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Chutia, R.; Scharfenberg, S.; Neumann, S.; Abel, S.; Ziegler, J.; Modulation of phosphate deficiency-induced metabolic changes by iron availability in Arabidopsis thaliana Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, 7609, (2021) DOI: 10.3390/ijms22147609

Concurrent suboptimal supply of several nutrients requires the coordination of nutrient-specific transcriptional, phenotypic, and metabolic changes in plants in order to optimize growth and development in most agricultural and natural ecosystems. Phosphate (Pi) and iron (Fe) deficiency induce overlapping but mostly opposing transcriptional and root growth responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. On the metabolite level, Pi deficiency negatively modulates Fe deficiency-induced coumarin accumulation, which is controlled by Fe as well as Pi deficiency response regulators. Here, we report the impact of Fe availability on seedling growth under Pi limiting conditions and on Pi deficiency-induced accumulation of amino acids and organic acids, which play important roles in Pi use efficiency. Fe deficiency in Pi replete conditions hardly changed growth and metabolite profiles in roots and shoots of Arabidopsis thaliana, but partially rescued growth under conditions of Pi starvation and severely modulated Pi deficiency-induced metabolic adjustments. Analysis of T-DNA insertion lines revealed the concerted coordination of metabolic profiles by regulators of Fe (FIT, bHLH104, BRUTUS, PYE) as well as of Pi (SPX1, PHR1, PHL1, bHLH32) starvation responses. The results show the interdependency of Pi and Fe availability and the interplay between Pi and Fe starvation signaling on the generation of plant metabolite profiles.

Mercier, C.; Roux, B.; Havé, M.; Le Poder, L.; Duong, N.; David, P.; Leonhardt, N.; Blanchard, L.; Naumann, C.; Abel, S.; Cuyas, L.; Pluchon, S.; Laurent, N.; Desnos, T.; Root responses to aluminium and iron stresses require the SIZ1 SUMO ligase to modulate the STOP1 transcription factor Plant J. 108, 1507-1521, (2021) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.15525

STOP1, an Arabidopsis transcription factor favouring root growth tolerance against Al toxicity, acts in the response to iron under low Pi (-Pi). Previous studies have shown that Al and Fe regulate the stability and accumulation of STOP1 in roots, and that the STOP1 protein is sumoylated by an unknown E3 ligase. Here, using a forward genetics suppressor screen, we identified the E3 SUMO (small ubiquitin-like modifier) ligase SIZ1 as a modulator of STOP1 signalling. Mutations in SIZ1 increase the expression of ALMT1 (a direct target of STOP1) and root growth responses to Al and Fe stress in a STOP1-dependent manner. Moreover, loss-of-function mutations in SIZ1 enhance the abundance of STOP1 in the root tip. However, no sumoylated STOP1 protein was detected by western blot analysis in our sumoylation assay in E. coli, suggesting the presence of a more sophisticated mechanism. We conclude that the sumo ligase SIZ1 negatively regulates STOP1 signalling, at least in part by modulating STOP1 protein in the root tip. Our results will allow a better understanding of this signalling pathway.

Kumari, P.; Dahiya, P.; Livanos, P.; Zergiebel, L.; Kölling, M.; Poeschl, Y.; Stamm, G.; Hermann, A.; Abel, S.; Müller, S.; Bürstenbinder, K.; IQ67 DOMAIN proteins facilitate preprophase band formation and division-plane orientation Nat. Plants 7, 739-747, (2021) DOI: 10.1038/s41477-021-00923-z

Spatiotemporal control of cell division is essential for the growth and development of multicellular organisms. In plant cells, proper cell plate insertion during cytokinesis relies on the premitotic establishment of the division plane at the cell cortex. Two plant-specific cytoskeleton arrays, the preprophase band (PPB) and the phragmoplast, play important roles in division-plane orientation and cell plate formation, respectively1. Microtubule organization and dynamics and their communication with membranes at the cortex and cell plate are coordinated by multiple, mostly distinct microtubule-associated proteins2. How division-plane selection and establishment are linked, however, is still unknown. Here, we report members of the Arabidopsis IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) family3 as microtubule-targeted proteins that localize to the PPB and phragmoplast and additionally reside at the cell plate and a polarized cortical region including the cortical division zone (CDZ). IQDs physically interact with PHRAGMOPLAST ORIENTING KINESIN (POK) proteins4,5 and PLECKSTRIN HOMOLOGY GTPase ACTIVATING (PHGAP) proteins6, which are core components of the CDZ1. The loss of IQD function impairs PPB formation and affects CDZ recruitment of POKs and PHGAPs, resulting in division-plane positioning defects. We propose that IQDs act as cellular scaffolds that facilitate PPB formation and CDZ set-up during symmetric cell division.

Klionsky, D. J.; Abdel-Aziz, A. K.; Abdelfatah, S.; Abdellatif, M.; Abdoli, A.; Abel, S.; Naumann, C.; et al., .; Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition) Autophagy 17, 1-382, (2021) DOI: 10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis  updated  guidelines  for  monitoring  autophagy  in  different  organisms.  Despite  numerous  reviews, there  continues  to  be  confusion  regarding  acceptable  methods  to  evaluate  autophagy,  especially  in multicellular  eukaryotes.  Here,  we  present  a  set  of  guidelines  for  investigators  to  select  and  interpret methods  to  examine  autophagy  and  related  processes,  and  for  reviewers  to  provide  realistic  and reasonable  critiques  of  reports  that  are  focused  on  these  processes.  These  guidelines  are  not  meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being  asked  and  the  system  being  used.  Moreover,  no  individual  assay  is  perfect  for  every situation, calling  for  the  use  of  multiple  techniques  to  properly  monitor  autophagy  in  each  experimental  setting. Finally,  several  core  components  of  the  autophagy  machinery  have  been  implicated  in  distinct  auto-phagic  processes  (canonical  and  noncanonical  autophagy),  implying  that  genetic  approaches  to  block autophagy  should  rely  on  targeting  two  or  more  autophagy-related  genes  that  ideally  participate  in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for bona fide autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation  in  the  field.

Nibbe, M.; Hilpert, B.; Wasternack, C.; Miersch, O.; Apel, K.; Cell death and salicylate- and jasmonate-dependent stress responses in Arabidopsis are controlled by single cet genes Planta 216, 120-128, (2002) DOI: 10.1007/s00425-002-0907-1

The jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent regulation of the Thi2.1 gene had previously been exploited for setting up a genetic screen for the isolation of signal transduction mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. that constitutively express the thionin gene. Several cet mutants had been isolated which showed a constitutive expression of the thionin gene. These cet mutants, except for one, also showed spontaneous leaf cell necrosis and were up-regulated in the expression of the PR1 gene, reactions often associated with the systemic acquired resistance (SAR) pathway. Four of these cet mutants, cet1, cet2, cet3 and cet4.1 were crossed with the fad triple and coi1 mutants that are blocked at two steps within the JA-dependent signaling pathway, and with transgenic NahG plants that are deficient in salicylic acid (SA) and are unable to activate SAR. Analysis of the various double-mutant lines revealed that the four cet genes act within a signaling cascade at or prior to branch points from which not only JA-dependent signals but also SA-dependent signaling and cell death pathways diverge.

Laskowski, M. J.; Dreher, K. A.; Gehring, M. A.; Abel, S.; Gensler, A. L.; Sussex, I. M.; FQR1, a Novel Primary Auxin-Response Gene, Encodes a Flavin Mononucleotide-Binding Quinone Reductase Plant Physiol. 128, 578-590, (2002) DOI: 10.1104/pp.010581

FQR1 is a novel primary auxin-response gene that codes for a flavin mononucleotide-binding flavodoxin-like quinone reductase. Accumulation of FQR1 mRNA begins within 10 min of indole-3-acetic acid application and reaches a maximum of approximately 10-fold induction 30 min after treatment. This increase in FQR1 mRNA abundance is not diminished by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide, demonstrating thatFQR1 is a primary auxin-response gene. Sequence analysis reveals that FQR1 belongs to a family of flavin mononucleotide-binding quinone reductases. Partially purified His-tagged FQR1 isolated fromEscherichia coli catalyzes the transfer of electrons from NADH and NADPH to several substrates and exhibits in vitro quinone reductase activity. Overexpression of FQR1 in plants leads to increased levels of FQR1 protein and quinone reductase activity, indicating that FQR1 functions as a quinone reductase in vivo. In mammalian systems, glutathione S-transferases and quinone reductases are classified as phase II detoxification enzymes. We hypothesize that the auxin-inducible glutathioneS-transferases and quinone reductases found in plants also act as detoxification enzymes, possibly to protect against auxin-induced oxidative stress.

Grubb, C. D.; Gross, H. B.; Chen, D. L.; Abel, S.; Identification of Arabidopsis mutants with altered glucosinolate profiles based on isothiocyanate bioactivity Plant Sci. 162, 143-152, (2002) DOI: 10.1016/S0168-9452(01)00550-7

Glucosinolates are a diverse class of nitrogen- and sulfur-containing secondary metabolites. They are rapidly hydrolyzed on tissue disruption to a number of biologically active compounds that are increasingly attracting interest as anticarcinogenic phytochemicals and crop protectants. Several glucosinolate-derived isothiocyanates are potent chemopreventive agents that favorably modulate carcinogen metabolism in mammals. Methylsulfinylalkyl isothiocyanates, in particular the 4-methylsulfinylbutyl derivative, are selective and potent inducers of mammalian detoxification enzymes such as quinone reductase (QR). Cruciferous plants including Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heyhn, synthesize methylsulfinylalkyl glucosinolates, which are derived from methionine. Using a colorimetric assay for QR activity in murine hepatoma cells and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of desulfoglucosinolates, we have demonstrated a strong positive correlation between leaf QR inducer potency and leaf content of methionine-derived glucosinolates in various A. thaliana ecotypes and available glucosinolate mutants. In a molecular genetic approach to glucosinolate biosynthesis, we screened 3000 chemically mutagenized M2 plants of the Columbia ecotype for altered leaf QR inducer potency. Subsequent HPLC analysis of progeny of putative mutants identified six lines with significant and heritable changes in leaf glucosinolate content and composition.

Abel, S.; Ticconi, C. A.; Delatorre, C. A.; Phosphate sensing in higher plants Physiol. Plant. 115, 1-8, (2002) DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2002.1150101.x

Phosphate (Pi) plays a central role as reactant and effector molecule in plant cell metabolism. However, Pi is the least accessible macronutrient in many ecosystems and its low availability often limits plant growth. Plants have evolved an array of molecular and morphological adaptations to cope with Pi limitation, which include dramatic changes in gene expression and root development to facilitate Pi acquisition and recycling. Although physiological responses to Pi starvation have been increasingly studied and understood, the initial molecular events that monitor and transmit information on external and internal Pi status remain to be elucidated in plants. This review summarizes molecular and developmental Pi starvation responses of higher plants and the evidence for coordinated regulation of gene expression, followed by a discussion of the potential involvement of plant hormones in Pi sensing and of molecular genetic approaches to elucidate plant signalling of low Pi availability. Complementary genetic strategies in Arabidopsis thaliana have been developed that are expected to identify components of plant signal transduction pathways involved in Pi sensing. Innovative screening methods utilize reporter gene constructs, conditional growth on organophosphates and the inhibitory properties of the Pi analogue phosphite, which hold the promise for significant advances in our understanding of the complex mechanisms by which plants regulate Pi‐starvation responses.

Weichert, H.; Kolbe, A.; Kraus, A.; Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I.; Metabolic profiling of oxylipins in germinating cucumber seedlings - lipoxygenase-dependent degradation of triacylglycerols and biosynthesis of volatile aldehydes Planta 215, 612-619, (2002) DOI: 10.1007/s00425-002-0779-4

A particular isoform of lipoxygenase (LOX) localized on lipid bodies was shown by earlier investigations to play a role in initiating the mobilization of triacylglycerols during seed germination. Here, further physiological functions of LOXs within whole cotyledons of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) were analyzed by measuring the endogenous amounts of LOX-derived products. The lipid-body LOX-derived esterified (13S)-hydroperoxy linoleic acid was the dominant metabolite of the LOX pathway in this tissue. It accumulated to about 14 µmol/g fresh weight, which represented about 6% of the total amount of linoleic acid in cotyledons. This LOX product was not only reduced to its hydroxy derivative, leading to degradation by β-oxidation, but alternatively it was metabolized by fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase leading to formation of hexanal as well. Furthermore, the activities of LOX forms metabolizing linolenic acid were detected by measuring the accumulation of volatile aldehydes and the allene oxide synthase-derived metabolite jasmonic acid. The first evidence is presented for an involvement of a lipid-body LOX form in the production of volatile aldehydes.

Wang, Q.; Grubb, C. D.; Abel, S.; Direct analysis of single leaf disks for chemopreventive glucosinolates Phytochem. Anal. 13, 152-157, (2002) DOI: 10.1002/pca.636

Natural isothiocyanates, produced during plant tissue damage from methionine‐derived glucosinolates, are potent inducers of mammalian phase 2 detoxification enzymes such as quinone reductase (QR). A greatly simplified bioassay for glucosinolates based on induction and colorimetric detection of QR activity in murine hepatoma cells is described. It is demonstrated that excised leaf disks of Arabidopsis thaliana (ecotype Columbia) can directly and reproducibly substitute for cell‐free leaf extracts as inducers of murine QR, which reduces sample preparation to a minimum and maximizes throughput. A comparison of 1 and 3 mm diameter leaf disks indicated that QR inducer potency was proportional to disk circumference (extent of tissue damage) rather than to area. When compared to the QR inducer potency of the corresponding amount of extract, 1 mm leaf disks were equally effective, whereas 3 mm disks were 70% as potent. The QR inducer potency of leaf disks correlated positively with the content of methionine‐derived glucosinolates, as shown by the analysis of wild‐type plants and mutant lines with lower or higher glucosinolate content. Thus, the microtitre plate‐based assay of single leaf disks provides a robust and inexpensive visual method for rapidly screening large numbers of plants in mapping populations or mutant collections and may be applicable to other glucosinolate‐producing species.
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