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Robson, F.; Okamoto, H.; Patrick, E.; Harris, S.-R.; Wasternack, C.; Brearley, C.; Turner, J. G.; Jasmonate and Phytochrome A Signaling in Arabidopsis Wound and Shade Responses Are Integrated through JAZ1 Stability Plant Cell 22, 1143-1160, (2010) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.109.067728

Jasmonate (JA) activates plant defense, promotes pollen maturation, and suppresses plant growth. An emerging theme in JA biology is its involvement in light responses; here, we examine the interdependence of the JA- and light-signaling pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana. We demonstrate that mutants deficient in JA biosynthesis and signaling are deficient in a subset of high irradiance responses in far-red (FR) light. These mutants display exaggerated shade responses to low, but not high, R/FR ratio light, suggesting a role for JA in phytochrome A (phyA) signaling. Additionally, we demonstrate that the FR light–induced expression of transcription factor genes is dependent on CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1), a central component of JA signaling, and is suppressed by JA. phyA mutants had reduced JA-regulated growth inhibition and VSP expression and increased content of cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid, an intermediate in JA biosynthesis. Significantly, COI1-mediated degradation of JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN1-β-glucuronidase (JAZ1-GUS) in response to mechanical wounding and JA treatment required phyA, and ectopic expression of JAZ1-GUS resulted in exaggerated shade responses. Together, these results indicate that JA and phyA signaling are integrated through degradation of the JAZ1 protein, and both are required for plant responses to light and stress.

Mugford, S. G.; Yoshimoto, N.; Reichelt, M.; Wirtz, M.; Hill, L.; Mugford, S. T.; Nakazato, Y.; Noji, M.; Takahashi, H.; Kramell, R.; Gigolashvili, T.; Flügge, U.-I.; Wasternack, C.; Gershenzon, J.; Hell, R.; Saito, K.; Kopriva, S.; Disruption of Adenosine-5′-Phosphosulfate Kinase in Arabidopsis Reduces Levels of Sulfated Secondary Metabolites Plant Cell 21, 910-927, (2009) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.109.065581

Plants can metabolize sulfate by two pathways, which branch at the level of adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate (APS). APS can be reduced to sulfide and incorporated into Cys in the primary sulfate assimilation pathway or phosphorylated by APS kinase to 3′-phosphoadenosine 5′-phosphosulfate, which is the activated sulfate form for sulfation reactions. To assess to what extent APS kinase regulates accumulation of sulfated compounds, we analyzed the corresponding gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana. Analysis of T-DNA insertion knockout lines for each of the four isoforms did not reveal any phenotypical alterations. However, when all six combinations of double mutants were compared, the apk1 apk2 plants were significantly smaller than wild-type plants. The levels of glucosinolates, a major class of sulfated secondary metabolites, and the sulfated 12-hydroxyjasmonate were reduced approximately fivefold in apk1 apk2 plants. Although auxin levels were increased in the apk1 apk2 mutants, as is the case for most plants with compromised glucosinolate synthesis, typical high auxin phenotypes were not observed. The reduction in glucosinolates resulted in increased transcript levels for genes involved in glucosinolate biosynthesis and accumulation of desulfated precursors. It also led to great alterations in sulfur metabolism: the levels of sulfate and thiols increased in the apk1 apk2 plants. The data indicate that the APK1 and APK2 isoforms of APS kinase play a major role in the synthesis of secondary sulfated metabolites and are required for normal growth rates.

Lee, C.-W.; Efetova, M.; Engelmann, J. C.; Kramell, R.; Wasternack, C.; Ludwig-Müller, J.; Hedrich, R.; Deeken, R.; Agrobacterium tumefaciens Promotes Tumor Induction by Modulating Pathogen Defense in Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Cell 21, 2948-2962, (2009) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.108.064576

Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease by transferring and integrating bacterial DNA (T-DNA) into the plant genome. To examine the physiological changes and adaptations during Agrobacterium-induced tumor development, we compared the profiles of salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), jasmonic acid (JA), and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid [IAA]) with changes in the Arabidopsis thaliana transcriptome. Our data indicate that host responses were much stronger toward the oncogenic strain C58 than to the disarmed strain GV3101 and that auxin acts as a key modulator of the Arabidopsis–Agrobacterium interaction. At initiation of infection, elevated levels of IAA and ET were associated with the induction of host genes involved in IAA, but not ET signaling. After T-DNA integration, SA as well as IAA and ET accumulated, but JA did not. This did not correlate with SA-controlled pathogenesis-related gene expression in the host, although high SA levels in mutant plants prevented tumor development, while low levels promoted it. Our data are consistent with a scenario in which ET and later on SA control virulence of agrobacteria, whereas ET and auxin stimulate neovascularization during tumor formation. We suggest that crosstalk among IAA, ET, and SA balances pathogen defense launched by the host and tumor growth initiated by agrobacteria.

Schilling, S.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U.; Glutaminyl cyclases from animals and plants: a case of functionally convergent protein evolution Biol. Chem. 389, (2008) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2008.111

Several mammalian peptide hormones and proteins from plant and animal origin contain an N-terminal pyroglutamic acid (pGlu) residue. Frequently, the moiety is important in exerting biological function in either mediating interaction with receptors or stabilizing against N-terminal degradation. Glutaminyl cyclases (QCs) were isolated from different plants and animals catalyzing pGlu formation. The recent resolution of the 3D structures of Carica papaya and human QCs clearly supports different evolutionary origins of the proteins, which is also reflected by different enzymatic mechanisms. The broad substrate specificity is revealed by the heterogeneity of physiological substrates of plant and animal QCs, including cytokines, matrix proteins and pathogenesis-related proteins. Moreover, recent evidence also suggests human QC as a catalyst of pGlu formation at the N-terminus of amyloid peptides, which contribute to Alzheimer's disease. Obviously, owing to its biophysical properties, the function of pGlu in plant and animal proteins is very similar in terms of stabilizing or mediating protein and peptide structure. It is possible that the requirement for catalysis of pGlu formation under physiological conditions may have triggered separate evolution of QCs in plants and animals.

Brüx, A.; Liu, T.-Y.; Krebs, M.; Stierhof, Y.-D.; Lohmann, J. U.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Schumacher, K.; Reduced V-ATPase Activity in the trans-Golgi Network Causes Oxylipin-Dependent Hypocotyl Growth Inhibition in Arabidopsis Plant Cell 20, 1088-1100, (2008) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.108.058362

Regulated cell expansion allows plants to adapt their morphogenesis to prevailing environmental conditions. Cell expansion is driven by turgor pressure created by osmotic water uptake and is restricted by the extensibility of the cell wall, which in turn is regulated by the synthesis, incorporation, and cross-linking of new cell wall components. The vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) could provide a way to coordinately regulate turgor pressure and cell wall synthesis, as it energizes the secondary active transport of solutes across the tonoplast and also has an important function in the trans-Golgi network (TGN), which affects synthesis and trafficking of cell wall components. We have previously shown that det3, a mutant with reduced V-ATPase activity, has a severe defect in cell expansion. However, it was not clear if this is caused by a defect in turgor pressure or in cell wall synthesis. Here, we show that inhibition of the tonoplast-localized V-ATPase subunit isoform VHA-a3 does not impair cell expansion. By contrast, inhibition of the TGN-localized isoform VHA-a1 is sufficient to restrict cell expansion. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the reduced hypocotyl cell expansion in det3 is conditional and due to active, hormone-mediated growth inhibition caused by a cell wall defect.

Schilling, S.; Stenzel, I.; von Bohlen, A.; Wermann, M.; Schulz, K.; Demuth, H.-U.; Wasternack, C.; Isolation and characterization of the glutaminyl cyclases from Solanum tuberosum and Arabidopsis thaliana: implications for physiological functions Biol. Chem. 388, 145-153, (2007) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2007.016

Glutaminyl cyclases (QCs) catalyze the formation of pyroglutamic acid at the N-terminus of several peptides and proteins. On the basis of the amino acid sequence of Carica papaya QC, we identified cDNAs of the putative counterparts from Solanum tuberosum and Arabidopsis thaliana. Upon expression of the corresponding cDNAs from both plants via the secretory pathway of Pichia pastoris, two active QC proteins were isolated. The specificity of the purified proteins was assessed using various substrates with different amino acid composition and length. Highest specificities were observed with substrates possessing large hydrophobic residues adjacent to the N-terminal glutamine and for fluorogenic dipeptide surrogates. However, compared to Carica papaya QC, the specificity constants were approximately one order of magnitude lower for most of the QC substrates analyzed. The QCs also catalyzed the conversion of N-terminal glutamic acid to pyroglutamic acid, but with approximately 105- to 106-fold lower specificity. The ubiquitous distribution of plant QCs prompted a search for potential substrates in plants. Based on database entries, numerous proteins, e.g., pathogenesis-related proteins, were found that carry a pyroglutamate residue at the N-terminus, suggesting QC involvement. The putative relevance of QCs and pyroglutamic acid for plant defense reactions is discussed.

Delker, C.; Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Miersch, O.; Feussner, I.; Wasternack, C.; Jasmonate Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana - Enzymes, Products, Regulation Plant Biol. 8, 297-306, (2006) DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-923935

Among the plant hormones jasmonic acid and related derivatives are known to mediate stress responses and several developmental processes. Biosynthesis, regulation, and metabolism of jasmonic acid in Arabidopsis thaliana are reviewed, including properties of mutants of jasmonate biosynthesis. The individual signalling properties of several jasmonates are described.

Schilling, S.; Manhart, S.; Hoffmann, T.; Ludwig, H.-H.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U.; Substrate Specificity of Glutaminyl Cyclases from Plants and Animals Biol. Chem. 384, 1583-1592, (2003) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2003.175

Glutaminyl cyclases (QC) catalyze the intramolecular cyclization of N-terminal glutamine residues of peptides and proteins. For a comparison of the substrate specificity of human and papaya QC enzymes, a novel continuous assay was established by adapting an existing discontinuous method. Specificity constants (kcat/Km) of dipeptides and dipeptide surrogates were higher for plant QC, whereas the selectivity for oligopeptides was similar for both enzymes. However, only the specificity constants of mammalian QC were dependent on size and composition of the substrates. Specificity constants of both enzymes were equally pH-dependent in the acidic pH-region, revealing a pKa value identical to the pKa of the substrate, suggesting similarities in the substrate conversion mode. Accordingly, both QCs converted the L-?homoglutaminyl residue in the peptide H-?homoGln-Phe-Lys-Arg-Leu-Ala-NH2 and the glutaminyl residues of the branched peptide H-Gln-Lys(Gln)-Arg-Leu-Ala-NH2 as well as the partially cyclized peptide H-Gln-cyclo( N?-Lys-Arg-Pro-Ala-Gly-Phe). In contrast, only QC from C. papaya was able to cyclize a methylated glutamine residue, while this compound did not even inhibit human QC-catalysis, suggesting distinct substrate recognition pattern. The conversion of the potential physiological substrates gastrin, neurotensin and [GlN1]-fertilization promoting peptide indicates that human QC may play a key role in posttranslational modification of most if not all pGlu-containing hormones.

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.

Bachmann, A.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Garbe, E.; Vörös, K.; Weichert, H.; Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I.; Jasmonate-Induced Lipid Peroxidation in Barley Leaves Initiated by Distinct 13-LOX Forms of Chloroplasts Biol. Chem. 383, 1645-1657, (2002) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2002.185

In addition to a previously characterized 13-lipoxygenase of 100 kDa encoded by LOX2:Hv:1 [Vörös et al., Eur. J. Biochem. 251 (1998), 36 44], two fulllength cDNAs (LOX2:Hv:2, LOX2:Hv:3) were isolated from barley leaves (Hordeum vulgare cv. Salome) and characterized. Both of them encode 13-lipoxygenases with putative target sequences for chloroplast import. Immunogold labeling revealed preferential, if not exclusive, localization of lipoxygenase proteins in the stroma. The ultrastructure of the chloroplast was dramatically altered following methyl jasmonate treatment, indicated by a loss of thylakoid membranes, decreased number of stacks and appearance of numerous osmiophilic globuli. The three 13-lipoxygenases are differentially expressed during treatment with jasmonate, salicylate, glucose or sorbitol. Metabolite profiling of free linolenic acid and free linoleic acid, the substrates of lipoxygenases, in water floated or jasmonatetreated leaves revealed preferential accumulation of linolenic acid. Remarkable amounts of free 9- as well as 13-hydroperoxy linolenic acid were found. In addition, metabolites of these hydroperoxides, such as the hydroxy derivatives and the respective aldehydes, appeared following methyl jasmonate treatment. These findings were substantiated by metabolite profiling of isolated chloroplasts, and subfractions including the envelope, the stroma and the thylakoids, indicating a preferential occurrence of lipoxygenasederived products in the stroma and in the envelope. These data revealed jasmonateinduced activation of the hydroperoxide lyase and reductase branch within the lipoxygenase pathway and suggest differential activity of the three 13-lipoxygenases under different stress conditions.
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