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Publikation

Grubb, C. D.; Zipp, B. J.; Kopycki, J.; Schubert, M.; Quint, M.; Lim, E.-K.; Bowles, D. J.; Pedras, M. S. C.; Abel, S.; Comparative analysis of Arabidopsis UGT74 glucosyltransferases reveals a special role of UGT74C1 in glucosinolate biosynthesis Plant J. 79, 92-105, (2014) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.12541

The study of glucosinolates and their regulation has provided a powerful framework for the exploration of fundamental questions about the function, evolution, and ecological significance of plant natural products, but uncertainties about their metabolism remain. Previous work has identified one thiohydroximate S‐glucosyltransferase, UGT74B1, with an important role in the core pathway, but also made clear that this enzyme functions redundantly and cannot be the sole UDP‐glucose dependent glucosyltransferase (UGT) in glucosinolate synthesis. Here, we present the results of a nearly comprehensive in vitro activity screen of recombinant Arabidopsis Family 1 UGTs, which implicate other members of the UGT74 clade as candidate glucosinolate biosynthetic enzymes. Systematic genetic analysis of this clade indicates that UGT74C1 plays a special role in the synthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates, a conclusion strongly supported by phylogenetic and gene expression analyses. Finally, the ability of UGT74C1 to complement phenotypes and chemotypes of the ugt74b1‐2 knockout mutant and to express thiohydroximate UGT activity in planta provides conclusive evidence for UGT74C1 being an accessory enzyme in glucosinolate biosynthesis with a potential function during plant adaptation to environmental challenge.
Publikation

Erickson, J. L.; Ziegler, J.; Guevara, D.; Abel, S.; Klösgen, R. B.; Mathur, J.; Rothstein, S. J.; Schattat, M. H.; Agrobacterium-derived cytokinin influences plastid morphology and starch accumulation in Nicotiana benthamiana during transient assays BMC Plant Biol. 14, 127, (2014) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-14-127

BackgroundAgrobacterium tumefaciens-based transient assays have become a common tool for answering questions related to protein localization and gene expression in a cellular context. The use of these assays assumes that the transiently transformed cells are observed under relatively authentic physiological conditions and maintain ‘normal’ sub-cellular behaviour. Although this premise is widely accepted, the question of whether cellular organization and organelle morphology is altered in Agrobacterium-infiltrated cells has not been examined in detail. The first indications of an altered sub-cellular environment came from our observation that a common laboratory strain, GV3101(pMP90), caused a drastic increase in stromule frequency. Stromules, or ‘stroma-filled-tubules’ emanate from the surface of plastids and are sensitive to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting from this observation, the goal of our experiments was to further characterize the changes to the cell resulting from short-term bacterial infestation, and to identify the factor responsible for eliciting these changes.ResultsUsing a protocol typical of transient assays we evaluated the impact of GV3101(pMP90) infiltration on chloroplast behaviour and morphology in Nicotiana benthamiana. Our experiments confirmed that GV3101(pMP90) consistently induces stromules and alters plastid position relative to the nucleus. These effects were found to be the result of strain-dependant secretion of cytokinin and its accumulation in the plant tissue. Bacterial production of the hormone was found to be dependant on the presence of a trans-zeatin synthase gene (tzs) located on the Ti plasmid of GV3101(pMP90). Bacteria-derived cytokinins were also correlated with changes to both soluble sugar level and starch accumulation.ConclusionAlthough we have chosen to focus on how transient Agrobacterium infestation alters plastid based parameters, these changes to the morphology and position of a single organelle, combined with the measured increases in sugar and starch content, suggest global changes to cell physiology. This indicates that cells visualized during transient assays may not be as ‘normal’ as was previously assumed. Our results suggest that the impact of the bacteria can be minimized by choosing Agrobacterium strains devoid of the tzs gene, but that the alterations to sub-cellular organization and cell carbohydrate status cannot be completely avoided using this strategy.
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

Ziegler, J.; Abel, S.; Analysis of amino acids by HPLC/electrospray negative ion tandem mass spectrometry using 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride (Fmoc-Cl) derivatization Amino Acids 46, 2799-2808, (2014) DOI: 10.1007/s00726-014-1837-5

A new method for the determination of amino acids is presented. It combines established methods for the derivatization of primary and secondary amino groups with 9-fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl chloride (Fmoc-Cl) with the subsequent amino acid specific detection of the derivatives by LC–ESI–MS/MS using multiple reaction monitoring (MRM). The derivatization proceeds within 5 min, and the resulting amino acid derivatives can be rapidly purified from matrix by solid-phase extraction (SPE) on HR-X resin and separated by reversed-phase HPLC. The Fmoc derivatives yield several amino acid specific fragment ions which opened the possibility to select amino acid specific MRM transitions. The method was applied to all 20 proteinogenic amino acids, and the quantification was performed using l-norvaline as standard. A limit of detection as low as 1 fmol/µl with a linear range of up to 125 pmol/µl could be obtained. Intraday and interday precisions were lower than 10 % relative standard deviations for most of the amino acids. Quantification using l-norvaline as internal standard gave very similar results compared to the quantification using deuterated amino acid as internal standards. Using this protocol, it was possible to record the amino acid profiles of only a single root from Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings and to compare it with the amino acid profiles of 20 dissected root meristems (200 μm).
Publikation

Laskowski, M. J.; Dreher, K. A.; Gehring, M. A.; Abel, S.; Gensler, A. L.; Sussex, I. M.; FQR1, a Novel Primary Auxin-Response Gene, Encodes a Flavin Mononucleotide-Binding Quinone Reductase Plant Physiol. 128, 578-590, (2002) DOI: 10.1104/pp.010581

FQR1 is a novel primary auxin-response gene that codes for a flavin mononucleotide-binding flavodoxin-like quinone reductase. Accumulation of FQR1 mRNA begins within 10 min of indole-3-acetic acid application and reaches a maximum of approximately 10-fold induction 30 min after treatment. This increase in FQR1 mRNA abundance is not diminished by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, demonstrating thatFQR1 is a primary auxin-response gene. Sequence analysis reveals that FQR1 belongs to a family of flavin mononucleotide-binding quinone reductases. Partially purified His-tagged FQR1 isolated fromEscherichia coli catalyzes the transfer of electrons from NADH and NADPH to several substrates and exhibits in vitro quinone reductase activity. Overexpression of FQR1 in plants leads to increased levels of FQR1 protein and quinone reductase activity, indicating that FQR1 functions as a quinone reductase in vivo. In mammalian systems, glutathione S-transferases and quinone reductases are classified as phase II detoxification enzymes. We hypothesize that the auxin-inducible glutathioneS-transferases and quinone reductases found in plants also act as detoxification enzymes, possibly to protect against auxin-induced oxidative stress.
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

Ellis, C.; Karafyllidis, I.; Wasternack, C.; Turner, J. G.; The Arabidopsis Mutant cev1 Links Cell Wall Signaling to Jasmonate and Ethylene Responses Plant Cell 14, 1557-1566, (2002) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.002022

Biotic and abiotic stresses stimulate the synthesis of jasmonates and ethylene, which, in turn, induce the expression of genes involved in stress response and enhance defense responses. The cev1 mutant has constitutive expression of stress response genes and has enhanced resistance to fungal pathogens. Here, we show that cev1 plants have increased production of jasmonate and ethylene and that its phenotype is suppressed by mutations that interrupt jasmonate and ethylene signaling. Genetic mapping, complementation analysis, and sequence analysis revealed that CEV1 is the cellulose synthase CeSA3. CEV1 was expressed predominantly in root tissues, and cev1 roots contained less cellulose than wild-type roots. Significantly, the cev1 mutant phenotype could be reproduced by treating wild-type plants with cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors, and the cellulose synthase mutant rsw1 also had constitutive expression of VSP. We propose that the cell wall can signal stress responses in plants.
Publikation

Abel, S.; Ticconi, C. A.; Delatorre, C. A.; Phosphate sensing in higher plants Physiol. Plant. 115, 1-8, (2002) DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2002.1150101.x

Phosphate (Pi) plays a central role as reactant and effector molecule in plant cell metabolism. However, Pi is the least accessible macronutrient in many ecosystems and its low availability often limits plant growth. Plants have evolved an array of molecular and morphological adaptations to cope with Pi limitation, which include dramatic changes in gene expression and root development to facilitate Pi acquisition and recycling. Although physiological responses to Pi starvation have been increasingly studied and understood, the initial molecular events that monitor and transmit information on external and internal Pi status remain to be elucidated in plants. This review summarizes molecular and developmental Pi starvation responses of higher plants and the evidence for coordinated regulation of gene expression, followed by a discussion of the potential involvement of plant hormones in Pi sensing and of molecular genetic approaches to elucidate plant signalling of low Pi availability. Complementary genetic strategies in Arabidopsis thaliana have been developed that are expected to identify components of plant signal transduction pathways involved in Pi sensing. Innovative screening methods utilize reporter gene constructs, conditional growth on organophosphates and the inhibitory properties of the Pi analogue phosphite, which hold the promise for significant advances in our understanding of the complex mechanisms by which plants regulate Pi‐starvation responses.
Publikation

Weichert, H.; Kolbe, A.; Kraus, A.; Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I.; Metabolic profiling of oxylipins in germinating cucumber seedlings - lipoxygenase-dependent degradation of triacylglycerols and biosynthesis of volatile aldehydes Planta 215, 612-619, (2002) DOI: 10.1007/s00425-002-0779-4

A particular isoform of lipoxygenase (LOX) localized on lipid bodies was shown by earlier investigations to play a role in initiating the mobilization of triacylglycerols during seed germination. Here, further physiological functions of LOXs within whole cotyledons of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) were analyzed by measuring the endogenous amounts of LOX-derived products. The lipid-body LOX-derived esterified (13S)-hydroperoxy linoleic acid was the dominant metabolite of the LOX pathway in this tissue. It accumulated to about 14 µmol/g fresh weight, which represented about 6% of the total amount of linoleic acid in cotyledons. This LOX product was not only reduced to its hydroxy derivative, leading to degradation by β-oxidation, but alternatively it was metabolized by fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase leading to formation of hexanal as well. Furthermore, the activities of LOX forms metabolizing linolenic acid were detected by measuring the accumulation of volatile aldehydes and the allene oxide synthase-derived metabolite jasmonic acid. The first evidence is presented for an involvement of a lipid-body LOX form in the production of volatile aldehydes.
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.
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