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1.  Molecular cloning of a Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae gene cluster that enables Pseudomonas fluorescens to elicit the hypersensitive response in tobacco plants. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1988;170(10):4748-4756.
A cosmid clone isolated from a genomic library of Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 restored to all Tn5 mutants of this strain studied the ability to elicit the hypersensitive response (HR) in tobacco. Cosmid pHIR11 also enabled Escherichia coli TB1 to elicit an HR-like reaction when high levels of inoculum (10(9) cells per ml) were infiltrated into tobacco leaves. The cosmid, which contains a 31-kilobase DNA insert, was mobilized by triparental matings into Pseudomonas fluorescens 55 (a nonpathogen that normally causes no plant reactions), P. syringae pv. syringae 226 (a tomato pathogen that causes the HR in tobacco), and P. syringae pv. tabaci (a tobacco pathogen that causes the HR in tomato). The plant reaction phenotypes of all of the transconjugants were altered. P. fluorescens(pHIR11) caused the HR in tobacco and tomato leaves and stimulated an apparent proton influx in suspension-cultured tobacco cells that was indistinguishable from the proton influx caused by incompatible pathogenic pseudomonads. P. syringae pv. tabaci(pHIR11) and P. syringae pv. syringae 226(pHIR11) elicited the HR rather than disease symptoms on their respective hosts and were no longer pathogenic. pHIR11 was mutagenized with TnphoA (Tn5 IS50L::phoA). One randomly chosen mutant, pHIR11-18, no longer conferred the HR phenotype to P. fluorescens. The mutation was marker-exchanged into the genomes of P. syringae pv. syringae strains 61 and 226. The TnphoA insertions in the two pseudomonads abolished their ability to elicit any plant reactions in all plants tested. The results indicate that a relatively small portion of the P. syringae genome is sufficient for the elicitation of plant reactions.
PMCID: PMC211517  PMID: 3139635
2.  The Majority of the Type III Effector Inventory of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000 Can Suppress Plant Immunity 
The Pseudomonas syringae type III protein secretion system (T3SS) and the type III effectors it injects into plant cells are required for plant pathogenicity and the ability to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR). The HR is a programmed cell death that is associated with effector-triggered immunity (ETI). A primary function of P. syringae type III effectors appears to be the suppression of ETI and pathogen-associated molecular pattern–triggered immunity (PTI), which is induced by conserved molecules on micro-organisms. We reported that seven type III effectors from P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 were capable of suppressing an HR induced by P. fluorescens(pHIR11) and have now tested 35 DC3000 type III effectors in this assay, finding that the majority of them can suppress the HR induced by HopA1. One newly identified type III effector with particularly strong HR suppression activity was HopS2. We used the pHIR11 derivative pLN1965, which lacks hopA1, in related assays and found that a subset of the type III effectors that suppressed HopA1-induced ETI also suppressed an ETI response induced by AvrRpm1 in Arabidopsis thaliana. A. thaliana plants expressing either HopAO1 or HopF2, two type III effectors that suppressed the HopA1-induced HR, were reduced in the flagellin-induced PTI response as well as PTI induced by other PAMPs and allowed enhanced in planta growth of P. syringae. Collectively, our results suggest that the majority of DC3000 type III effectors can suppress plant immunity. Additionally, the construct pLN1965 will likely be a useful tool in determining whether other type III effectors or effectors from other types of pathogens can suppress either ETI, PTI, or both.
PMCID: PMC2778199  PMID: 19656042
3.  Membrane microdomain may be a platform for immune signaling 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(4):454-456.
Arabidopsis RPS2 is a typical disease resistance (R) protein with nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeats (NB-LRR). Previously, we reported that RPS2 is physically associated with some Arabidopsis hypersensitive induced reaction (AtHIR) proteins, which are enriched in membrane microdomains. Biochemical and genetic analyses suggested that members of the AtHIR gene family have a function in RPS2-mediated immune signaling. Here, we provide evidence that the pattern recognition receptor (PRR) FLS2 is also physically associated with AtHIR2 in a N. benthamiana transient expression system. We thus speculate that PM microdomains provide a platform for both types of immune receptors, R proteins and PRRs, and that the activation of the receptors is facilitated by AtHIR proteins.
PMCID: PMC3419031  PMID: 22499178
ETI; PTI; FLS2; RPS2; AtHIR; membrane microdomain
4.  Genomic Predictors for Recurrence Patterns of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Model Derivation and Validation 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001770.
In this study, Lee and colleagues develop a genomic predictor that can identify patients at high risk for late recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and provided new biomarkers for risk stratification.
Typically observed at 2 y after surgical resection, late recurrence is a major challenge in the management of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We aimed to develop a genomic predictor that can identify patients at high risk for late recurrence and assess its clinical implications.
Methods and Findings
Systematic analysis of gene expression data from human liver undergoing hepatic injury and regeneration revealed a 233-gene signature that was significantly associated with late recurrence of HCC. Using this signature, we developed a prognostic predictor that can identify patients at high risk of late recurrence, and tested and validated the robustness of the predictor in patients (n = 396) who underwent surgery between 1990 and 2011 at four centers (210 recurrences during a median of 3.7 y of follow-up). In multivariate analysis, this signature was the strongest risk factor for late recurrence (hazard ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–3.7; p = 0.002). In contrast, our previously developed tumor-derived 65-gene risk score was significantly associated with early recurrence (p = 0.005) but not with late recurrence (p = 0.7). In multivariate analysis, the 65-gene risk score was the strongest risk factor for very early recurrence (<1 y after surgical resection) (hazard ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–2.6; p = 0.01). The potential significance of STAT3 activation in late recurrence was predicted by gene network analysis and validated later. We also developed and validated 4- and 20-gene predictors from the full 233-gene predictor. The main limitation of the study is that most of the patients in our study were hepatitis B virus–positive. Further investigations are needed to test our prediction models in patients with different etiologies of HCC, such as hepatitis C virus.
Two independently developed predictors reflected well the differences between early and late recurrence of HCC at the molecular level and provided new biomarkers for risk stratification.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Primary liver cancer—a tumor that starts when a liver cell acquires genetic changes that allow it to grow uncontrollably—is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, killing more than 600,000 people annually. If hepatocellular cancer (HCC; the most common type of liver cancer) is diagnosed in its early stages, it can be treated by surgically removing part of the liver (resection), by liver transplantation, or by local ablation, which uses an electric current to destroy the cancer cells. Unfortunately, the symptoms of HCC, which include weight loss, tiredness, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), are vague and rarely appear until the cancer has spread throughout the liver. Consequently, HCC is rarely diagnosed before the cancer is advanced and untreatable, and has a poor prognosis (likely outcome)—fewer than 5% of patients survive for five or more years after diagnosis. The exact cause of HCC is unclear, but chronic liver (hepatic) injury and inflammation (caused, for example, by infection with hepatitis B virus [HBV] or by alcohol abuse) promote tumor development.
Why Was This Study Done?
Even when it is diagnosed early, HCC has a poor prognosis because it often recurs. Patients treated for HCC can experience two distinct types of tumor recurrence. Early recurrence, which usually happens within the first two years after surgery, arises from the spread of primary cancer cells into the surrounding liver that left behind during surgery. Late recurrence, which typically happens more than two years after surgery, involves the development of completely new tumors and seems to be the result of chronic liver damage. Because early and late recurrence have different clinical courses, it would be useful to be able to predict which patients are at high risk of which type of recurrence. Given that injury, inflammation, and regeneration seem to prime the liver for HCC development, might the gene expression patterns associated with these conditions serve as predictive markers for the identification of patients at risk of late recurrence of HCC? Here, the researchers develop a genomic predictor for the late recurrence of HCC by examining gene expression patterns in tissue samples from livers that were undergoing injury and regeneration.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
By comparing gene expression data obtained from liver biopsies taken before and after liver transplantation or resection and recorded in the US National Center for Biotechnology Information Gene Expression Omnibus database, the researchers identified 233 genes whose expression in liver differed before and after liver injury (the hepatic injury and regeneration, or HIR, signature). Statistical analyses indicate that the expression of the HIR signature in archived tissue samples was significantly associated with late recurrence of HCC in three independent groups of patients, but not with early recurrence (a significant association between two variables is one that is unlikely to have arisen by chance). By contrast, a tumor-derived 65-gene signature previously developed by the researchers was significantly associated with early recurrence but not with late recurrence. Notably, as few as four genes from the HIR signature were sufficient to construct a reliable predictor for late recurrence of HCC. Finally, the researchers report that many of the genes in the HIR signature encode proteins involved in inflammation and cell death, but that others encode proteins involved in cellular growth and proliferation such as STAT3, a protein with a well-known role in liver regeneration.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings identify a gene expression signature that was significantly associated with late recurrence of HCC in three independent groups of patients. Because most of these patients were infected with HBV, the ability of the HIR signature to predict late occurrence of HCC may be limited to HBV-related HCC and may not be generalizable to HCC related to other causes. Moreover, the predictive ability of the HIR signature needs to be tested in a prospective study in which samples are taken and analyzed at baseline and patients are followed to see whether their HCC recurs; the current retrospective study analyzed stored tissue samples. Importantly, however, the HIR signature associated with late recurrence and the 65-gene signature associated with early recurrence provide new insights into the biological differences between late and early recurrence of HCC at the molecular level. Knowing about these differences may lead to new treatments for HCC and may help clinicians choose the most appropriate treatments for their patients.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Cancer Institute provides information about all aspects of cancer, including detailed information for patients and professionals about primary liver cancer (in English and Spanish)
The American Cancer Society also provides information about liver cancer (including information on support programs and services; available in several languages)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about primary liver cancer (including a video about coping with cancer)
Cancer Research UK (a not-for-profit organization) also provides detailed information about primary liver cancer (including information about living with primary liver cancer)
MD Anderson Cancer Center provides information about symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of primary liver cancer
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about liver cancer (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4275163  PMID: 25536056
5.  The Phylogenetically-Related Pattern Recognition Receptors EFR and XA21 Recruit Similar Immune Signaling Components in Monocots and Dicots 
PLoS Pathogens  2015;11(1):e1004602.
During plant immunity, surface-localized pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). The transfer of PRRs between plant species is a promising strategy for engineering broad-spectrum disease resistance. Thus, there is a great interest in understanding the mechanisms of PRR-mediated resistance across different plant species. Two well-characterized plant PRRs are the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) EFR and XA21 from Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and rice, respectively. Interestingly, despite being evolutionary distant, EFR and XA21 are phylogenetically closely related and are both members of the sub-family XII of LRR-RKs that contains numerous potential PRRs. Here, we compared the ability of these related PRRs to engage immune signaling across the monocots-dicots taxonomic divide. Using chimera between Arabidopsis EFR and rice XA21, we show that the kinase domain of the rice XA21 is functional in triggering elf18-induced signaling and quantitative immunity to the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pto) DC3000 and Agrobacterium tumefaciens in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, the EFR:XA21 chimera associates dynamically in a ligand-dependent manner with known components of the EFR complex. Conversely, EFR associates with Arabidopsis orthologues of rice XA21-interacting proteins, which appear to be involved in EFR-mediated signaling and immunity in Arabidopsis. Our work indicates the overall functional conservation of immune components acting downstream of distinct LRR-RK-type PRRs between monocots and dicots.
Author Summary
Pests and diseases cause significant agricultural losses. Plants recognize pathogen-derived molecules via plasma membrane-localized immune receptors (called pattern recognition receptors or PRRs), resulting in pathogen resistance. In recent years, the transfer of PRRs across plant species has emerged as a promising biotechnological approach to improve crop disease resistance. Successful transfers of PRRs suggest that immune signaling components are conserved across plant species. In this study, we demonstrate that the PRR XA21 from the monocot plant rice is functional in the dicot plant Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and that it confers quantitatively enhanced resistance to bacteria. Furthermore, we show that the rice XA21 and the Arabidopsis EFR, which are evolutionary-distant but phylogenetically closely related, recruit similar signaling components for their function, revealing an overall conservation of immune pathways across monocots and dicots. These findings demonstrate evolutionary conservation of downstream signaling from PRRs and indicate that transfer of PRRs is possible between different plant families, but also between monocots and dicots.
PMCID: PMC4301810  PMID: 25607985
6.  Genome-wide gene responses in a transgenic rice line carrying the maize resistance gene Rxo1 to the rice bacterial streak pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:78.
Non-host resistance in rice to its bacterial pathogen, Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc), mediated by a maize NBS-LRR type R gene, Rxo1 shows a typical hypersensitive reaction (HR) phenotype, but the molecular mechanism(s) underlying this type of non-host resistance remain largely unknown.
A microarray experiment was performed to reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying HR of rice to Xoc mediated by Rxo1 using a pair of transgenic and non-transgenic rice lines. Our results indicated that Rxo1 appeared to function in the very early step of the interaction between rice and Xoc, and could specifically activate large numbers of genes involved in signaling pathways leading to HR and some basal defensive pathways such as SA and ET pathways. In the former case, Rxo1 appeared to differ from the typical host R genes in that it could lead to HR without activating NDR1. In the latter cases, Rxo1 was able to induce a unique group of WRKY TF genes and a large set of genes encoding PPR and RRM proteins that share the same G-box in their promoter regions with possible functions in post-transcriptional regulation.
In conclusion, Rxo1, like most host R genes, was able to trigger HR against Xoc in the heterologous rice plants by activating multiple defensive pathways related to HR, providing useful information on the evolution of plant resistance genes. Maize non-host resistance gene Rxo1 could trigger the pathogen-specific HR in heterologous rice, and ultimately leading to a localized programmed cell death which exhibits the characteristics consistent with those mediated by host resistance genes, but a number of genes encoding pentatricopeptide repeat and RNA recognition motif protein were found specifically up-regulated in the Rxo1 mediated disease resistance. These results add to our understanding the evolution of plant resistance genes.
PMCID: PMC2824728  PMID: 20122142
7.  Characterization of HIR1 and HIR2, two genes required for regulation of histone gene transcription in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1993;13(1):28-38.
The products of the HIR1 and HIR2 genes have been defined genetically as repressors of histone gene transcription in S. cerevisiae. A mutation in either gene affects cell cycle regulation of three of the four histone gene loci; transcription of these loci occurs throughout the cell cycle and is no longer repressed in response to the inhibition of DNA replication. The same mutations also eliminate autogenous regulation of the HTA1-HTB1 locus by histones H2A and H2B. The HIR1 and HIR2 genes have been isolated, and their roles in the transcriptional regulation of the HTA1-HTB1 locus have been characterized. Neither gene encodes an essential protein, and null alleles derepress HTA1-HTB1 transcription. Both HIR genes are expressed constitutively under conditions that lead to repression or derepression of the HTA1 gene, and neither gene regulates the expression of the other. The sequence of the HIR1 gene predicts an 88-kDa protein with three repeats of a motif found in the G beta subunit of retinal transducin and in a yeast transcriptional repressor, Tup1. The sequence of the HIR2 gene predicts a protein of 98 kDa. Both gene products contain nuclear targeting signals, and the Hir2 protein is localized in the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC358881  PMID: 8417331
8.  Hir1p and Hir2p function as transcriptional corepressors to regulate histone gene transcription in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1997;17(2):545-552.
The HIR/HPC (histone regulation/histone periodic control) negative regulators play important roles in the transcription of six of the eight core histone genes during the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell cycle. The phenotypes of hir1 and hir2 mutants suggested that the wild-type HIR1 and HIR2 genes encode transcriptional repressors that function in the absence of direct DNA binding. When Hir1p and Hir2p were artificially tethered to yeast promoters, each protein repressed transcription, suggesting that they represent a new class of transcriptional corepressors. The two proteins might function as a complex in vivo: Hir2p required both Hir1p and another Hir protein, Hir3p, to repress transcription when it was tethered to an HTA1-lacZ reporter gene, and Hir1p and Hir2p could be coimmunoprecipitated from yeast cell extracts. Tethered Hir1p also directed the periodic transcription of the HTA1 gene and repressed HTA1 transcription in response to two cell cycle regulatory signals. Thus, it represents the first example of a transcriptional corepressor with a direct role in cell cycle-regulated transcription.
PMCID: PMC231779  PMID: 9001207
9.  Light-Regulated Nuclear Import and Degradation of Arabidopsis Phytochrome-A N-Terminal Fragments 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2010;52(2):361-372.
The photoreceptor phytochrome-A (phyA) regulates germination and seedling establishment by mediating very low fluence (VLFR) and far-red high irradiance (FR-HIR) responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. In darkness, phyA homodimers exist in the biologically inactive Pr form and are localized in the cytoplasm. Light induces formation of the biologically active Pfr form and subsequent rapid nuclear import. PhyA Pfr, in contrast to the Pr form, is labile and has a half-life of ∼30 min. We produced transgenic plants in a phyA-201 null background that express the PHYA–yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) or the PHYA686–YFP–dimerization domain (DD) and PHYA686–YFP–DD–nuclear localization signal (NLS) or PHYA686–YFP–DD–nuclear exclusion signal (NES) fusion proteins. The PHYA686–YFP fusion proteins contained the N-terminal domain of phyA (686 amino acid residues), a short DD and the YFP. Here we report that (i) PHYA686–YFP–DD fusion protein is imported into the nucleus in a light-dependent fashion; (ii) neither of the PHYA686 fusion proteins is functional in FR-HIR and nuclear VLFR; and (iii) the phyA-dependent, blue light-induced inhibition of hypocotyl growth is mediated by the PHYA686–YFP–DD–NES but not by the PHYA686–YFP–DD–NLS and PHYA686–YFP–DD fusion proteins. We demonstrate that (i) light induces degradation of all PHYA N-terminal-containing fusion proteins and (ii) these N-terminal domain-containing fusion proteins including the constitutively nuclear PHYA686–YFP–DD–NLS and predominantly cytoplasmic PHYA686–YFP–DD–NES degrade at comparable rates but markedly more slowly than PHYA–YFP, whereas (iii) light-induced degradation of the native phyA is faster compared with PHYA–YFP.
PMCID: PMC3037077  PMID: 21169346
High irradiation response; Light-induced degradation; Nuclear import; Phytochrome-A; Signaling; Very low fluence response
10.  The Cyst Nematode SPRYSEC Protein RBP-1 Elicits Gpa2- and RanGAP2-Dependent Plant Cell Death 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(8):e1000564.
Plant NB-LRR proteins confer robust protection against microbes and metazoan parasites by recognizing pathogen-derived avirulence (Avr) proteins that are delivered to the host cytoplasm. Microbial Avr proteins usually function as virulence factors in compatible interactions; however, little is known about the types of metazoan proteins recognized by NB-LRR proteins and their relationship with virulence. In this report, we demonstrate that the secreted protein RBP-1 from the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida elicits defense responses, including cell death typical of a hypersensitive response (HR), through the NB-LRR protein Gpa2. Gp-Rbp-1 variants from G. pallida populations both virulent and avirulent to Gpa2 demonstrated a high degree of polymorphism, with positive selection detected at numerous sites. All Gp-RBP-1 protein variants from an avirulent population were recognized by Gpa2, whereas virulent populations possessed Gp-RBP-1 protein variants both recognized and non-recognized by Gpa2. Recognition of Gp-RBP-1 by Gpa2 correlated to a single amino acid polymorphism at position 187 in the Gp-RBP-1 SPRY domain. Gp-RBP-1 expressed from Potato virus X elicited Gpa2-mediated defenses that required Ran GTPase-activating protein 2 (RanGAP2), a protein known to interact with the Gpa2 N terminus. Tethering RanGAP2 and Gp-RBP-1 variants via fusion proteins resulted in an enhancement of Gpa2-mediated responses. However, activation of Gpa2 was still dependent on the recognition specificity conferred by amino acid 187 and the Gpa2 LRR domain. These results suggest a two-tiered process wherein RanGAP2 mediates an initial interaction with pathogen-delivered Gp-RBP-1 proteins but where the Gpa2 LRR determines which of these interactions will be productive.
Author Summary
Biotrophic plant pathogens produce effector proteins that are delivered to the host cytoplasm where they alter defense responses and metabolism to favor pathogen colonization. In turn, plants have evolved intra-cellular proteins to recognize pathogen effector proteins, known as NB-LRR proteins, which are similar in structure to animal NOD-LRR immune receptors. While effector proteins recognized by NB-LRR proteins have been identified from many organisms, the identification of such proteins from metazoan plant parasites has presented unique challenges due to the lack of genetically tractable model species. The potato Gpa2 protein confers resistance to some isolates of the potato pale cyst nematode, Globodera pallida. In this report, we show that Gpa2 recognizes certain variants of the G. pallida protein, Gp-RBP-1, which is highly polymorphic both within and between populations. This recognition in turn induces defense responses, including a form of programmed cell death characteristic of plant immune receptor activation. Moreover, we show that a Gpa2-interacting protein, RanGAP2, is required for Gpa2 function and that activation of Gpa2 is enhanced when Gp-RBP-1 is artificially tethered to RanGAP2. Thus, our findings suggest that RanGAP2 acts as a recognition co-factor for Gpa2, and have important implications for our understanding of the mechanisms and evolution of pathogen recognition by NB-LRR proteins.
PMCID: PMC2727447  PMID: 19714238
11.  Replication-Independent Histone Deposition by the HIR Complex and Asf1 
Current biology : CB  2005;15(22):2044.
The orderly deposition of histones onto DNA is mediated by conserved assembly complexes, including Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 (CAF-1) and the Hir proteins [1–4]. CAF-1 and the Hir proteins operate in distinct but functionally overlapping histone deposition pathways in vivo [5, 6]. The Hir proteins and CAF-1 share a common partner, the highly conserved histone H3/H4-binding protein Asf1, which binds the middle subunit of CAF-1 as well as to Hir proteins [7–11]. Asf1 binds to newly synthesized histones H3/H4 [12] and this complex stimulates histone deposition by CAF-1 [7, 12, 13]. In yeast, Asf1 is required for the contribution of the Hir proteins to gene silencing [7, 14]. Here, we demonstrate that Hir1, Hir2, Hir3 and Hpc2 comprise the HIR complex, which co-purifies with histone deposition protein Asf1. Together, the HIR complex and Asf1 deposit histones onto DNA in a replication-independent manner. Histone deposition by the HIR complex and Asf1 is impaired by a mutation in Asf1 that inhibits HIR binding. These data indicate that the HIR complex and Asf1 proteins function together as a conserved eukaryotic pathway for histone replacement throughout the cell cycle.
PMCID: PMC2819815  PMID: 16303565
chromatin assembly; HIR; Asf1; histones
12.  Synchronization in G0/G1 enhances the mitogenic response of cells overexpressing the human insulin receptor A isoform to insulin 
Cell Biology and Toxicology  2009;26(4):293-307.
Evaluating mitogenic signaling specifically through the human insulin receptor (IR) is relevant for the preclinical safety assessment of developmental insulin analogs. It is known that overexpression of IR sensitizes cells to the mitogenic effects of insulin, but it is essentially unknown how mitogenic responses can be optimized to allow practical use of such recombinant cell lines for preclinical safety testing. We constitutively overexpressed the short isoform of the human insulin receptor (hIR-A, exon 11-negative) in L6 rat skeletal myoblasts. Because the mitogenic effect of growth factors such as insulin is expected to act in G0/G1, promoting S-phase entry, we developed a combined topoinhibition + serum deprivation strategy to explore the effect of G0/G1 synchronization as an independent parameter in the context of serum deprivation, the latter being routinely used to reduce background in mitogenicity assays. G0/G1 synchronization significantly improved the mitogenic responses of L6-hIR cells to insulin, measured by 3H-thymidine incorporation. Comparison with the parental L6 cells using phospho-mitogen-activated protein kinase, phospho-AKT, as well as 3H-thymidine incorporation end points supported that the majority of the mitogenic effect of insulin in L6-hIR cells was mediated by the overexpressed hIR-A. Using the optimized L6-hIR assay, we found that the X-10 insulin analog was more mitogenic than native human insulin, supporting that X-10 exhibits increased mitogenic signaling through the hIR-A. In summary, this study provides the first demonstration that serum deprivation may not be sufficient, and G0/G1 synchronization may be required to obtain optimal responsiveness of hIR-overexpressing cell lines for preclinical safety testing.
PMCID: PMC2896650  PMID: 19898946
Flow cytometry; Insulin analog; Insulin receptor; Mitogenic effect; Molecular toxicology; 3H-thymidine
13.  Hepatic Irradiation Augments Engraftment Of Donor Cells Following Hepatocyte Transplantation 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2009;49(1):258-267.
Engraftment of donor hepatocytes is a critical step that determines the success of hepatocyte transplantation. Rapid and efficient integration of donor cells would enable prompt liver repopulation of these cells in response to selective proliferative stimuli offered by a preparative regimen. We have earlier demonstrated that hepatic irradiation (HIR) in combination with a variety of hepatotrophic growth signals, ie., partial hepatectomy and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) can be used as a preparative regimen for liver repopulation of transplanted hepatocytes. In this study, we investigated the effects of HIR on engraftment of transplanted DPPIV positive hepatocytes in congeneic DPPIV-deficient rats. HIR-induced apoptosis of hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells (SEC) within six hours of HIR, resulted in dehiscence of the SEC lining in 24hrs. Although there was no change of the number of Kupffer cells after HIR, colloidal carbon clearance decreased 24 hours post HIR, indicating a suppression of phagocytic function. DPPIV+ donor cells were transplanted 24h after HIR (0–50 Gy). There was a HIR dose-dependent increase in the donor hepatocyte mass engrafted in the liver parenchyma. The number of viable transplanted hepatocytes present in hepatic sinusoids or integrated in the parenchyma was greater in the HIR-treated group at 3 and 7dys after transplantation compared with the sham controls. Finally, we validated these rodent studies in cynomologous monkeys, demonstrating a single 10Gy dose of HIR was sufficient to enhance engraftment of donor porcine hepatocytes. This data indicates that transient disruption of the SEC barrier and inhibition of the phagocytic function of Kupffer cells by HIR enhances hepatocyte engraftment and the integrated donor cell mass. Thus, preparative HIR could be potentially useful to augment hepatocyte transplantation.
PMCID: PMC3416044  PMID: 19003915
Hepatocyte transplantation; Hepatic irradiation; Hepatocyte engraftment
14.  Role of Insulin Receptor and Balance in Insulin Receptor Isoforms A and B in Regulation of Apoptosis in Simian Virus 40-immortalized Neonatal Hepatocytes 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(3):1185-1198.
We have investigated the unique role of the insulin receptor (IR) and the balance of its isoforms A and B in the regulation of apoptosis in simian virus 40 (SV40)-immortalized neonatal hepatocytes. Immortalized hepatocytes lacking (HIR KO) or expressing the entire IR (HIR LoxP), and cells expressing either IRA (HIR RecA) or IRB (HIR RecB) have been generated. IR deficiency in hepatocytes increases sensitivity to the withdrawal of growth factors, because these cells display an increase in reactive oxygen species, a decrease in Bcl-xL, a rapid accumulation of nuclear Foxo1, and up-regulation of Bim. These events resulted in acceleration of caspase-3 activation, DNA laddering, and cell death. The single expression of either IRA or IRB produced a stronger apoptotic phenotype. In these cells, protein complexes containing IRA or IRB and Fas/Fas-associating protein with death domain activated caspase-8, and, ultimately, caspase-3. In hepatocytes expressing IRA, Bid cleavage and cytochrome C release were increased whereas direct activation of caspase-3 by caspase-8 and a more rapid apoptotic process occurred in hepatocytes expressing IRB. Conversely, coexpression of IRA and IRB in IR-deficient hepatocytes rescued from apoptosis. Our results suggest that balance alteration of IRA and IRB may serve as a ligand-independent apoptotic trigger in hepatocytes, which may regulate liver development.
PMCID: PMC2262979  PMID: 18172021
15.  Specific Missense Alleles of the Arabidopsis Jasmonic Acid Co-Receptor COI1 Regulate Innate Immune Receptor Accumulation and Function 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(10):e1003018.
Plants utilize proteins containing nucleotide binding site (NB) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains as intracellular innate immune receptors to recognize pathogens and initiate defense responses. Since mis-activation of defense responses can lead to tissue damage and even developmental arrest, proper regulation of NB–LRR protein signaling is critical. RAR1, SGT1, and HSP90 act as regulatory chaperones of pre-activation NB–LRR steady-state proteins. We extended our analysis of mutants derived from a rar1 suppressor screen and present two allelic rar1 suppressor (rsp) mutations of Arabidopsis COI1. Like all other coi1 mutations, coi1rsp missense mutations impair Jasmonic Acid (JA) signaling resulting in JA–insensitivity. However, unlike previously identified coi1 alleles, both coi1rsp alleles lack a male sterile phenotype. The coi1rsp mutants express two sets of disease resistance phenotypes. The first, also observed in coi1-1 null allele, includes enhanced basal defense against the virulent bacterial pathogen Pto DC3000 and enhanced effector-triggered immunity (ETI) mediated by the NB–LRR RPM1 protein in both rar1 and wild-type backgrounds. These enhanced disease resistance phenotypes depend on the JA signaling function of COI1. Additionally, the coi1rsp mutants showed a unique inability to properly regulate RPM1 accumulation and HR, exhibited increased RPM1 levels in rar1, and weakened RPM1-mediated HR in RAR1. Importantly, there was no change in the steady-state levels or HR function of RPM1 in coi1-1. These results suggest that the coi1rsp proteins regulate NB–LRR protein accumulation independent of JA signaling. Based on the phenotypic similarities and genetic interactions among coi1rsp, sgt1b, and hsp90.2rsp mutants, our data suggest that COI1 affects NB–LRR accumulation via two NB–LRR co-chaperones, SGT1b and HSP90. Together, our data demonstrate a role for COI1 in disease resistance independent of JA signaling and provide a molecular link between the JA and NB–LRR signaling pathways.
Author Summary
To detect pathogen attack and subsequently trigger defense responses, plants utilize immune receptors composed of a nucleotide binding site (NB) domain and a C-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain that function inside the cell. To identify regulators of NB–LRR protein accumulation and activity, we performed a genetic screen in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana to isolate mutants that affect NB–LRR protein accumulation levels and NB–LRR triggered disease resistance. Here, we introduce two mutant alleles of COI1, a gene which encodes a well-characterized receptor for the phytohormone Jasmonic Acid (JA). It is widely accepted that COI1 is involved in JA signaling-dependent disease resistance. However, our new coi1 mutants affected NB–LRR accumulation in a manner independent of the JA signaling pathway. This indicated that not all disease resistance effects of COI1 require JA signaling. We also observed a link between COI1 and the RAR1-SGT1b-HSP90 co-chaperone complex, which plays a critical role in regulation of NB–LRR protein accumulations.
PMCID: PMC3475666  PMID: 23093946
16.  Pseudomonas syringae Lytic Transglycosylases Coregulated with the Type III Secretion System Contribute to the Translocation of Effector Proteins into Plant Cells▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(22):8277-8289.
Pseudomonas syringae translocates virulence effector proteins into plant cells via a type III secretion system (T3SS) encoded by hrp (for hypersensitive response and pathogenicity) genes. Three genes coregulated with the Hrp T3SS system in P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 have predicted lytic transglycosylase domains: PSPTO1378 (here designated hrpH), PSPTO2678 (hopP1), and PSPTO852 (hopAJ1). hrpH is located between hrpR and avrE1 in the Hrp pathogenicity island and is carried in the functional cluster of P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp genes cloned in cosmid pHIR11. Strong expression of DC3000 hrpH in Escherichia coli inhibits bacterial growth unless the predicted catalytic glutamate at position 148 is mutated. Translocation tests involving C-terminal fusions with a Cya (Bordetella pertussis adenylate cyclase) reporter indicate that HrpH and HopP1, but not HopAJ1, are T3SS substrates. Pseudomonas fluorescens carrying a pHIR11 derivative lacking hrpH is poorly able to translocate effector HopA1, and this deficiency can be restored by HopP1 and HopAJ1, but not by HrpH(E148A) or HrpH1-241. DC3000 mutants lacking hrpH or hrpH, hopP1, and hopAJ1 combined are variously reduced in effector translocation, elicitation of the hypersensitive response, and virulence. However, the mutants are not reduced in secretion of T3SS substrates in culture. When produced in wild-type DC3000, the HrpH(E148A) and HrpH1-241 variants have a dominant-negative effect on the ability of DC3000 to elicit the hypersensitive response in nonhost tobacco and to grow and cause disease in host tomato. The three Hrp-associated lytic transglycosylases in DC3000 appear to have overlapping functions in contributing to T3SS functions during infection.
PMCID: PMC2168667  PMID: 17827286
17.  Phenotypic expression of the Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm gene cluster in Escherichia coli MC4100 requires a functional porin. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(6):1742-1749.
Plants, in general, appear to be able to detect the presence of incompatible Pseudomonas syringae strains by a hypothetical cell-cell recognition process to initiate inducible defense mechanisms that contribute to disease resistance. A 25-kb hrp/hrm gene cluster isolated from P. syringae pv. syringae 61(pHIR11) enables Escherichia coli to elicit a hypersensitive response (HR), a plant response generally considered to be a manifestation of recognition and resistance. To identify the nature of the HR-eliciting signal produced by E. coli cells carrying pHIR11, bacterial surface features were surveyed by immunological and biochemical procedures. No immunoreactive epitopes or outer membrane proteins were detected that were associated with expression of the P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm cluster in E. coli MC4100. Phenotypic expression of the P. syringae pv. syringae 61 hrp/hrm cluster in E. coli MC4100, however, was found to be dependent upon ompC and ompF, which control outer membrane permeability to hydrophilic solutes. The results suggest that deployment of the HR-eliciting signal occurs via outer membrane porins and imply that a low-molecular-weight, hydrophilic factor mediates signal exchange between the bacterium and the responding plant cell.
PMCID: PMC205774  PMID: 1312527
18.  Cyclic nucleotide gated channels and related signaling components in plant innate immunity 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2009;4(4):277-282.
Although plants lack the mobile sentry cells present in animal innate immune systems, plants have developed complex innate immune reactions triggering basal resistance and the hypersensitive response (HR). Cytosolic Ca2+ elevation is considered to be an important early event in this pathogen response signal transduction cascade. Plasma membrane (PM)-localized cyclic nucleotide gated channels (CNGCs) contribute to the cytosolic Ca2+ rise upon pathogen perception. Recent work suggests that some PM-localized leucine-rich-repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) may be involved in the perception of pathogen associated molecular pattern molecules and triggering some pathogen responses in plants, some of these LRR-RLKs might have cyclic nucleotide cyclase activity. The recognition of pathogens may be connected to cyclic nucleotide generation and the activation of CNGCs, followed by cytosolic Ca2+ increase and downstream signaling events (possibly involving nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species (ROS), calmodulin (CaM), CaM-like protein (CML) and protein kinases). Notably, CaM or CML could be the crucial sensor downstream from the early Ca2+ signal leading to nitric oxide (NO) production during plant innate immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2664486  PMID: 19794842
calcium; CNGC; hypersensitive response; nitric oxide; plant innate immunity; plant ion channel; reactive oxygen species
19.  The Arabidopsis miR472-RDR6 Silencing Pathway Modulates PAMP- and Effector-Triggered Immunity through the Post-transcriptional Control of Disease Resistance Genes 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(1):e1003883.
RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE 6 (RDR6) is a key RNA silencing factor initially characterized in transgene silencing and virus resistance. This enzyme also contributes to the biosynthesis of endogenous short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) from non-coding RNAs, transposable elements and protein-coding transcripts. One class of protein-coding transcripts that have recently emerged as major sources of RDR6-dependent siRNAs are nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins, a family of immune-receptors that perceive specific pathogen effector proteins and mount Effector-Triggered Immunity (ETI). Nevertheless, the dynamic post-transcriptional control of NB-LRR transcripts during the plant immune response and the functional relevance of NB-LRRs in signaling events triggered by Pathogen-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs) remain elusive. Here, we show that PTI is constitutive and sensitized in the Arabidopsis rdr6 loss-of-function mutant, implicating RDR6 as a novel negative regulator of PTI. Accordingly, rdr6 mutant exhibits enhanced basal resistance towards a virulent Pseudomonas syringae strain. We further provide evidence that dozens of CC-NB-LRRs (CNLs), including the functionally characterized RPS5 gene, are post-transcriptionally controlled by RDR6 both constitutively and during PTI. These CNL transcripts are also regulated by the Arabidopsis microRNA miR472 and knock-down of this miRNA recapitulates the PTI and basal resistance phenotypes observed in the rdr6 mutant background. Furthermore, both miR472 and rdr6 mutants were more resistant to Pto DC3000 expressing AvrPphB, a bacterial effector recognized by the disease resistance protein RPS5, whereas transgenic plants overexpressing miR472 were more susceptible to this bacterial strain. Finally, we show that the enhanced basal and RPS5-mediated resistance phenotypes observed in the rdr6 mutant are dependent on the proper chaperoning of NB-LRR proteins, and might therefore be due to the enhanced accumulation of CNL proteins whose cognate mRNAs are no longer controlled by RDR6-dependent siRNAs. Altogether, this study supports a model whereby the miR472- and RDR6-mediated silencing pathway represents a key regulatory checkpoint modulating both PTI and ETI responses through the post-transcriptional control of disease resistance genes.
Author Summary
Virus resistance relies in some plant-viral interactions on the RNA-DEPENDANT RNA POLYMERASE 6 (RDR6), a major actor of RNA silencing that acts at the post-transcriptional level. Here, we demonstrate that RDR6 also plays a role in basal defense and race-specific resistance. RDR6 and the microRNA miR472, which targets the mRNAs of disease resistance genes of coiled-coil nucleotide-binding leucine-rich-repeats family (e.g. RPS5), act in cooperation to control post-transcriptionally these immune receptors. Induction of these resistance genes is primed in rdr6- and miR472-elicited mutants and this effect is associated with an enhanced basal and race-specific immunity in these backgrounds.
PMCID: PMC3894208  PMID: 24453975
20.  Local and systemic changes in expression of resistance genes, nb-lrr genes and their putative microRNAs in Norway spruce after wounding and inoculation with the pathogen Ceratocystis polonica 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:105.
NB-LRR resistance proteins are involved in recognizing pathogens and other exogenous stressors in plants. Resistance proteins are the first step in induced defence responses and a better understanding of their regulation is important to understand the mechanisms of plant defence. Much of the post-transcriptional regulation in plants is controlled by microRNAs (miRNA). We examined the expression of five Norway spruce miRNA that may regulate NB-LRR related transcripts in secondary phloem (bark) of resistant Norway spruce after wounding and inoculation with the necrotrophic blue stain fungus Ceratocystis polonica.
The plants of this clone recovered from both the pathogen inoculations and wounding alone. We found local and systemic induction of the resistance marker genes PaChi4, PaPAL and PaPX3 indicative of an effective induced host defence response. There were minor local and systemic changes in the expression of five miRNAs and 21 NB-LRRs between healthy and treated plants. Only five putative NB-LRRs (PaLRR1, PaLRR3, PaLRR14, PaLRR15 and PaLRR16) showed significant increases greater than two-fold as a local response to C. polonica. Of all NB-LRRs only PaLRR3, the most highly differentially regulated NB-LRR, showed a significant increase also due to wounding. The five miRNAs showed indications of an initial local and systemic down-regulation at day 1, followed by a later increase up to and beyond the constitutive levels at day 6. However, the initial down-regulation was significant only for miR3693 and miR3705.
Overall, local and systemic expression changes were evident only for the established resistance marker genes and PaLRR3. The minor expression changes observed both for the followed miRNAs and their predicted NB-LRR targets suggest that the expression of most NB-LRR genes are maintained close to their constitutive levels in stressed and healthy Norway spruce plants.
PMCID: PMC3431983  PMID: 22776433
qRT–PCR; Resistance; Ceratocystis polonica; Necrotroph; Picea abies; MicroRNA
21.  Evidence against Extracellular Exposure of a Highly Immunogenic Region in the C-Terminal Domain of the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus gp41 Transmembrane Protein 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(2):1145-1157.
The generally accepted model for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope glycoprotein topology includes a single membrane-spanning domain. An alternate model has been proposed which features multiple membrane-spanning domains. Consistent with the alternate model, a high percentage of HIV-1-infected individuals produce unusually robust antibody responses to a region of envelope, the so-called “Kennedy epitope,” that in the conventional model should be in the cytoplasm. Here we show analogous, robust antibody responses in simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239-infected rhesus macaques to a region of SIVmac239 envelope located in the C-terminal domain, which in the conventional model should be inside the cell. Sera from SIV-infected rhesus macaques consistently reacted with overlapping oligopeptides corresponding to a region located within the cytoplasmic domain of gp41 by the generally accepted model, at intensities comparable to those observed for immunodominant areas of the surface component gp120. Rabbit serum raised against this highly immunogenic region (HIR) reacted with SIV envelope in cell surface-staining experiments, as did monoclonal anti-HIR antibodies isolated from an SIVmac239-infected rhesus macaque. However, control experiments demonstrated that this surface staining could be explained in whole or in part by the release of envelope protein from expressing cells into the supernatant and the subsequent attachment to the surfaces of cells in the culture. Serum and monoclonal antibodies directed against the HIR failed to neutralize even the highly neutralization-sensitive strain SIVmac316. Furthermore, a potential N-linked glycosylation site located close to the HIR and postulated to be outside the cell in the alternate model was not glycosylated. An artificially introduced glycosylation site within the HIR was also not utilized for glycosylation. Together, these data support the conventional model of SIV envelope as a type Ia transmembrane protein with a single membrane-spanning domain and without any extracellular loops.
PMCID: PMC3255797  PMID: 22072749
22.  Bovine Mastitis: Frontiers in Immunogenetics 
Mastitis is one of the most prevalent and costly diseases in the dairy industry with losses attributable to reduced milk production, discarded milk, early culling, veterinary services, and labor costs. Typically, mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland most often, but not limited to, bacterial infection, and is characterized by the movement of leukocytes and serum proteins from the blood to the site of infection. It contributes to compromised milk quality and the potential spread of antimicrobial resistance if antibiotic treatment is not astutely applied. Despite the implementation of management practises and genetic selection approaches, bovine mastitis control continues to be inadequate. However, some novel genetic strategies have recently been demonstrated to reduce mastitis incidence by taking advantage of a cow’s natural ability to make appropriate immune responses against invading pathogens. Specifically, dairy cattle with enhanced and balanced immune responses have a lower occurrence of disease, including mastitis, and they can be identified and selected for using the high immune response (HIR) technology. Enhanced immune responsiveness is also associated with improved response to vaccination, increased milk, and colostrum quality. Since immunity is an important fitness trait, beneficial associations with longevity and reproduction are also often noted. This review highlights the genetic regulation of the bovine immune system and its vital contributions to disease resistance. Genetic selection approaches currently used in the dairy industry to reduce the incidence of disease are reviewed, including the HIR technology, genomics to improve disease resistance or immune response, as well as the Immunity+™ sire line. Improving the overall immune responsiveness of cattle is expected to provide superior disease resistance, increasing animal welfare and food quality while maintaining favorable production levels to feed a growing population.
PMCID: PMC4188034  PMID: 25339959
disease resistance; genetic selection; genomics; immune response; mastitis
23.  Comparative Transcriptome Analysis of Two Rice Varieties in Response to Rice Stripe Virus and Small Brown Planthoppers during Early Interaction 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82126.
Rice stripe, a virus disease, transmitted by a small brown planthopper (SBPH), has greatly reduced production of japonica rice in East Asia, especially in China. Although we have made great progress in mapping resistance genes, little is known about the mechanism of resistance.
By de novo transcriptome assembling, we gained sufficient transcript data to analyze changes in gene expression of early interaction in response to SBPH and RSV infection in rice. Respectively 648 and 937 DEGs were detected from the disease-resistant (Liaonong 979) and the susceptible (Fengjin) varieties, most of which were up-regulated. We found 37 genes related to insect resistance, which mainly included genes for jasmonate-induced protein, TIFY protein, lipoxygenase, as well as trypsin inhibitor genes and transcription factor genes. In the interaction process between RSV and rice, 87 genes were thought to be related to RSV resistance; these primarily included 12 peroxidase biosynthesis genes, 12 LRR receptor-like protein kinase genes, 6 genes coding pathogenesis-related proteins, 4 glycine-rich cell wall structural protein genes, 2 xyloglucan hydrolase genes and a cellulose synthase. The results indicate that the rice-pathogen interaction happened both in disease-resistant and susceptible varieties, and some genes related to JA biosynthesis played key roles in the interaction between SBPHs and rice. When rice was infected by RSV a hypersensitive reaction (HR) in the disease-resistant variety was suppressed, which resulted from an increase in peroxidase expression and down-regulation of LRR receptor-like protein kinase and pathogenesis-related proteins, while, the changes of peroxidase biosynthesis, glycine-rich cell wall structural protein, cellulose synthase and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase could lead to the strengthening of physical barriers of rice, which may be an important resistance mechanism to RSV in rice.
PMCID: PMC3864904  PMID: 24358146
24.  Contribution of CAF-I to Anaphase-Promoting-Complex-Mediated Mitotic Chromatin Assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae 
Eukaryotic Cell  2005;4(4):673-684.
The anaphase-promoting complex (APC) is required for mitotic progression and genomic stability. Recently, we demonstrated that the APC is also required for mitotic chromatin assembly and longevity. Here, we investigated the role the APC plays in chromatin assembly. We show that apc5CA mutations genetically interact with the CAF-I genes as well as ASF1, HIR1, and HIR2. When present in multiple copies, the individual CAF-I genes, CAC1, CAC2, and MSI1, suppress apc5CA phenotypes in a CAF-1- and Asf1p-independent manner. CAF-I and the APC functionally overlap, as cac1Δ cac2Δ msi1Δ (caf1Δ) cells expressing apc5CA exhibit a phenotype more severe than that of apc5CA or caf1Δ. The Ts− phenotypes observed in apc5CA and apc5CA caf mutants may be rooted in compromised histone metabolism, as coexpression of histones H3 and H4 suppressed the Ts− defects. Synthetic genetic interactions were also observed in apc5CA asf1Δ cells. Furthermore, increased expression of genes encoding Asf1p, Hir1p, and Hir2p suppressed the apc5CA Ts− defect in a CAF-I-dependent manner. Together, these results suggest the existence of a complex molecular mechanism controlling APC-dependent chromatin assembly. Our data suggest the APC functions with the individual CAF-I subunits, Asf1p, and the Hir1p and Hir2p proteins. However, Asf1p and an intact CAF-I complex are dispensable for CAF-I subunit suppression, whereas CAF-I is necessary for ASF1, HIR1, and HIR2 suppression of apc5CA phenotypes. We discuss the implications of our observations.
PMCID: PMC1087812  PMID: 15821127
25.  A pair of orthologs of a leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase-like disease resistance gene family regulates rice response to raised temperature 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:160.
Rice Xa3/Xa26 disease-resistance gene encodes a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinase-type protein against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) and belongs to a multigene family. However, the functions of most genes in this family are unknown.
Here we report that two orthologs of this family, the NRKe from rice variety Nipponbare and 9RKe from variety 93-11 at the RKe locus, have similar functions although they encode different proteins. This pair of orthologs could not mediate resistance to Xoo, but they were transcriptionally induced by raised temperature. Transcriptional activation of NRKe or 9RKe resulted in the formation of temperature-sensitive lesion mimics, which were spots of dead cells associated with accumulation of superoxides, in different organs of the transgenic plants. These plants were more sensitive to high temperature shock than wild-type controls. Transgenic plants carrying a chimeric protein consisting of the LRR domain of NRKe and the kinase domain of Xa3/Xa26 developed the same lesion mimics as the NRKe-transgenic plants, whereas transgenic plants carrying another chimeric protein consisting of the LRR domain of Xa3/Xa26 and the kinase domain of NRKe were free of lesion mimic. All the transgenic plants carrying a chimeric protein were susceptible to Xoo.
These results suggest that the RKe locus is involved in rice response to raised temperature. The LRR domain of RKe protein appears to be important to sense increased temperature. The RKe-involved temperature-related pathway and Xa3/Xa26-mediated disease-resistance pathway may partially overlap.
PMCID: PMC3228767  PMID: 22085497

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