Ziegler, J.; Facchini, P.J.; Geißler, R.; Schmidt, J.; Ammer, C.; Kramell, R.; Voigtländer, S.; Gesell, A.; Pienkny, S.; Brandt, W. Evolution of morphine biosynthesis in opium poppy. Phytochemistry 70, 1696 - 1707, (2009) DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.07.006
Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are a group of nitrogen-containing plant secondary metabolites comprised of an estimated 2500 identified structures. In BIA metabolism, (S)-reticuline is a key branch-point intermediate that can be directed into several alkaloid subtypes with different structural skeleton configurations. The morphinan alkaloids are one subclass of BIAs produced in only a few plant species, most notably and abundantly in the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Comparative transcriptome analysis of opium poppy and several other Papaver species that do not accumulate morphinan alkaloids showed that known genes encoding BIA biosynthetic enzymes are expressed at higher levels in P. somniferum. Three unknown cDNAs that are co-ordinately expressed with several BIA biosynthetic genes were identified as enzymes in the pathway. One of these enzymes, salutaridine reductase (SalR), which is specific for the production of morphinan alkaloids, was isolated and heterologously overexpressed in its active form not only from P. somniferum, but also from Papaver species that do not produce morphinan alkaloids.SalR is a member of a class of short chain dehydrogenase/reductases (SDRs) that are active as monomers and possess an extended amino acid sequence compared with classical SDRs. Homology modelling and substrate docking revealed the substrate binding site for SalR. The amino acids residues conferring salutaridine binding were compared to several members of the SDR family from different plant species, which non-specifically reduce ( )-menthone to (+)-neomenthol. Previously, it was shown that some of these proteins are involved in plant defence. The recruitment of specific monomeric SDRs from monomeric SDRs involved in plant defence is discussed.
Halim, V.A.; Altmann, S.; Ellinger, D.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Miersch, O.; Scheel, D.; Rosahl, S. PAMP-induced defense responses in potato require both salicylic acid and jasmonic acid Plant Journal 57, 230 - 242, (2009) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03688.x
To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP)-induced defense responses in potato (Solanum tuberosum), the role of the signaling compounds salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) was analyzed. Pep-13, a PAMP from Phytophthora, induces the accumulation of SA, JA and hydrogen peroxide, as well as the activation of defense genes and hypersensitive-like cell death. We have previously shown that SA is required for Pep-13-induced defense responses. To assess the importance of JA, RNA interference constructs targeted at the JA biosynthetic genes, allene oxide cyclase and 12- oxophytodienoic acid reductase, were expressed in transgenic potato plants. In addition, expression of the F-box protein COI1 was reduced by RNA interference. Plants expressing the RNA interference constructs failed to accumulate the respective transcripts in response to wounding or Pep-13 treatment, neither did they contain significant amounts of JA after elicitation. In response to infiltration of Pep-13, the transgenic plants exhibited a highly reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species as well as reduced hypersensitive cell death. The ability of the JA-deficient plants to accumulate SA suggests that SA accumulation is independent or upstream of JA accumulation. These data show that PAMP responses in potato require both SA and JA and that, in contrast to Arabidopsis, these compounds act in the same signal transduction pathway. Despite their inability to fully respond to PAMP treatment, the transgenic RNA interference plants are not altered in their basal defense against Phytophthora infestans.
Fonseca, S.; Chini, A.; Hamberg, M.; Adie, B.; Porzel, A.; Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Solano, R. (+)-7-iso-Jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine is the endogenous bioactive jasmonate Nat Chem Biol 5, 344-350, (2009) DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.161
Hormone-triggered activation of the jasmonate signaling pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana requires SCFCOI1-mediated proteasome degradation of JAZ repressors. (-)-JA-L-Ile is the proposed bioactive hormone, and SCFCOI1 is its likely receptor. We found that the biological activity of (-)-JA-L-Ile is unexpectedly low compared to coronatine and the synthetic isomer (+)-JA-L-Ile, which suggests that the stereochemical orientation of the cyclopentanone-ring side chains greatly affects receptor binding. Detailed GC-MS and HPLC analyses showed that the (-)-JA-L-Ile preparations currently used in ligand binding studies contain small amounts of the C7 epimer (+)-7-iso-JA-L-Ile. Purification of each of these molecules demonstrated that pure (-)-JA-L-Ile is inactive and that the active hormone is (+)-7-iso-JA-L-Ile, which is also structurally more similar to coronatine. In addition, we show that pH changes promote conversion of (+)-7-iso-JA-L-Ile to the inactive (-)-JA-L-Ile form, thus providing a simple mechanism that can regulate hormone activity through epimerization.
Santner, A.; Calderón Villalobos, L.I.; Estelle, M. Plant hormones are versatile chemical regulators of plant growth Nat Chem Biol 5(5), 301-307, (2009) DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.165
The plant hormones are a structurally unrelated collection of small molecules derived from various essential metabolic pathways. These compounds are important regulators of plant growth and mediate responses to both biotic and abiotic stresses. During the last ten years there have been many exciting advances in our understanding of plant hormone biology, including new discoveries in the areas of hormone biosynthesis, transport, perception and response. Receptors for many of the major hormones have now been identified, providing new opportunities to study the chemical specificity of hormone signaling. These studies also reveal a surprisingly important role for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in hormone signaling. In addition, recent work confirms that hormone signaling interacts at multiple levels during plant growth and development. In the future, a major challenge will be to understand how the information conveyed by these simple compounds is integrated during plant growth.