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Guranowski, A.; Miersch, O.; Staswick, P. E.; Suza, W.; Wasternack, C.; Substrate specificity and products of side-reactions catalyzed by jasmonate:amino acid synthetase (JAR1) FEBS Lett. 581, 815-820, (2007) DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.01.049

Jasmonate:amino acid synthetase (JAR1) is involved in the function of jasmonic acid (JA) as a plant hormone. It catalyzes the synthesis of several JA‐amido conjugates, the most important of which appears to be JA‐Ile. Structurally, JAR1 is a member of the firefly luciferase superfamily that comprises enzymes that adenylate various organic acids. This study analyzed the substrate specificity of recombinant JAR1 and determined whether it catalyzes the synthesis of mono‐ and dinucleoside polyphosphates, which are side‐reaction products of many enzymes forming acyl ∼ adenylates. Among different oxylipins tested as mixed stereoisomers for substrate activity with JAR1, the highest rate of conversion to Ile‐conjugates was observed for (±)‐JA and 9,10‐dihydro‐JA, while the rate of conjugation with 12‐hydroxy‐JA and OPC‐4 (3‐oxo‐2‐(2Z ‐pentenyl)cyclopentane‐1‐butyric acid) was only about 1–2% that for (±)‐JA. Of the two stereoisomers of JA, (−)‐JA and (+)‐JA, rate of synthesis of the former was about 100‐fold faster than for (+)‐JA. Finally, we have demonstrated that (1) in the presence of ATP, Mg2+, (−)‐JA and tripolyphosphate the ligase produces adenosine 5′‐tetraphosphate (p4A); (2) addition of isoleucine to that mixture halts the p4A synthesis; (3) the enzyme produces neither diadenosine triphosphate (Ap3A) nor diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) and (4) Ap4A cannot substitute ATP as a source of adenylate in the complete reaction that yields JA‐Ile.

Schüler, G.; Mithöfer, A.; Baldwin, I. T.; BERGER, S.; Ebel, J.; Santos, J. G.; Herrmann, G.; Hölscher, D.; Kramell, R.; Kutchan, T. M.; Maucher, H.; Schneider, B.; Stenzel, I.; Wasternack, C.; Boland, W.; Coronalon: a powerful tool in plant stress physiology FEBS Lett. 563, 17-22, (2004) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00239-X

Coronalon, a synthetic 6‐ethyl indanoyl isoleucine conjugate, has been designed as a highly active mimic of octadecanoid phytohormones that are involved in insect and disease resistance. The spectrum of biological activities that is affected by coronalon was investigated in nine different plant systems specifically responding to jasmonates and/or 12‐oxo‐phytodienoic acid. In all bioassays analyzed, coronalon demonstrated a general strong activity at low micromolar concentrations. The results obtained showed the induction of (i) defense‐related secondary metabolite accumulation in both cell cultures and plant tissues, (ii) specific abiotic and biotic stress‐related gene expression, and (iii) root growth retardation. The general activity of coronalon in the induction of plant stress responses together with its simple and efficient synthesis suggests that this compound might serve as a valuable tool in the examination of various aspects in plant stress physiology. Moreover, coronalon might become employed in agriculture to elicit plant resistance against various aggressors.

Churin, J.; Hause, B.; Feussner, I.; Maucher, H. P.; Feussner, K.; Börner, T.; Wasternack, C.; Cloning and expression of a new cDNA from monocotyledonous plants coding for a diadenosine 5′,5′′′-P1,P4-tetraphosphate hydrolase from barley (Hordeum vulgare) FEBS Lett. 431, 481-485, (1998) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(98)00819-9

From a cDNA library generated from mRNA of white leaf tissues of the ribosome‐deficient mutant ‘albostrians' of barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Haisa) a cDNA was isolated carrying 54.2% identity to a recently published cDNA which codes for the diadenosine‐5′,5′′′‐P1,P4‐tetraphosphate (Ap4A) hydrolase of Lupinus angustifolius (Maksel et al. (1998) Biochem. J. 329, 313–319), and 69% identity to four partial peptide sequences of Ap4A hydrolase of tomato. Overexpression in Escherichia coli revealed a protein of about 19 kDa, which exhibited Ap4A hydrolase activity and cross‐reactivity with an antibody raised against a purified tomato Ap4A hydrolase (Feussner et al. (1996) Z. Naturforsch. 51c, 477–486). Expression studies showed an mRNA accumulation in all organs of a barley seedling. Possible functions of Ap4A hydrolase in plants will be discussed.

Bohlmann, H.; Vignutelli, A.; Hilpert, B.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Apel, K.; Wounding and chemicals induce expression of the Arabidopsis thaliana gene Thi2.1, encoding a fungal defense thionin, via the octadecanoid pathway FEBS Lett. 437, 281-286, (1998) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(98)01251-4

In seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana the thionin gene Thi2.1 is inducible by methyl jasmonate, wounding, silver nitrate, coronatine, and sorbitol. We have used a biochemical and genetic approach to test the signal transduction of these different inducers. Both exogenously applied jasmonates and jasmonates produced endogenously upon stress induction, lead to GUS expression in a Thi2.1 promoter-uidA transgenic line. No GUS expression was observed in a coi1 mutant background which lacks jasmonate perception whereas methyl jasmonate and coronatine but not the other inducers were able to overcome the block in jasmonic acid production in a fad3-2 fad7-2 fad8 mutant background. Our results show conclusively that all these inducers regulate Thi2-1 gene expression via the octadecanoid pathway.

Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Ortel, B.; Parthier, B.; Wasternack, C.; Amino acid conjugates of jasmonic acid induce jasmonate-responsive gene expression in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) leaves FEBS Lett. 414, 197-202, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(97)01005-3

Leaves of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv. Salome ) treated with jasmonic acid (JA), its methyl ester (JM), or its amino acid conjugates exhibit up‐regulation of specific genes and down‐regulation of house‐keeping genes. This transcriptional regulation exhibits several specificities. (i) The (−)‐enantiomers are more active, and conjugates are mainly active if they carry an l ‐amino acid moiety. (ii) The various JA‐responsive genes respond differentially to enantiomeric and chiralic forms. (iii) Both JA and its amino acid conjugates exhibiting no or negligible interconversion induce/repress genes.

Görschen, E.; Dunaeva, M.; Reeh, I.; Wasternack, C.; Overexpression of the jasmonate-inducible 23 kDa protein (JIP 23) from barley in transgenic tobacco leads to the repression of leaf proteins FEBS Lett. 419, 58-62, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(97)01433-6

We investigated transgenic tobacco lines which express different amounts of the barley JIP 23. In these plants the amount of several proteins decreased proportionally to increasing amounts of JIP 23 whereas the transcript levels were constant as determined for the small and the large subunit of RuBPCase. However, the translation initiation of the rbcS transcript was found to be less efficient than in the wild type. In contrast, the jip 23 transcript was efficiently initiated, indicating that no unspecific impairment of initiation occurred. The data suggest that the barley JIP 23 leads to discrimination among certain tobacco transcripts during translation initiation.

Feussner, K.; Feussner, I.; Leopold, I.; Wasternack, C.; Isolation of a cDNA coding for an ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme UBC1 of tomato - the first stress-induced UBC of higher plants FEBS Lett. 409, 211-215, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(97)00509-7

A clone of an ubiquitin‐conjugating enzyme (UBC) was isolated from a λ‐ZAP‐cDNA library, generated from mRNA of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) cells grown in suspension for 3 days. The open reading frame called Le UBC1, encodes for a polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 21.37 kDa, which was confirmed by bacterial overexpression and SDS‐PAGE. Database searches with Le UBC1 showed highest sequence similarities to UBC1 of bovine and yeast. By Southern blot analysis Le UBC1 was identified as a member of a small E2 subfamily of tomato, presumably consisting of at least two members. As revealed by Northern blot analysis Le UBC1 is constitutively expressed in an exponentially growing tomato cell culture. In response to heat shock an increase in Le UBC1‐mRNA was detectable. A strong accumulation of the Le UBC1‐transcript was observed by exposure to heavy metal stress which was performed by treatment with cadmium chloride (CdCl2). The cellular uptake of cadmium was controlled via ICP‐MS measurements. The data suggest that like in yeast, in plants a certain subfamily of UBC is specifically involved in the proteolytic degradation of abnormal proteins as result of stress.

Feussner, I.; Kühn, H.; Wasternack, C.; Do specific linoleate 13-lipoxygenases initiate β-oxidation? FEBS Lett. 406, 1-5, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(97)00218-4

The germination process of oilseed plants is characterized by a mobilization of the storage lipids which constitute the major carbon source for the growing seedling. Despite the physiological importance of the lipid mobilization, the mechanism of this process is not well understood. Recently, it was found that a specific linoleate 13-lipoxygenase is induced during the stage of lipid mobilization in various oilseed plants and that this enzyme is translocated to the membranes of the lipid storage organelles, the so called lipid bodies. Lipoxygenase expression was paralleled by the occurrence of enantiospecific hydro(pero)xy polyenoic fatty acid derivatives in the storage lipids suggesting the in vivo action of the enzyme. Furthermore, it was reported that oxygenated polyenoic fatty acids, in particular as 13(S)-hydro(pero)xy-9(Z),11(E)-octadecanoic acid [13(S)-H(P)ODE], are cleaved preferentially from the storage lipids when compared with their non-oxygenated linoleate residues. These findings may suggest that 13(S)-H(P)ODE may constitute the endogenous substrate for β-oxidation during lipid mobilization of oilseed plants.
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