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Miersch, O.; Weichert, H.; Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Feussner, I.; Wasternack, C.; Constitutive overexpression of allene oxide cyclase in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum cv. Lukullus) elevates levels of some jasmonates and octadecanoids in flower organs but not in leaves Phytochemistry 65, 847-856, (2004) DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2004.01.016

The allene oxide cyclase (AOC), an enzyme in jasmonate biosynthesis, occurs in vascular bundles and ovules of tomato flowers which exhibit a tissue-specific oxylipin signature (Plant J. 24, 113-126, 2000). Constitutive overexpression of the AOC did not led to altered levels of jasmonates in leaves, but these levels increased upon wounding or other stresses suggesting regulation of jasmonate biosynthesis by substrate availability (Plant J. 33, 577-589, 2003). Here, we show dramatic changes in levels of jasmonic acid (JA), of 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA), their methyl esters (JAME, OPDAME), and of dinor-OPDA in most flower organs upon constitutive overexpression of AOC. Beside a dominant occurrence of OPDAME and JA in most flower organs, the ratio among the various compounds was altered differentially in the organs of transgenic flowers, e.g. OPDAME increased up to 53-fold in stamen, and JA increased about 51-fold in buds and 7.5-fold in sepals. The increase in jasmonates and octadecanoids was accompanied by decreased levels of free lipid hydro(per)oxy compounds. Except for 16:2, the AOC overexpression led to a significant increase in free but not esterified polyunsaturated fatty acids in all flower organs. The data suggest different regulation of JA biosynthesis in leaves and flowers of tomato.Constitutive overexpression of the AOC increases in all flower organs levels of some jasmonates and octadecanoids, alters the ratios among the compounds, decreases levels of free lipid hydro(per)oxy compounds and increases levels of free but not of esterified polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Bücher und Buchkapitel

Weichert, H.; Maucher, H.; Hornung, E.; Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I.; Shift in Fatty Acid and Oxylipin Pattern of Tomato Leaves Following Overexpression of the Allene Oxide Cyclase 275-278, (2003) DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0159-4_64

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a source of numerous oxidation products, the oxylipins. In leaves, α-linolenic acid (α-LeA) is the preferential substrate for lipid peroxidation reactions. This reaction may be catalyzed either by a 9-lipoxygenase (9-LOX) or by a 13-LOX and oxygen is inserted regioselectively as well as stereospecifically leading to formation of 13S- or 9S-hydroperoxy octadecatrienoic acid (13-/9-HPOT; Brash, 1999). At least, seven different enzyme families or reaction branches within the LOX pathway can use these HPOTs or other hydroperoxy PUFAs leading to (i) keto-PUFAs (LOX); (ii) epoxy hydroxy-PUFAs (epoxy alcohol synthase, EAS); (iii) octadecanoids and jasmonates (allene oxide synthase, AOS); (iv) leaf aldehydes and leaf alcohols (hydroperoxide lyase, HPL); (v) hydroxy PUFAs (reductase); (vi) divinyl ether PUFAs (divinyl ether synthase, DES); and (vii) epoxy- or dihydrodiol-PUFAs (peroxygenase, PDX; Fig. 1; Feussner and Wasternack, 2002).
Bücher und Buchkapitel

Stumpe, M.; Stenzel, I.; Weichert, H.; Hause, B.; Feussner, I.; The Lipoxygenase Pathway in Mycorrhizal Roots of Medicago Truncatula 287-290, (2003) DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0159-4_67

Mycorrhizas are by far the most frequent occurring beneficial symbiotic interactions between plants and fungi. Species in >80% of extant plant families are capable of establishing an arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). In relation to the development of the symbiosis the first molecular modifications are those associated with plant defense responses, which seem to be locally suppressed to levels compatible with symbiotic interaction (Gianinazzi-Pearson, 1996). AM symbiosis can, however, reduce root disease caused by several soil-borne pathogens. The mechanisms underlying this protective effect are still not well understood. In plants, products of the enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) and the corresponding downstream enzymes, collectively named LOX pathway (Fig. 1B), are involved in wound healing, pest resistance, and signaling, or they have antimicrobial and antifungal activity (Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). The central reaction in this pathway is catalyzed by LOXs leading to formation of either 9- or 13-hydroperoxy octadeca(di/trien)oic acids (9/13-HPO(D/T); Brash, 1999). Thus LOXs may be divided into 9- and 13-LOXs (Fig. 1A). Seven different reaction branches within this pathway can use these hydroperoxy polyenoic fatty acids (PUFAs) leading to (i) keto PUFAs by a LOX; (ii) epoxy hydroxy-fatty acids by an epoxy alcohol synthase (EAS); (iii) octadecanoids and jasmonates via allene oxide synthase (AOS); (iv) leaf aldehydes and leaf alcohols via fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase (HPL); (v) hydroxy PUFAs (reductase); (vi) divinyl ether PUFAs via divinyl ether synthase (DES); and (vii) epoxy- or dihydrodiolPUFAs via peroxygenase (PDX; Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). AOS, HPL and DES belong to one subfamily of P450-containing enzymes, the CYP74 family (Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). Here, the involvement of this CYP74 enzyme family in mycorrhizal roots of M. truncatula during early stages of AM symbiosis formation was analyzed.

Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Miersch, O.; Kurz, T.; Maucher, H.; Weichert, H.; Ziegler, J.; Feussner, I.; Wasternack, C.; Jasmonate biosynthesis and the allene oxide cyclase family of Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Mol. Biol. 51, 895-911, (2003) DOI: 10.1023/A:1023049319723

In biosynthesis of octadecanoids and jasmonate (JA), the naturally occurring enantiomer is established in a step catalysed by the gene cloned recently from tomato as a single-copy gene (Ziegler et al., 2000). Based on sequence homology, four full-length cDNAs were isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Columbia coding for proteins with AOC activity. The expression of AOCgenes was transiently and differentially up-regulated upon wounding both locally and systemically and was induced by JA treatment. In contrast, AOC protein appeared at constitutively high basal levels and was slightly increased by the treatments. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed abundant occurrence of AOC protein as well as of the preceding enzymes in octadecanoid biosynthesis, lipoxygenase (LOX) and allene oxide synthase (AOS), in fully developed tissues, but much less so in 7-day old leaf tissues. Metabolic profiling data of free and esterified polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxidation products including JA and octadecanoids in wild-type leaves and the jasmonate-deficient mutant OPDA reductase 3 (opr3) revealed preferential activity of the AOS branch within the LOX pathway. 13-LOX products occurred predominantly as esterified derivatives, and all 13-hydroperoxy derivatives were below the detection limits. There was a constitutive high level of free 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) in untreated wild-type and opr3 leaves, but an undetectable expression of AOC. Upon wounding opr3 leaves exhibited only low expression of AOC, wounded wild-type leaves, however, accumulated JA and AOC mRNA. These and further data suggest regulation of JA biosynthesis by OPDA compartmentalization and a positive feedback by JA during leaf development.

Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Pitzschke, A.; Miersch, O.; Ziegler, J.; Ryan, C. A.; Wasternack, C.; Allene oxide cyclase dependence of the wound response and vascular bundle-specific generation of jasmonates in tomato - amplification in wound signalling Plant J. 33, 577-589, (2003) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01647.x

The allene oxide cyclase (AOC)‐catalyzed step in jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis is important in the wound response of tomato. As shown by treatments with systemin and its inactive analog, and by analysis of 35S::prosysteminsense and 35S::prosysteminantisense plants, the AOC seems to be activated by systemin (and JA) leading to elevated formation of JA. Data are presented on the local wound response following activation of AOC and generation of JA, both in vascular bundles. The tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC protein and generation of JA is kept upon wounding or other stresses, but is compromised in 35S::AOCsense plants, whereas 35S::AOCantisense plants exhibited residual AOC expression, a less than 10% rise in JA, and no detectable expression of wound response genes. The (i) activation of systemin‐dependent AOC and JA biosynthesis occurring only upon substrate generation, (ii) the tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC in vascular bundles, where the prosystemin gene is expressed, and (iii) the tissue‐specific generation of JA suggest an amplification in the wound response of tomato leaves allowing local and rapid defense responses.

Schilling, S.; Niestroj, A. J.; Rahfeld, J.-U.; Hoffmann, T.; Wermann, M.; Zunkel, K.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U.; Identification of Human Glutaminyl Cyclase as a Metalloenzyme J. Biol. Chem. 278, 49773-49779, (2003) DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M309077200

Human glutaminyl cyclase (QC) was identified as a metalloenzyme as suggested by the time-dependent inhibition by the heterocyclic chelators 1,10-phenanthroline and dipicolinic acid. The effect of EDTA on QC catalysis was negligible. Inactivated enzyme could be fully restored by the addition of Zn2+ in the presence of equimolar concentrations of EDTA. Little reactivation was observed with Co2+ and Mn2+. Other metal ions such as K+, Ca2+, and Ni2+ were inactive under the same conditions. Additionally, imidazole and imidazole derivatives were identified as competitive inhibitors of QC. An initial structure activity-based inhibitor screening of imidazole-derived compounds revealed potent inhibition of QC by imidazole N-1 derivatives. Subsequent data base screening led to the identification of two highly potent inhibitors, 3-[3-(1H-imidazol-1-yl)propyl]-2-thioxoimidazolidin-4-one and 1,4-bis-(imidazol-1-yl)-methyl-2,5-dimethylbenzene, which exhibited respective Ki values of 818 ± 1 and 295 ± 5 nm. The binding properties of the imidazole derivatives were further analyzed by the pH dependence of QC inhibition. The kinetically obtained pKa values of 6.94 ± 0.02, 6.93 ± 0.03, and 5.60 ± 0.05 for imidazole, methylimidazole, and benzimidazole, respectively, match the values obtained by titrimetric pKa determination, indicating the requirement for an unprotonated nitrogen for binding to QC. Similarly, the pH dependence of the kinetic parameter Km for the QC-catalyzed conversion of H-Gln-7-ami-no-4-methylcoumarin also implies that only N-terminally unprotonated substrate molecules are bound to the active site of the enzyme, whereas turnover is not affected. The results reveal human QC as a metal-dependent transferase, suggesting that the active site-bound metal is a potential site for interaction with novel, highly potent competitive inhibitors.
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