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Vigliocco, A.; Bonamico, B.; Alemano, S.; Miersch, O.; Abdala, G.; Stimulation of jasmonic acid production in Zea Mays L. infected by the maize rough dwarf virus - Río Cuarto. Reversion of symptoms by salicylic acid Biocell 26, 369-374, (2002)

In the present paper we study the possible biological relevance of endogenous jasmonic acid (JA) and exogenous salicylic acid (SA) in a plant-microbial system maize-virus. The virus disease "Mal de Río Cuarto" is caused by the maize rough dwarf virus - Río Cuarto. The characteristic symptoms are the appearance of galls or "enations" in leaves, shortening of the stem internodes, poor radical system and general stunting. Changes in JA and protein pattern in maize control and infected plants of a virus-tolerant cultivar were investigated. Healthy and infected-leaf discs were collected for JA measurement at different post-infection times (20, 40, 60 and 68 days). JA was also measured in roots on day 60 after infection. For SDS-PAGE protein analysis, leaf discs were also harvested on day 60 after infection. Infected leaves showed higher levels of JA than healthy leaves, and the rise in endogenous JA coincided with the enation formation. The soluble protein amount did not show differences between infected and healthy leaves; moreover, no difference in the expression of soluble protein was revealed by SDS-PAGE. Our results show that the octadecanoid pathway was stimulated in leaves and roots of the tolerant maize cultivar when infected by this virus. This finding, together with fewer plants with the disease symptoms, suggest that higher foliar and roots JA content may be related to disease tolerance. SA exogenous treatment caused the reversion of the dwarfism symptom.

Schilling, S.; Hoffmann, T.; Rosche, F.; Manhart, S.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U.; Heterologous Expression and Characterization of Human Glutaminyl Cyclase: Evidence for a Disulfide Bond with Importance for Catalytic Activity Biochemistry 41, 10849-10857, (2002) DOI: 10.1021/bi0260381

Glutaminyl cyclase (QC, EC catalyzes the formation of pyroglutamate residues from glutamine at the N-terminus of peptides and proteins. In the current study, human QC was functionally expressed in the secretory pathway of Pichia pastoris, yielding milligram quantities after purification from the supernatant of a 5 L fermentation. Initial characterization studies of the recombinant QC using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry revealed correct proteolytic processing and N-glycosylation at both potential sites with similar 2 kDa extensions. CD spectral analysis indicated a high α-helical content, which contrasts with plant QC from Carica papaya. The kinetic parameters for conversion of H-Gln-Tyr-Ala-OH by recombinant human QC were almost identical to those previously reported for purified bovine pituitary QC. However, the results obtained for conversion of H-Gln-Gln-OH, H-Gln-NH2, and H-Gln-AMC were found to be contradictory to previous studies on human QC expressed intracellularly in E. coli. Expression of QC in E. coli showed that approximately 50% of the protein did not contain a disulfide bond that is present in the entire QC expressed in P. pastoris. Further, the enzyme was consistently inactivated by treatment with 15 mM DTT, whereas deglycosylation had no effect on enzymatic activity. Analysis of the fluorescence spectra of the native, reduced, and unfolded human QC point to a conformational change of the protein upon treatment with DTT. In terms of the different enzymatic properties, the consequences of QC expression in different environments are discussed.
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