The CELLULOSE SYNTHASE (CESA) superfamily of proteins contains several sub-families of closely related CELLULOSE SYNTHASE-LIKE (CSL) sequences. Among these, the CSLA and CSLC families are closely related to each other and are the most evolutionarily divergent from the CESA family. Significant progress has been made with the functional characterization of CSLA and CSLC genes, which have been shown to encode enzymes with 1,4-β-glycan synthase activities involved in the biosynthesis of mannan and possibly xyloglucan backbones, respectively. This review examines recent work on the CSLA and CSLC families from evolutionary, molecular, and biochemical perspectives. We pose a series of questions, whose answers likely will provide further insight about the specific functions of members of the CSLA and CSLC families and about plant polysaccharide biosynthesis is general.
CELLULOSE SYNTHASE-LIKE; mannan; xyloglucan; CSLA; CSLC; plant cell wall
The cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like gene superfamily (CESA/CSL) is proposed to encode enzymes for cellulose and non-cellulosic matrix polysaccharide synthesis in plants. Although the rice (Oryza sativa L.) genome has been sequenced for a few years, the global expression profiling patterns and functions of the OsCESA/CSL superfamily remain largely unknown.
A total of 45 identified members of OsCESA/CSL were classified into two clusters based on phylogeny and motif constitution. Duplication events contributed largely to the expansion of this superfamily, with Cluster I and II mainly attributed to tandem and segmental duplication, respectively. With microarray data of 33 tissue samples covering the entire life cycle of rice, fairly high OsCESA gene expression and rather variable OsCSL expression were observed. While some members from each CSL family (A1, C9, D2, E1, F6 and H1) were expressed in all tissues examined, many of OsCSL genes were expressed in specific tissues (stamen and radicles). The expression pattern of OsCESA/CSL and OsBC1L which extensively co-expressed with OsCESA/CSL can be divided into three major groups with ten subgroups, each showing a distinct co-expression in tissues representing typically distinct cell wall constitutions. In particular, OsCESA1, -3 & -8 and OsCESA4, -7 & -9 were strongly co-expressed in tissues typical of primary and secondary cell walls, suggesting that they form as a cellulose synthase complex; these results are similar to the findings in Arabidopsis. OsCESA5/OsCESA6 is likely partially redundant with OsCESA3 for OsCESA complex organization in the specific tissues (plumule and radicle). Moreover, the phylogenetic comparison in rice, Arabidopsis and other species can provide clues for the prediction of orthologous gene expression patterns.
The study characterized the CESA/CSL of rice using an integrated approach comprised of phylogeny, transcriptional profiling and co-expression analyses. These investigations revealed very useful clues on the major roles of CESA/CSL, their potentially functional complement and their associations for appropriate cell wall synthesis in higher plants.
Cellulose Synthase Like (CSL) proteins are a group of plant glycosyltransferases that are predicted to synthesize β-1,4-linked polysaccharide backbones. CSLC, CSLF and CSLH families have been confirmed to synthesize xyloglucan and mixed linkage β-glucan, while CSLA family proteins have been shown to synthesize mannans. The polysaccharide products of the five remaining CSL families have not been determined. Five CSLD genes have been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana and a role in cell wall biosynthesis has been demonstrated by reverse genetics. We have extended past research by producing a series of double and triple Arabidopsis mutants and gathered evidence that CSLD2, CSLD3 and CSLD5 are involved in mannan synthesis and that their products are necessary for the transition between early developmental stages in Arabidopsis. Moreover, our data revealed a complex interaction between the three glycosyltransferases and brought new evidence regarding the formation of non-cellulosic polysaccharides through multimeric complexes.
mannan; mannose; plant cell wall; glycosyltransferase; cellulose synthase like; CSL; biosynthesis; hemicellulose
In medium supplemented with chondroitin sulfate, Flavobacterium heparinum synthesizes and exports two chondroitinases, chondroitinase AC (chondroitin AC lyase; EC 22.214.171.124) and chondroitinase B (chondroitin B lyase; no EC number), into its periplasmic space. Chondroitinase AC preferentially depolymerizes chondroitin sulfates A and C, whereas chondroitinase B degrades only dermatan sulfate (chondroitin sulfate B). The genes coding for both enzymes were isolated from F. heparinum and designated cslA (chondroitinase AC) and cslB (chondroitinase B). They were found to be separated by 5.5 kb on the chromosome of F. heparinum, transcribed in the same orientation, but not linked to any of the heparinase genes. In addition, the synthesis of both enzymes appeared to be coregulated. The cslA and cslB DNA sequences revealed open reading frames of 2,103 and 1,521 bp coding for peptides of 700 and 506 amino acid residues, respectively. Chondroitinase AC has a signal sequence of 22 residues, while chondroitinase B is composed of 25 residues. The mature forms of chondroitinases AC and B are comprised of 678 and 481 amino acid residues and have calculated molecular masses of 77,169 and 53,563 Da, respectively. Truncated cslA and cslB genes have been used to produce active, mature chondroitinases in the cytoplasm of Escherichia coli. Partially purified recombinant chondroitinases AC and B exhibit specific activities similar to those of chondroitinases AC and B from F. heparinum.
Cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like proteins, responsible for synthesizing β-glucan-containing polysaccharides, play a fundamental role in cellular architectures, such as plant cell and tissue morphogenesis, bacterial biofilm formation, and fruiting-body development. However, the roles of the proteins involved in the developmental process are not well understood. Here, we report that a cellulose synthase-like protein (CslASc) in Streptomyces has a function in hyphal tip growth and morphological differentiation. The cslASc replacement mutant showed pleiotropic defects, including the severe delay of aerial-hyphal formation and altered cell wall morphology. Calcofluor white fluorescence analysis demonstrated that polysaccharide synthesis at hyphal tips was dependent on CslASc. cslASc was constitutively transcribed, and an enhanced green fluorescent protein-CslASc fusion protein was mostly located at the hyphal tips. An extract enriched in morphogenetic chaplin proteins promoted formation of aerial hyphae by the mutant. Furthermore, a two-hybrid experiment indicated that the glycosyltransferase domain of CslASc interacted with the tropomyosin-like polarity-determining DivIVA protein, suggesting that the tip-located DivIVA governed tip recruitment of the CslASc membrane protein. These results imply that the cellulose synthase-like protein couples extracellular and cytoskeletal components functioning in tip growth and cell development.
Cellulose, a microfibrillar polysaccharide consisting of bundles of β-1,4-glucan chains, is a major component of plant and most algal cell walls and is also synthesized by some prokaryotes. Seed plants and bacteria differ in the structures of their membrane terminal complexes that make cellulose and, in turn, control the dimensions of the microfibrils produced. They also differ in the domain structures of their CesA gene products (the catalytic subunit of cellulose synthase), which have been localized to terminal complexes and appear to help maintain terminal complex structure. Terminal complex structures in algae range from rosettes (plant-like) to linear forms (bacterium-like). Thus, algal CesA genes may reveal domains that control terminal complex assembly and microfibril structure. The CesA genes from the alga Mesotaenium caldariorum, a member of the order Zygnematales, which have rosette terminal complexes, are remarkably similar to seed plant CesAs, with deduced amino acid sequence identities of up to 59%. In addition to the putative transmembrane helices and the D-D-D-QXXRW motif shared by all known CesA gene products, M. caldariorum and seed plant CesAs share a region conserved among plants, an N-terminal zinc-binding domain, and a variable or class-specific region. This indicates that the domains that characterize seed plant CesAs arose prior to the evolution of land plants and may play a role in maintaining the structures of rosette terminal complexes. The CesA genes identified in M. caldariorum are the first reported for any eukaryotic alga and will provide a basis for analyzing the CesA genes of algae with different types of terminal complexes.
Plant cell walls are complex composites largely consisting of carbohydrate-based polymers, and are generally divided into primary and secondary walls based on content and characteristics. Cellulose microfibrils constitute a major component of both primary and secondary cell walls and are synthesized at the plasma membrane by cellulose synthase (CESA) complexes. Several studies in Arabidopsis have demonstrated the power of co-expression analyses to identify new genes associated with secondary wall cellulose biosynthesis. However, across-species comparative co-expression analyses remain largely unexplored. Here, we compared co-expressed gene vicinity networks of primary and secondary wall CESAsin Arabidopsis, barley, rice, poplar, soybean, Medicago, and wheat, and identified gene families that are consistently co-regulated with cellulose biosynthesis. In addition to the expected polysaccharide acting enzymes, we also found many gene families associated with cytoskeleton, signaling, transcriptional regulation, oxidation, and protein degradation. Based on these analyses, we selected and biochemically analyzed T-DNA insertion lines corresponding to approximately twenty genes from gene families that re-occur in the co-expressed gene vicinity networks of secondary wall CESAs across the seven species. We developed a statistical pipeline using principal component analysis and optimal clustering based on silhouette width to analyze sugar profiles. One of the mutants, corresponding to a pinoresinol reductase gene, displayed disturbed xylem morphology and held lower levels of lignin molecules. We propose that this type of large-scale co-expression approach, coupled with statistical analysis of the cell wall contents, will be useful to facilitate rapid knowledge transfer across plant species.
secondary cell wall; comparative co-expression analysis; Arabidopsis; cellulose
The sole function of cellulose synthases, which are found in plants bacteria, fungi, and animals, is to produce the biopolymer cellulose. Although no crystal structure has yet been solved, a considerable amount is known about their structure, function and evolution.
Cellulose, an aggregate of unbranched polymers of β-1,4-linked glucose residues, is the major component of wood and thus paper, and is synthesized by plants, most algae, some bacteria and fungi, and even some animals. The genes that synthesize cellulose in higher plants differ greatly from the well-characterized genes found in Acetobacter and Agrobacterium sp. More correctly designated as 'cellulose synthase catalytic subunits', plant cellulose synthase (CesA) proteins are integral membrane proteins, approximately 1,000 amino acids in length. The sequences for more than 20 full-length CesA genes are available, and they show high similarity to one another across the entire length of the encoded protein, except for two small regions of variability. There are a number of highly conserved residues, including several motifs shown to be necessary for processive glycosyltransferase activity. No crystal structure is known for cellulose synthase proteins, and the exact enzymatic mechanism is unknown. There are a number of mutations in cellulose synthase genes in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana. Some of these mutants show altered morphology due to the lack of a properly developed primary or secondary cell wall. Others show resistance to well-characterized cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors.
The development of cellulose as an organizing structure in the plant cell wall was a key event in both the initial colonization and the subsequent domination of the terrestrial ecosystem by vascular plants. A wealth of experimental data has demonstrated the complicated genetic interactions required to form the large synthetic complex that synthesizes cellulose. However, these results are lacking an extensive analysis of the evolution, specialization, and regulation of the proteins that compose this complex. Here we perform an in-depth analysis of the sequences in the cellulose synthase (CesA) family. We investigate the phylogeny of the CesA family, with emphasis on evolutionary specialization. We define specialized clades and identify the class-specific regions within the CesA sequence that may explain this specialization. We investigate changes in regulation of CesAs by looking at the conservation of proposed phosphorylation sites. We investigate the conservation of sites where mutations have been documented that impair CesA function, and compare these sites to those observed in the closest cellulose synthase-like (Csl) families to better understand what regions may separate the CesAs from other Csls. Finally we identify two positions with strong conservation of the aromatic trait, but lacking conservation of amino acid identity, which may represent residues important for positioning the sugar substrate for catalysis. These analyses provide useful tools for understanding characterized mutations and post-translational modifications, and for informing further experiments to probe CesA assembly, regulation, and function through site-directed mutagenesis or domain swapping experiments.
cellulose; cellulose synthase; CesA; CslD; CslF; comparative phylogenetics; cellulose synthase superfamily; sequence-based analysis
In higher plants, cellulose is synthesized by cellulose synthase complexes, which contain multiple isoforms of cellulose synthases (CESAs). Among the total 10 CESA genes in Arabidopsis, recessive mutations at three of them cause the collapse of mature xylem cells in inflorescence stems of Arabidopsis (irx1cesa8, irx3cesa7 and irx5cesa4). These CESA genes are considered secondary cell wall CESAs. The others (the function CESA10 is still unknown) are thought to be specialized for cellulose synthesis in the primary cell wall. A split-ubiquitin membrane yeast two-hybrid system was used to assess interactions among four primary CESAs (CESA1, CESA2, CESA3, CESA6) and three secondary CESAs (CESA4, CESA7, CESA8). Our results showed that primary CESAs could physically interact with secondary CESAs in a limited fashion. Analysis of transgenic lines showed that CESA1 could partially rescue irx1cesa8 null mutants, resulting in complementation of the plant growth defect, collapsed xylem and cellulose content deficiency. These results suggest that mixed primary and secondary CESA complexes are functional using experimental set-ups.
cellulose; cellulose synthase complex (CSC); primary cell wall; secondary cell wall; promoter swap
Transcription factors of the CSL (CBF1/RBP-Jk/Suppressor of Hairless/LAG-1) family are key regulators of metazoan development and function as the effector components of the Notch receptor signalling pathway implicated in various cell fate decisions. CSL proteins recognize specifically the GTG[G/A]AA sequence motif and several mutants compromised in their ability to bind DNA have been reported. In our previous studies we have identified a number of novel putative CSL family members in fungi, organisms lacking the Notch pathway. It is not clear whether these represent genuine CSL family members.
Using a combination of in vitro and in vivo approaches we characterized the DNA binding properties of Cbf11 and Cbf12, the antagonistic CSL paralogs from the fission yeast, important for the proper coordination of cell cycle events and the regulation of cell adhesion. We have shown that a mutation of a conserved arginine residue abolishes DNA binding in both CSL paralogs, similar to the situation in mouse. We have also demonstrated the ability of Cbf11 and Cbf12 to activate gene expression in an autologous fission yeast reporter system.
Our results indicate that the fission yeast CSL proteins are indeed genuine family members capable of functioning as transcription factors, and provide support for the ancient evolutionary origin of this important protein family.
A system for high-level expression of heparinase I, heparinase II, heparinase III, chondroitinase AC, and chondroitinase B in Flavobacterium heparinum is described. hepA, along with its regulatory region, as well as hepB, hepC, cslA, and cslB, cloned downstream of the hepA regulatory region, was integrated in the chromosome to yield stable transconjugant strains. The level of heparinase I and II expression from the transconjugant strains was approximately fivefold higher, while heparinase III expression was 10-fold higher than in wild-type F. heparinum grown in heparin-only medium. The chondroitinase AC and B transconjugant strains, grown in heparin-only medium, yielded 20- and 13-fold increases, respectively, in chondroitinase AC and B expression, compared to wild-type F. heparinum grown in chondroitin sulfate A-only medium. The hepA upstream region was also studied using cslA as a reporter gene, and the transcriptional start site was determined to be 26 bp upstream of the start codon in the chondroitinase AC transconjugant strain. The transcriptional start sites were determined for hepA in both the wild-type F. heparinum and heparinase I transconjugant strains and were shown to be the same as in the chondroitinase AC transconjugant strain. The five GAG lyases were purified from these transconjugant strains and shown to be identical to their wild-type counterparts.
Major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) also named aquaporins form channels facilitating the passive transport of water and other small polar molecules across membranes. MIPs are particularly abundant and diverse in terrestrial plants but little is known about their evolutionary history. In an attempt to investigate the origin of the plant MIP subfamilies, genomes of chlorophyte algae, the sister group of charophyte algae and land plants, were searched for MIP encoding genes.
A total of 22 MIPs were identified in the nine analysed genomes and phylogenetic analyses classified them into seven subfamilies. Two of these, Plasma membrane Intrinsic Proteins (PIPs) and GlpF-like Intrinsic Proteins (GIPs), are also present in land plants and divergence dating support a common origin of these algal and land plant MIPs, predating the evolution of terrestrial plants. The subfamilies unique to algae were named MIPA to MIPE to facilitate the use of a common nomenclature for plant MIPs reflecting phylogenetically stable groups. All of the investigated genomes contained at least one MIP gene but only a few species encoded MIPs belonging to more than one subfamily.
Our results suggest that at least two of the seven subfamilies found in land plants were present already in an algal ancestor. The total variation of MIPs and the number of different subfamilies in chlorophyte algae is likely to be even higher than that found in land plants. Our analyses indicate that genetic exchanges between several of the algal subfamilies have occurred. The PIP1 and PIP2 groups and the Ca2+ gating appear to be specific to land plants whereas the pH gating is a more ancient characteristic shared by all PIPs. Further studies are needed to discern the function of the algal specific subfamilies MIPA-E and to fully understand the evolutionary relationship of algal and terrestrial plant MIPs.
(1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans (mixed-linkage glucans) are found in tissues of members of the Poaceae (grasses), and are particularly high in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grains. The present study describes the isolation of three independent (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucanless (betaglucanless; bgl) mutants of barley which completely lack (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan in all the tissues tested. The bgl phenotype cosegregates with the cellulose synthase like HvCslF6 gene on chromosome arm 7HL. Each of the bgl mutants has a single nucleotide substitution in the coding region of the HvCslF6 gene resulting in a change of a highly conserved amino acid residue of the HvCslF6 protein. Microsomal membranes isolated from developing endosperm of the bgl mutants lack detectable (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan synthase activity indicating that the HvCslF6 protein is inactive. This was confirmed by transient expression of the HvCslF6 cDNAs in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The wild-type HvCslF6 gene directed the synthesis of high levels of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans, whereas the mutant HvCslF6 proteins completely lack the ability to synthesize (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans. The fine structure of the (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan produced in the tobacco leaf was also very different from that found in cereals having an extremely low DP3/DP4 ratio. These results demonstrate that, among the seven CslF and one CslH genes present in the barley genome, HvCslF6 has a unique role and is the key determinant controlling the biosynthesis of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans. Natural allelic variation in the HvCslF6 gene was found predominantly within introns among 29 barley accessions studied. Genetic manipulation of the HvCslF6 gene could enable control of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans in accordance with the purposes of use.
Cell wall; grasses; Hordeum vulgare; mixed-linkage glucans; polysaccharide
The CSL (CBF1/RBP-Jκ/Suppressor of Hairless/LAG-1) transcription factor family members are well-known components of the transmembrane receptor Notch signaling pathway, which plays a critical role in metazoan development. They function as context-dependent activators or repressors of transcription of their responsive genes, the promoters of which harbor the GTG(G/A)GAA consensus elements. Recently, several studies described Notch-independent activities of the CSL proteins.
We have identified putative CSL genes in several fungal species, showing that this family is not confined to metazoans. We have analyzed their sequence conservation and identified the presence of well-defined domains typical of genuine CSL proteins. Furthermore, we have shown that the candidate fungal protein sequences contain highly conserved regions known to be required for sequence-specific DNA binding in their metazoan counterparts. The phylogenetic analysis of the newly identified fungal CSL proteins revealed the existence of two distinct classes, both of which are present in all the species studied.
Our findings support the evolutionary origin of the CSL transcription factor family in the last common ancestor of fungi and metazoans. We hypothesize that the ancestral CSL function involved DNA binding and Notch-independent regulation of transcription and that this function may still be shared, to a certain degree, by the present CSL family members from both fungi and metazoans.
Cellulose synthase (CESA), which is an essential catalyst for the generation of plant cell wall biomass, is mainly encoded by the CesA gene family that contains ten or more members. In this study; four full-length cDNAs encoding CESA were isolated from Betula platyphylla Suk., which is an important timber species, using RT-PCR combined with the RACE method and were named as BplCesA3, −4, −7 and −8. These deduced CESAs contained the same typical domains and regions as their Arabidopsis homologs. The cDNA lengths differed among these four genes, as did the locations of the various protein domains inferred from the deduced amino acid sequences, which shared amino acid sequence identities ranging from only 63.8% to 70.5%. Real-time RT-PCR showed that all four BplCesAs were expressed at different levels in diverse tissues. Results indicated that BplCESA8 might be involved in secondary cell wall biosynthesis and floral development. BplCESA3 appeared in a unique expression pattern and was possibly involved in primary cell wall biosynthesis and seed development; it might also be related to the homogalacturonan synthesis. BplCESA7 and BplCESA4 may be related to the formation of a cellulose synthase complex and participate mainly in secondary cell wall biosynthesis. The extremely low expression abundance of the four BplCESAs in mature pollen suggested very little involvement of them in mature pollen formation in Betula. The distinct expression pattern of the four BplCesAs suggested they might participate in developments of various tissues and that they are possibly controlled by distinct mechanisms in Betula.
birch; CESA; primary cell wall; secondary cell wall; transcript; wood; cellulose; gene expression
The cell shape and morphology of plant tissues are intimately related to structural modifications in the primary cell wall that are associated with key processes in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. The primary cell wall is composed mainly of cellulose immersed in a matrix of hemicellulose, pectin, lignin and some structural proteins. Xyloglucan is a hemicellulose polysaccharide present in the cell walls of all land plants (Embryophyta) and is the main hemicellulose in non-graminaceous angiosperms.
In this work, we used a comparative genomic approach to obtain new insights into the evolution of the xyloglucan-related enzymatic machinery in green plants. Detailed phylogenetic analyses were done for enzymes involved in xyloglucan synthesis (xyloglucan transglycosylase/hydrolase, α-xylosidase, β-galactosidase, β-glucosidase and α-fucosidase) and mobilization/degradation (β-(1→4)-glucan synthase, α-fucosyltransferases, β-galactosyltransferases and α-xylosyl transferase) based on 12 fully sequenced genomes and expressed sequence tags from 29 species of green plants. Evidence from Chlorophyta and Streptophyta green algae indicated that part of the Embryophyta xyloglucan-related machinery evolved in an aquatic environment, before land colonization. Streptophyte algae have at least three enzymes of the xyloglucan machinery: xyloglucan transglycosylase/hydrolase, β-(1→4)-glucan synthase from the celullose synthase-like C family and α-xylosidase that is also present in chlorophytes. Interestingly, gymnosperm sequences orthologs to xyloglucan transglycosylase/hydrolases with exclusively hydrolytic activity were also detected, suggesting that such activity must have emerged within the last common ancestor of spermatophytes. There was a positive correlation between the numbers of founder genes within each gene family and the complexity of the plant cell wall.
Our data support the idea that a primordial xyloglucan-like polymer emerged in streptophyte algae as a pre-adaptation that allowed plants to subsequently colonize terrestrial habitats. Our results also provide additional evidence that charophycean algae and land plants are sister groups.
Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth. The great abundance of cellulose places it at the forefront as a primary source of biomass for renewable biofuels. However, the knowledge of how plant cells make cellulose remains very rudimentary. Cellulose microfibrils are synthesized at the plasma membrane by hexameric protein complexes, also known as cellulose synthase complexes. The only known components of cellulose synthase complexes are cellulose synthase (CESA) proteins until the recent identification of a novel component. CSI1, which encodes CESA interacting protein 1 (CSI1) in Arabidopsis. CSI1, as the first non-CESA proteins associated with cellulose synthase complexes, opens up many opportunities.
cellulose; CESA; terminal complexes; primary cell walls; Armadillo repeat
The Streptophyta comprise all land plants and six monophyletic groups of charophycean green algae. Phylogenetic analyses of four genes from three cellular compartments support the following branching order for these algal lineages: Mesostigmatales, Chlorokybales, Klebsormidiales, Zygnematales, Coleochaetales and Charales, with the last lineage being sister to land plants. Comparative analyses of the Mesostigma viride (Mesostigmatales) and land plant chloroplast genome sequences revealed that this genome experienced many gene losses, intron insertions and gene rearrangements during the evolution of charophyceans. On the other hand, the chloroplast genome of Chaetosphaeridium globosum (Coleochaetales) is highly similar to its land plant counterparts in terms of gene content, intron composition and gene order, indicating that most of the features characteristic of land plant chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) were acquired from charophycean green algae. To gain further insight into when the highly conservative pattern displayed by land plant cpDNAs originated in the Streptophyta, we have determined the cpDNA sequences of the distantly related zygnematalean algae Staurastrum punctulatum and Zygnema circumcarinatum.
The 157,089 bp Staurastrum and 165,372 bp Zygnema cpDNAs encode 121 and 125 genes, respectively. Although both cpDNAs lack an rRNA-encoding inverted repeat (IR), they are substantially larger than Chaetosphaeridium and land plant cpDNAs. This increased size is explained by the expansion of intergenic spacers and introns. The Staurastrum and Zygnema genomes differ extensively from one another and from their streptophyte counterparts at the level of gene order, with the Staurastrum genome more closely resembling its land plant counterparts than does Zygnema cpDNA. Many intergenic regions in Zygnema cpDNA harbor tandem repeats. The introns in both Staurastrum (8 introns) and Zygnema (13 introns) cpDNAs represent subsets of those found in land plant cpDNAs. They represent 16 distinct insertion sites, only five of which are shared by the two zygnematalean genomes. Three of these insertions sites have not been identified in Chaetosphaeridium cpDNA.
The chloroplast genome experienced substantial changes in overall structure, gene order, and intron content during the evolution of the Zygnematales. Most of the features considered earlier as typical of land plant cpDNAs probably originated before the emergence of the Zygnematales and Coleochaetales.
Light harvesting complex (LHC) proteins function in photosynthesis by binding chlorophyll (Chl) and carotenoid molecules that absorb light and transfer the energy to the reaction center Chl of the photosystem. Most research has focused on LHCs of plants and chlorophytes that bind Chl a and b and extensive work on these proteins has uncovered a diversity of biochemical functions, expression patterns and amino acid sequences. We focus here on a less-studied family of LHCs that typically bind Chl a and c, and that are widely distributed in Chl c-containing and other algae. Previous phylogenetic analyses of these proteins suggested that individual algal lineages possess proteins from one or two subfamilies, and that most subfamilies are characteristic of a particular algal lineage, but genome-scale datasets had revealed that some species have multiple different forms of the gene. Such observations also suggested that there might have been an important influence of endosymbiosis in the evolution of LHCs.
We reconstruct a phylogeny of LHCs from Chl c-containing algae and related lineages using data from recent sequencing projects to give ~10-fold larger taxon sampling than previous studies. The phylogeny indicates that individual taxa possess proteins from multiple LHC subfamilies and that several LHC subfamilies are found in distantly related algal lineages. This phylogenetic pattern implies functional differentiation of the gene families, a hypothesis that is consistent with data on gene expression, carotenoid binding and physical associations with other LHCs. In all probability LHCs have undergone a complex history of evolution of function, gene transfer, and lineage-specific diversification.
The analysis provides a strikingly different picture of LHC diversity than previous analyses of LHC evolution. Individual algal lineages possess proteins from multiple LHC subfamilies. Evolutionary relationships showed support for the hypothesized origin of Chl c plastids. This work also allows recent experimental findings about molecular function to be understood in a broader phylogenetic context.
CSL (CBF1/RBP-Jκ/Suppressor of Hairless/LAG-1) transcription factors are the effector components of the Notch receptor signalling pathway, which is critical for metazoan development. The metazoan CSL proteins (class M) can also function in a Notch-independent manner. Recently, two novel classes of CSL proteins, designated F1 and F2, have been identified in fungi. The role of the fungal CSL proteins is unclear, because the Notch pathway is not present in fungi. In fission yeast, the Cbf11 and Cbf12 CSL paralogs play antagonistic roles in cell adhesion and the coordination of cell and nuclear division. Unusually long N-terminal extensions are typical for fungal and invertebrate CSL family members. In this study, we investigate the functional significance of these extended N-termini of CSL proteins.
We identify 15 novel CSL family members from 7 fungal species and conduct bioinformatic analyses of a combined dataset containing 34 fungal and 11 metazoan CSL protein sequences. We show that the long, non-conserved N-terminal tails of fungal CSL proteins are likely disordered and enriched in phosphorylation sites and PEST motifs. In a case study of Cbf12 (class F2), we provide experimental evidence that the protein is proteolytically processed and that the N-terminus inhibits the Cbf12-dependent DNA binding activity in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay.
This study provides insight into the characteristics of the long N-terminal tails of fungal CSL proteins that may be crucial for controlling DNA-binding and CSL function. We propose that the regulation of DNA binding by Cbf12 via its N-terminal region represents an important means by which fission yeast strikes a balance between the class F1 and class F2 paralog activities. This mode of regulation might be shared with other CSL-positive fungi, some of which are relevant to human disease and biotechnology.
For Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV; also called human herpesvirus 8 [HHV8]), the switch from latency to active lytic replication requires RTA, the product of open reading frame 50 (ORF50). RTA activates transcription from nearly 40 early and delayed-early viral promoters, mainly through interactions with cellular DNA binding proteins, such as CSL/RBP-Jκ, Oct-1, C/EBPα, and c-Jun. Reliance on cellular coregulators may allow KSHV to adjust its lytic program to suit different cellular contexts or interpret signals from the outside. CSL is a key component of the Notch signaling pathway and is targeted by several viruses. A search with known CSL binding sequences from cellular genes found at least 260 matches in the KSHV genome, many from regions containing known or suspected lytic promoters. Analysis of clustered sites located immediately upstream of ORF70 (thymidylate synthase), ORF19 (tegument protein), and ORF47 (glycoprotein L) uncovered RTA-responsive promoters that were validated using mRNAs isolated from KSHV-infected cells undergoing lytic reactivation. Notably, ORF19 behaves as a true late gene, indicating that RTA regulates all three phases of the lytic program. For each new promoter, the response to RTA was dependent on CSL, and 5 of the 10 candidate sites were shown to bind CSL in vitro. Analysis of individual sites highlighted the importance of a cytosine residue flanking the core CSL binding sequence. These findings broaden the role for CSL in coordinating the KSHV lytic gene expression program and help to define a signature motif for functional CSL sites within the viral genome.
Land plants and algae are now represented by about 40 genomes. Although most are incomplete, putative globins appear to be present in all the ca. 30 land plant genomes and in all except one algal genomes. The globins have either the canonical 3/3 α-helical fold characteristic of vertebrate myoglobin (Mb) or 2/2 α-helical folds, characteristic of bacterial globins with a truncated Mb-fold. In view of the fairly complete picture of the globin superfamily that is now available from analyses of over 1,000 bacterial genomes and >200 other eukaryote genomes, it is now possible to seek answers to the following twin questions: what is the phylogenetic relationship of plant and algal globins to those of other eukaryotes and what is their likely bacterial origin? We summarize below the available results. Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate that plant and algal 3/3 globins are related to bacterial flavohemoglobins and vertebrate neuroglobins. Furthermore, they also suggest that plant and algal 3/3 and group 1 2/2 Hbs originated from the horizontal gene transfers that accompanied the two generally accepted endosymbioses of a proteobacterium and a cyanobacterium with a eukaryote ancestor. In contrast, the origin of the group 2 2/2 Hbs unexpectedly appears to involve horizontal gene transfer from a bacterium ancestral to Chloroflexi, Deinococcales, Bacillli and Actinomycetes. We present additional results which indicate that the shared ancestry is likely to be with the Chloroflexi alone.
algae; hemoglobins; horizontal gene transfer; evolution; phylogeny; plant
Canonical Notch signaling is initiated when ligand binding induces proteolytic release of the intracellular part of Notch (ICN) from the cell membrane. ICN then travels into the nucleus where it drives the assembly of a transcriptional activation complex containing the DNA-binding transcription factor CSL, ICN, and a specialized co-activator of the Mastermind family. A consensus DNA binding site motif for the CSL protein was previously defined using selection-based methods, but whether subsequent association of Notch and Mastermind-like proteins affects the DNA binding preferences of CSL has not previously been examined.
Here, we utilized protein-binding microarrays (PBMs) to compare the binding site preferences of isolated CSL with the preferred binding sites of CSL when bound to the CSL-binding domains of all four different human Notch receptors. Measurements were taken both in the absence and in the presence of Mastermind-like-1 (MAML1). Our data show no detectable difference in the DNA binding site preferences of CSL before and after loading of Notch and MAML1 proteins.
These findings support the conclusion that accrual of Notch and MAML1 promote transcriptional activation without dramatically altering the preferred sites of DNA binding, and illustrate the potential of PBMs to analyze the binding site preferences of multiprotein-DNA complexes.
The Notch intracellular domain (NICD) forms a transcriptional activation complex with the DNA-binding factor CSL and a transcriptional co-activator of the Mastermind family (MAML). The "RAM" region of NICD recruits Notch to CSL, facilitating the binding of MAML at the interface between the ankyrin (ANK) repeat domain of NICD and CSL. Here, we report the X-ray structure of a human MAML1/RAM/ANK/CSL/DNA complex, and probe changes in component dynamics upon stepwise assembly of a MAML1/NICD/CSL complex using HX-MS. Association of CSL with NICD exerts remarkably little effect on the exchange kinetics of the ANK domain, whereas MAML1 binding greatly retards the exchange kinetics of ANK repeats 2–3. These exchange patterns identify critical features contributing to the cooperative assembly of Notch transcription complexes (NTCs), highlight the importance of MAML recruitment in rigidifying the ANK domain and stabilizing its interface with CSL, and rationalize the requirement for MAML1 in driving cooperative dimerization of NTCs on paired site DNA.