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Publikationen - Molekulare Signalverarbeitung

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Dallery, J.-F.; Zimmer, M.; Halder, V.; Suliman, M.; Pigné, S.; Le Goff, G.; Gianniou, D. D.; Trougakos, I. P.; Ouazzani, J.; Gasperini, D.; O'Connell, R. J. Inhibition of jasmonate-mediated plant defences by the fungal metabolite higginsianin B J Exp Bot (2020) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eraa061

Infection of Arabidopsis thaliana by the ascomycete fungus Colletotrichum higginsianum is characterised by an early symptomless biotrophic phase followed by a destructive necrotrophic phase. The fungal genome contains 77 secondary metabolism-related biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs), and their expression during the infection process is tightly regulated. Deleting CclA, a chromatin regulator involved in repression of some BGCs through H3K4 trimethylation, allowed overproduction of 3 families of terpenoids and isolation of 12 different molecules. These natural products were tested in combination with methyl jasmonate (MeJA), an elicitor of jasmonate responses, for their capacity to alter defence gene induction in Arabidopsis. Higginsianin B inhibited MeJA-triggered expression of the defence reporter VSP1p:GUS, suggesting it may block bioactive JA-Ile synthesis or signalling in planta. Using the JA-Ile sensor Jas9-VENUS, we found that higginsianin B, but not three other structurally-related molecules, suppressed JA-Ile signalling by preventing degradation of JAZ proteins, the repressors of JA responses. Higginsianin B likely blocks the 26S proteasome-dependent degradation of JAZ proteins because it inhibited chymotrypsin- and caspase-like protease activities. The inhibition of target degradation by higginsianin B also extended to auxin signalling, as higginsianin B treatment reduced IAA-dependent expression of DR5p:GUS. Overall, our data indicate that specific fungal secondary metabolites can act similarly to protein effectors to subvert plant immune and developmental responses.
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Anwer, M. U.; Davis, A.; Davis, S. J.; Quint, M. Photoperiod sensing of the circadian clock is controlled by EARLY FLOWERING 3 and GIGANTEA Plant J (2019) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14604

ELF3 and GI are two important components of the Arabidopsis circadian clock. They are not only essential for the oscillator function but are also pivotal in mediating light inputs to the oscillator. Lack of either results in a defective oscillator causing severely compromised output pathways, such as photoperiodic flowering and hypocotyl elongation. Although single loss of function mutants of ELF3 and GI have been well‐studied, their genetic interaction remains unclear. We generated an elf3 gi double mutant to study their genetic relationship in clock‐controlled growth and phase transition phenotypes. We found that ELF3 and GI repress growth differentially during the night and the day, respectively. Circadian clock assays revealed that ELF3 and GI are essential Zeitnehmers that enable the oscillator to synchronize the endogenous cellular mechanisms to external environmental signals. In their absence, the circadian oscillator fails to synchronize to the light‐dark cycles even under diurnal conditions. Consequently, clock‐mediated photoperiod‐responsive growth and development are completely lost in plants lacking both genes, suggesting that ELF3 and GI together convey photoperiod sensing to the central oscillator. Since ELF3 and GI are conserved across flowering plants and represent important breeding and domestication targets, our data highlight the possibility of developing photoperiod‐insensitive crops by adjusting the allelic combination of these two key genes.
Publikationen in Druck

Niemeyer, M.; Moreno Castillo, E.; Ihling, C. H.; Iacobucci, C.; Wilde, V.; Hellmuth, A.; Hoehenwarter, W.; Samodelov, S. L.; Zurbriggen, M. D.; Kastritis, P. L.; Sinz, A.; Calderón Villalobos, L. I. A. Flexibility of intrinsically disordered degrons in AUX/IAA proteins reinforces auxin receptor assemblies bioRxiv (2019) DOI: 10.1101/787770

Cullin RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligases SCFTIR1/AFB1-5 and their ubiquitylation targets, AUX/IAAs, sense auxin concentrations in the nucleus. TIR1 binds a surface-exposed degron in AUX/IAAs promoting their ubiquitylation and rapid auxin-regulated proteasomal degradation. Here, we resolved TIR1·auxin·IAA7 and TIR1·auxin·IAA12 complex topology, and show that flexible intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) in the degron′s vicinity, cooperatively position AUX/IAAs on TIR1. The AUX/IAA PB1 interaction domain also assists in non-native contacts, affecting AUX/IAA dynamic interaction states. Our results establish a role for IDRs in modulating auxin receptor assemblies. By securing AUX/IAAs on two opposite surfaces of TIR1, IDR diversity supports locally tailored positioning for targeted ubiquitylation and might provide conformational flexibility for adopting a multiplicity of functional states. We postulate IDRs in distinct members of the AUX/IAA family to be an adaptive signature for protein interaction and initiation region for proteasome recruitment.
Publikationen in Druck

Ried, M. K.; Wild, R.; Zhu, J.; Broger, L.; Harmel, R. K.; Hothorn, L. A.; Fiedler, D.; Hothorn, M. Inositol pyrophosphates promote the interaction of SPX domains with the coiled-coil motif of PHR transcription factors to regulate plant phosphate homeostasis bioRxiv (2019) DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.13.875393

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient taken up by organisms in the form of inorganic phosphate (Pi). Eukaryotes have evolved sophisticated Pi sensing and signalling cascades, enabling them to maintain cellular Pi concentrations. Pi homeostasis is regulated by inositol pyrophosphate signalling molecules (PP-InsPs), which are sensed by SPX-domain containing proteins. In plants, PP-InsP bound SPX receptors inactivate Myb coiled-coil (MYB-CC) Pi starvation response transcription factors (PHRs) by an unknown mechanism. Here we report that a InsP8 – SPX complex targets the plant-unique CC domain of PHRs. Crystal structures of the CC domain reveal an unusual four-stranded anti-parallel arrangement. Interface mutations in the CC domain yield monomeric PHR1, which is no longer able to bind DNA with high affinity. Mutation of conserved basic residues located at the surface of the CC domain disrupt interaction with the SPX receptor in vitro and in planta, resulting in constitutive Pi starvation responses. Together, our findings suggest that InsP8 regulates plant Pi homeostasis by controlling the oligomeric state and hence the promoter binding capability of PHRs via their SPX receptors.
Publikationen in Druck

Drost, H.-J.; Gabel, A.; Domazet-Lošo, T.; Quint, M.; Grosse, I. Capturing Evolutionary Signatures in Transcriptomes with myTAI BioRxiv (2016) DOI: 10.1101/051565

Combining transcriptome data of biological processes or response to stimuli with evolutionary information such as the phylogenetic conservation of genes or their sequence divergence rates enables the investigation of evolutionary constraints on these processes or responses. Such phylotranscriptomic analyses recently unraveled that mid-developmental transcriptomes of fly, fish, and cress were dominated by evolutionarily conserved genes and genes under negative selection and thus recapitulated the developmental hourglass on the transcriptomic level. Here, we present a protocol for performing phylotranscriptomic analyses on any biological process of interest. When applying this protocol, users are capable of detecting different evolutionary constraints acting on different stages of the biological process of interest in any species. For each step of the protocol, modular and easy-to-use open-source software tools are provided, which enable a broad range of scientists to apply phylotranscriptomic analyses to a wide spectrum of biological questions.
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