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Wasternack, C.; Goetz, S.; Hellwege, A.; Forner, S.; Strnad, M.; Hause, B.; Another JA/COI1-independent role of OPDA detected in tomato embryo development Plant Signal Behav. 7, 1349-1353, (2012) DOI: 10.4161/psb.21551

Jasmonates (JAs) are ubiquitously occurring signaling compounds in plants formed in response to biotic and abiotic stress as well as in development. (+)-7-iso-jasmonoyl isoleucine, the bioactive JA, is involved in most JA-dependent processes mediated by the F-box protein COI1 in a proteasome-dependent manner. However, there is an increasing number of examples, where the precursor of JA biosynthesis, cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) is active in a JA/COI1-independent manner. Here, we discuss those OPDA-dependent processes, thereby giving emphasis on tomato embryo development. Recent data on seed coat-generated OPDA and its role in embryo development is discussed based on biochemical and genetic evidences.

Stenzel, I.; Otto, M.; Delker, C.; Kirmse, N.; Schmidt, D.; Miersch, O.; Hause, B.; Wasternack, C.; ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) gene family members of Arabidopsis thaliana: tissue- and organ-specific promoter activities and in vivo heteromerization J. Exp. Bot. 63, 6125-6138, (2012) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ers261

Jasmonates are important signals in plant stress responses and plant development. An essential step in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) is catalysed by ALLENE OXIDE CYCLASE (AOC) which establishes the naturally occurring enantiomeric structure of jasmonates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, four genes encode four functional AOC polypeptides (AOC1, AOC2, AOC3, and AOC4) raising the question of functional redundancy or diversification. Analysis of transcript accumulation revealed an organ-specific expression pattern, whereas detailed inspection of transgenic lines expressing the GUS reporter gene under the control of individual AOC promoters showed partially redundant promoter activities during development: (i) In fully developed leaves, promoter activities of AOC1, AOC2, and AOC3 appeared throughout all leaf tissue, but AOC4 promoter activity was vascular bundle-specific; (ii) only AOC3 and AOC4 showed promoter activities in roots; and (iii) partially specific promoter activities were found for AOC1 and AOC4 in flower development. In situ hybridization of flower stalks confirmed the GUS activity data. Characterization of single and double AOC loss-of-function mutants further corroborates the hypothesis of functional redundancies among individual AOCs due to a lack of phenotypes indicative of JA deficiency (e.g. male sterility). To elucidate whether redundant AOC expression might contribute to regulation on AOC activity level, protein interaction studies using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) were performed and showed that all AOCs can interact among each other. The data suggest a putative regulatory mechanism of temporal and spatial fine-tuning in JA formation by differential expression and via possible heteromerization of the four AOCs.

Goetz, S.; Hellwege, A.; Stenzel, I.; Kutter, C.; Hauptmann, V.; Forner, S.; McCaig, B.; Hause, G.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Hause, B.; Role of cis-12-Oxo-Phytodienoic Acid in Tomato Embryo Development Plant Physiol. 158, 1715-1727, (2012) DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.192658

Oxylipins including jasmonates are signaling compounds in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) most mutants affected in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signaling are male sterile, whereas the JA-insensitive tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mutant jai1 is female sterile. The diminished seed formation in jai1 together with the ovule-specific accumulation of the JA biosynthesis enzyme allene oxide cyclase (AOC), which correlates with elevated levels of JAs, suggest a role of oxylipins in tomato flower/seed development. Here, we show that 35S::SlAOC-RNAi lines with strongly reduced AOC in ovules exhibited reduced seed set similarly to the jai1 plants. Investigation of embryo development of wild-type tomato plants showed preferential occurrence of AOC promoter activity and AOC protein accumulation in the developing seed coat and the embryo, whereas 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) was the dominant oxylipin occurring nearly exclusively in the seed coat tissues. The OPDA- and JA-deficient mutant spr2 was delayed in embryo development and showed an increased programmed cell death in the developing seed coat and endosperm. In contrast, the mutant acx1a, which accumulates preferentially OPDA and residual amount of JA, developed embryos similar to the wild type, suggesting a role of OPDA in embryo development. Activity of the residual amount of JA in the acx1a mutant is highly improbable since the known reproductive phenotype of the JA-insensitive mutant jai1 could be rescued by wound-induced formation of OPDA. These data suggest a role of OPDA or an OPDA-related compound for proper embryo development possibly by regulating carbohydrate supply and detoxification.

Fellenberg, C.; Ziegler, J.; Handrick, V.; Vogt, T.; Polyamine homeostasis in wild type and phenolamide deficient Arabidopsis thaliana stamens Front. Plant Sci. 3, 180, (2012) DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00180

Polyamines (PAs) like putrescine, spermidine, and spermine are ubiquitous polycationic molecules that occur in all living cells and have a role in a wide variety of biological processes. High amounts of spermidine conjugated to hydroxycinnamic acids are detected in the tryphine of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen grains. Tapetum localized spermidine hydroxycinnamic acid transferase (SHT) is essential for the biosynthesis of these anther specific tris-conjugated spermidine derivatives. Sht knockout lines show a strong reduction of hydroxycinnamic acid amides (HCAAs). The effect of HCAA-deficient anthers on the level of free PAs was measured by a new sensitive and reproducible method using 9-fluorenylmethyl chloroformate (FMOC) and fluorescence detection by HPLC. PA concentrations can be accurately determined even when very limited amounts of plant material, as in the case of A. thaliana stamens, are available. Analysis of free PAs in wild type stamens compared to sht deficient mutants and transcript levels of key PA biosynthetic genes revealed a highly controlled regulation of PA homeostasis in A. thaliana anthers.
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Weichert, H.; Maucher, H.; Hornung, E.; Wasternack, C.; Feussner, I.; Shift in Fatty Acid and Oxylipin Pattern of Tomato Leaves Following Overexpression of the Allene Oxide Cyclase 275-278, (2003) DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0159-4_64

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are a source of numerous oxidation products, the oxylipins. In leaves, α-linolenic acid (α-LeA) is the preferential substrate for lipid peroxidation reactions. This reaction may be catalyzed either by a 9-lipoxygenase (9-LOX) or by a 13-LOX and oxygen is inserted regioselectively as well as stereospecifically leading to formation of 13S- or 9S-hydroperoxy octadecatrienoic acid (13-/9-HPOT; Brash, 1999). At least, seven different enzyme families or reaction branches within the LOX pathway can use these HPOTs or other hydroperoxy PUFAs leading to (i) keto-PUFAs (LOX); (ii) epoxy hydroxy-PUFAs (epoxy alcohol synthase, EAS); (iii) octadecanoids and jasmonates (allene oxide synthase, AOS); (iv) leaf aldehydes and leaf alcohols (hydroperoxide lyase, HPL); (v) hydroxy PUFAs (reductase); (vi) divinyl ether PUFAs (divinyl ether synthase, DES); and (vii) epoxy- or dihydrodiol-PUFAs (peroxygenase, PDX; Fig. 1; Feussner and Wasternack, 2002).
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Stumpe, M.; Stenzel, I.; Weichert, H.; Hause, B.; Feussner, I.; The Lipoxygenase Pathway in Mycorrhizal Roots of Medicago Truncatula 287-290, (2003) DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0159-4_67

Mycorrhizas are by far the most frequent occurring beneficial symbiotic interactions between plants and fungi. Species in >80% of extant plant families are capable of establishing an arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). In relation to the development of the symbiosis the first molecular modifications are those associated with plant defense responses, which seem to be locally suppressed to levels compatible with symbiotic interaction (Gianinazzi-Pearson, 1996). AM symbiosis can, however, reduce root disease caused by several soil-borne pathogens. The mechanisms underlying this protective effect are still not well understood. In plants, products of the enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) and the corresponding downstream enzymes, collectively named LOX pathway (Fig. 1B), are involved in wound healing, pest resistance, and signaling, or they have antimicrobial and antifungal activity (Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). The central reaction in this pathway is catalyzed by LOXs leading to formation of either 9- or 13-hydroperoxy octadeca(di/trien)oic acids (9/13-HPO(D/T); Brash, 1999). Thus LOXs may be divided into 9- and 13-LOXs (Fig. 1A). Seven different reaction branches within this pathway can use these hydroperoxy polyenoic fatty acids (PUFAs) leading to (i) keto PUFAs by a LOX; (ii) epoxy hydroxy-fatty acids by an epoxy alcohol synthase (EAS); (iii) octadecanoids and jasmonates via allene oxide synthase (AOS); (iv) leaf aldehydes and leaf alcohols via fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase (HPL); (v) hydroxy PUFAs (reductase); (vi) divinyl ether PUFAs via divinyl ether synthase (DES); and (vii) epoxy- or dihydrodiolPUFAs via peroxygenase (PDX; Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). AOS, HPL and DES belong to one subfamily of P450-containing enzymes, the CYP74 family (Feussner and Wasternack, 2002). Here, the involvement of this CYP74 enzyme family in mycorrhizal roots of M. truncatula during early stages of AM symbiosis formation was analyzed.
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Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Feussner, I.; Wasternack, C.; Transcriptional Activation of Jasmonate Biosynthesis Enzymes is not Reflected at Protein Level 267-270, (2003) DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-0159-4_62

Jasmonic acid (JA) and its precursor 12-oxo phytodienoic acid (OPDA) are lipid-derived signals in plant stress responses and development (Wasternack and Hause, 2002). Within the wound-response pathway of tomato, a local response of expression of defense genes such as the proteinase inhibitor 2 gene (PIN2) is preceded by a rise in JA (Herde et al., 1996; Howe et al., 1996) and ethylene (O’Donnell et al., 1996). Mutants affected in JA biosynthesis such as defl (Howe et al., 1996) or spr-2 (Li et al., 2002) clearly indicated that JA biosynthesis is an ultimate part of wound signaling. It is less understood, however, how the rise in JA is regulated.

Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Miersch, O.; Kurz, T.; Maucher, H.; Weichert, H.; Ziegler, J.; Feussner, I.; Wasternack, C.; Jasmonate biosynthesis and the allene oxide cyclase family of Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Mol. Biol. 51, 895-911, (2003) DOI: 10.1023/A:1023049319723

In biosynthesis of octadecanoids and jasmonate (JA), the naturally occurring enantiomer is established in a step catalysed by the gene cloned recently from tomato as a single-copy gene (Ziegler et al., 2000). Based on sequence homology, four full-length cDNAs were isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Columbia coding for proteins with AOC activity. The expression of AOCgenes was transiently and differentially up-regulated upon wounding both locally and systemically and was induced by JA treatment. In contrast, AOC protein appeared at constitutively high basal levels and was slightly increased by the treatments. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed abundant occurrence of AOC protein as well as of the preceding enzymes in octadecanoid biosynthesis, lipoxygenase (LOX) and allene oxide synthase (AOS), in fully developed tissues, but much less so in 7-day old leaf tissues. Metabolic profiling data of free and esterified polyunsaturated fatty acids and lipid peroxidation products including JA and octadecanoids in wild-type leaves and the jasmonate-deficient mutant OPDA reductase 3 (opr3) revealed preferential activity of the AOS branch within the LOX pathway. 13-LOX products occurred predominantly as esterified derivatives, and all 13-hydroperoxy derivatives were below the detection limits. There was a constitutive high level of free 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) in untreated wild-type and opr3 leaves, but an undetectable expression of AOC. Upon wounding opr3 leaves exhibited only low expression of AOC, wounded wild-type leaves, however, accumulated JA and AOC mRNA. These and further data suggest regulation of JA biosynthesis by OPDA compartmentalization and a positive feedback by JA during leaf development.

Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Pitzschke, A.; Miersch, O.; Ziegler, J.; Ryan, C. A.; Wasternack, C.; Allene oxide cyclase dependence of the wound response and vascular bundle-specific generation of jasmonates in tomato - amplification in wound signalling Plant J. 33, 577-589, (2003) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01647.x

The allene oxide cyclase (AOC)‐catalyzed step in jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis is important in the wound response of tomato. As shown by treatments with systemin and its inactive analog, and by analysis of 35S::prosysteminsense and 35S::prosysteminantisense plants, the AOC seems to be activated by systemin (and JA) leading to elevated formation of JA. Data are presented on the local wound response following activation of AOC and generation of JA, both in vascular bundles. The tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC protein and generation of JA is kept upon wounding or other stresses, but is compromised in 35S::AOCsense plants, whereas 35S::AOCantisense plants exhibited residual AOC expression, a less than 10% rise in JA, and no detectable expression of wound response genes. The (i) activation of systemin‐dependent AOC and JA biosynthesis occurring only upon substrate generation, (ii) the tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC in vascular bundles, where the prosystemin gene is expressed, and (iii) the tissue‐specific generation of JA suggest an amplification in the wound response of tomato leaves allowing local and rapid defense responses.

Schilling, S.; Manhart, S.; Hoffmann, T.; Ludwig, H.-H.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U.; Substrate Specificity of Glutaminyl Cyclases from Plants and Animals Biol. Chem. 384, 1583-1592, (2003) DOI: 10.1515/BC.2003.175

Glutaminyl cyclases (QC) catalyze the intramolecular cyclization of N-terminal glutamine residues of peptides and proteins. For a comparison of the substrate specificity of human and papaya QC enzymes, a novel continuous assay was established by adapting an existing discontinuous method. Specificity constants (kcat/Km) of dipeptides and dipeptide surrogates were higher for plant QC, whereas the selectivity for oligopeptides was similar for both enzymes. However, only the specificity constants of mammalian QC were dependent on size and composition of the substrates. Specificity constants of both enzymes were equally pH-dependent in the acidic pH-region, revealing a pKa value identical to the pKa of the substrate, suggesting similarities in the substrate conversion mode. Accordingly, both QCs converted the L-?homoglutaminyl residue in the peptide H-?homoGln-Phe-Lys-Arg-Leu-Ala-NH2 and the glutaminyl residues of the branched peptide H-Gln-Lys(Gln)-Arg-Leu-Ala-NH2 as well as the partially cyclized peptide H-Gln-cyclo( N?-Lys-Arg-Pro-Ala-Gly-Phe). In contrast, only QC from C. papaya was able to cyclize a methylated glutamine residue, while this compound did not even inhibit human QC-catalysis, suggesting distinct substrate recognition pattern. The conversion of the potential physiological substrates gastrin, neurotensin and [GlN1]-fertilization promoting peptide indicates that human QC may play a key role in posttranslational modification of most if not all pGlu-containing hormones.
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