotransferase. The recombinant AtST2a protein was found to exhibit strict specificity for 11- and 12-hydroxyjasmonate with Km values of 50 and 10 μm, respectively. Furthermore, 12-hydroxyjasmonate and its sulfonated derivative are shown to be naturally occurring inA. thaliana. The exogenous application of methyljasmonate to A. thaliana plants led to increased levels of both metabolites, whereas treatment with 12-hydroxyjasmonate led to increased level of 12-hydroxyjasmonate sulfate without affecting the endogenous level of jasmonic acid. AtST2a expression was found to be induced following treatment with methyljasmonate and 12-hydroxyjasmonate. In contrast, the expression of the methyljasmonate-responsive gene Thi2.1, a marker gene in plant defense responses, is not induced upon treatment with 12-hydroxyjasmonate indicating the existence of independent signaling pathways responding to jasmonic acid and 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid. Taken together, the results suggest that the hydroxylation and sulfonation reactions might be components of a pathway that inactivates excess jasmonic acid in plants. Alternatively, the function of AtST2a might be to control the biological activity of 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid.
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