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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.

Flores, R.; Delgado, S.; Gas, M.-E.; Carbonell, A.; Molina, D.; Gago, S.; De la Peña, M.; Viroids: the minimal non-coding RNAs with autonomous replication FEBS Lett. 567, 42-48, (2004) DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2004.03.118

Viroids are small (246–401 nucleotides), non‐coding, circular RNAs able to replicate autonomously in certain plants. Viroids are classified into the families Pospiviroidae and Avsunviroidae , whose members replicate in the nucleus and chloroplast, respectively. Replication occurs by an RNA‐based rolling‐circle mechanism in three steps: (1) synthesis of longer‐than‐unit strands catalyzed by host DNA‐dependent RNA polymerases forced to transcribe RNA templates, (2) processing to unit‐length, which in family Avsunviroidae is mediated by hammerhead ribozymes, and (3) circularization either through an RNA ligase or autocatalytically. Disease induction might result from the accumulation of viroid‐specific small interfering RNAs that, via RNA silencing, could interfere with normal developmental pathways.

Bücking, H.; Förster, H.; Stenzel, I.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Applied jasmonates accumulate extracellularly in tomato, but intracellularly in barley FEBS Lett. 562, 45-50, (2004) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(04)00178-4

Jasmonic acid (JA) and its derivatives are well‐characterized signaling molecules in plant defense and development, but the site of their localization within plant tissue is entirely unknown. To address the question whether applied JA accumulates extracellularly or intracellularly, leaves of tomato and barley were fed with 14C‐labeled JA and the label was localized in cryofixed and lyophilized leaf tissues by microautoradiography. In tomato the radioactivity was detectable within the apoplast, but no label was found within the mesophyll cells. By contrast, in barley leaf tissues, radioactivity was detected within the mesophyll cells suggesting a cellular uptake of exogenously applied JA. JA, applied to leaves of both plants as in the labeling experiments, led in all leaf cells to the expression of JA‐inducible genes indicating that the perception is completed by JA signal transduction.

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.

Hertel, S. C.; Knöfel, H.-D.; Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Partial purification and characterization of a jasmonic acid conjugate cleaving amidohydrolase from the fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae FEBS Lett. 407, 105-110, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0014-5793(97)00307-4

A protein preparation from the mycelium of the tropical pathogenic fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae revealed a novel peptidase activity. This enzyme was capable of cleaving conjugates of jasmonic acid with α-amino acids. The protein was enriched 108-fold by gel filtration, ion exchange and hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The enzyme was found to be a glycoprotein with a molecular mass of about 107 kDa. The amidohydrolase seems to be very specific with regard to (−)-jasmonic acid and α-amino acids with (S)-configuration.
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