Levy, M.; Wang, Q.; Kaspi, R.; Parrella, M.P.; Abel, S. Arabidopsis IQD1, a novel calmodulin-binding nuclear protein, stimulates glucosinolate accumulation and plant defense Plant Journal 43, 79 - 96, (2005) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2005.02435.x
Glucosinolates are a class of secondary metabolites with important roles in plant defense and human nutrition. To uncover regulatory mechanisms of glucosinolate production, we screened Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA activation-tagged lines and identified a high-glucosinolate mutant caused by overexpression of IQD1 (At3g09710). A series of gain- and loss-of-function IQD1 alleles in different accessions correlates with increased and decreased glucosinolate levels, respectively. IQD1 encodes a novel protein that contains putative nuclear localization signals and several motifs known to mediate calmodulin binding, which are arranged in a plant-specific segment of 67 amino acids, called the IQ67 domain. We demonstrate that an IQD1-GFP fusion protein is targeted to the cell nucleus and that recombinant IQD1 binds to calmodulin in a Ca2+-dependent fashion. Analysis of steady-state messenger RNA levels of glucosinolate pathway genes indicates that IQD1 affects expression of multiple genes with roles in glucosinolate metabolism. Histochemical analysis of tissue-specific IQD1::GUS expression reveals IQD1 promoter activity mainly in vascular tissues of all organs, consistent with the expression patterns of several glucosinolate-related genes. Interestingly, overexpression of IQD1 reduces insect herbivory, which we demonstrated in dual-choice assays with the generalist phloem-feeding green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), and in weight-gain assays with the cabbage looper (Trichoplusia ni), a generalist-chewing lepidopteran. As IQD1 is induced by mechanical stimuli, we propose IQD1 to be novel nuclear factor that integrates intracellular Ca2+ signals to fine-tune glucosinolate accumulation in response to biotic challenge.
Abel, S.; Savchenko, T.; Levy, M. Genome-wide comparative analysis of the <em>IQD</em> gene families in <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em> and Oryza sativa BMC Evolutionary Biology 5, 72 (1-25), (2005)
We identified and analyzed 33 and 29 IQD1-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, respectively. The encoded IQD proteins contain a plant-specific domain of 67 conserved amino acid residues, referred to as the IQ67 domain, which is characterized by a unique and repetitive arrangement of three different calmodulin recruitment motifs, known as the IQ, 1-5-10, and 1-8-14 motifs. We demonstrated calmodulin binding for IQD20, the smallest IQD protein in Arabidopsis, which consists of a C-terminal IQ67 domain and a short N-terminal extension. A striking feature of IQD proteins is the high isoelectric point (~10.3) and frequency of serine residues (~11%). We compared the Arabidopsis and rice IQD gene families in terms of gene structure, chromosome location, predicted protein properties and motifs, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary history. The existence of an IQD-like gene in bryophytes suggests that IQD proteins are an ancient family of calmodulin-binding proteins and arose during the early evolution of land plants. Comparative phylogenetic analyses indicate that the major IQD gene lineages originated before the monocot-eudicot divergence. The extant IQD loci in Arabidopsis primarily resulted from segmental duplication and reflect preferential retention of paralogous genes, which is characteristic for proteins with regulatory functions. Interaction of IQD1 and IQD20 with calmodulin and the presence of predicted calmodulin binding sites in all IQD family members suggest that IQD proteins are a new class of calmodulin targets. The basic isoelectric point of IQD proteins and their frequently predicted nuclear localization suggest that IQD proteins link calcium signaling pathways to the regulation of gene expression. Our comparative genomics analysis of IQD genes and encoded proteins in two model plant species provides the first step towards the functional dissection of this emerging family of putative calmodulin targets.