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Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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 5.3.99.6). 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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Octadecanoid and Jasmonate Signaling in Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Leaves: Endogenous Jasmonates Do Not Induce Jasmonate Biosynthesis Biol. Chem. 381, 715-722, (2000) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2000.092

Jasmonates and their precursors, the octadecanoids, are signals in stress-induced alteration of gene expression. Several mRNAs coding for enzymes of jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis are up-regulated upon JA treatment or endogenous increase of the JA level. Here we investigated the positive feedback of endogenous JA on JA formation, as well as its β-oxidation steps. JA-responsive gene expression was recorded in terms of proteinase inhibitor2 (pin2) mRNA accumulation. JA formed upon treatment of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Moneymaker) leaves with JA derivatives carrying different lengths of the carboxylic acid side chain was quantified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The data revealed that β-oxidation of the side chain occurs up to a butyric acid moiety. The amount of JA formed from side-chain modified JA derivatives correlated with pin2-mRNA accumulation. JA derivatives with a carboxylic side chain of 3, 5 or 7 carbon atoms were unable to form JA and to express on pin2, whereas evennumbered derivatives were active.After treatment of tomato leaves with (10-2H)-(–)-12-oxophytoenoic acid, (4-2H)-(–)-JA and its methyl ester were formed and could be quantified separately from the endogenously nonlabeled JA pool by GC-MS analysis via isotopic discrimination. The level of 8 nmol per g fresh weight JA and its methyl ester originated exclusively from labeled 12-oxophytoenic acid. This and further data indicate that endogenous synthesis of the JA precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid, as well as of JA and its methyl ester, are not induced in tomato leaves, suggesting that positive feedback in JA biosynthesis does not function in vivo.
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