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1.  Grapevine cell early activation of specific responses to DIMEB, a resveratrol elicitor 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:363.
In response to pathogen attack, grapevine synthesizes phytoalexins belonging to the family of stilbenes. Grapevine cell cultures represent a good model system for studying the basic mechanisms of plant response to biotic and abiotic elicitors. Among these, modified β-cyclodextrins seem to act as true elicitors inducing strong production of the stilbene resveratrol.
The transcriptome changes of Vitis riparia × Vitis berlandieri grapevine cells in response to the modified β-cyclodextrin, DIMEB, were analyzed 2 and 6 h after treatment using a suppression subtractive hybridization experiment and a microarray analysis respectively. At both time points, we identified a specific set of induced genes belonging to the general phenylpropanoid metabolism, including stilbenes and hydroxycinnamates, and to defence proteins such as PR proteins and chitinases. At 6 h we also observed a down-regulation of the genes involved in cell division and cell-wall loosening.
We report the first large-scale study of the molecular effects of DIMEB, a resveratrol inducer, on grapevine cell cultures. This molecule seems to mimic a defence elicitor which enhances the physical barriers of the cell, stops cell division and induces phytoalexin synthesis.
PMCID: PMC2743712  PMID: 19660119
2.  The Phytoalexin Resveratrol Regulates the Initiation of Hypersensitive Cell Death in Vitis Cell 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26405.
Resveratrol is a major phytoalexin produced by plants in response to various stresses and promotes disease resistance. The resistance of North American grapevine Vitis rupestris is correlated with a hypersensitive reaction (HR), while susceptible European Vitis vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ does not exhibit HR, but expresses basal defence. We have shown previously that in cell lines derived from the two Vitis species, the bacterial effector Harpin induced a rapid and sensitive accumulation of stilbene synthase (StSy) transcripts, followed by massive cell death in V. rupestris. In the present work, we analysed the function of the phytoalexin resveratrol, the product of StSy. We found that cv. ‘Pinot Noir’ accumulated low resveratrol and its glycoside trans-piceid, whereas V. rupestris produced massive trans-resveratrol and the toxic oxidative δ-viniferin, indicating that the preferred metabolitism of resveratrol plays role in Vitis resistance. Cellular responses to resveratrol included rapid alkalinisation, accumulation of pathogenesis-related protein 5 (PR5) transcripts, oxidative burst, actin bundling, and cell death. Microtubule disruption and induction of StSy were triggered by Harpin, but not by resveratrol. Whereas most responses proceeded with different amplitude for the two cell lines, the accumulation of resveratrol, and the competence for resveratrol-induced oxidative burst differed in quality. The data lead to a model, where resveratrol, in addition to its classical role as antimicrobial phytoalexin, represents an important regulator for initiation of HR-related cell death.
PMCID: PMC3203900  PMID: 22053190
3.  Biosynthesis of plant-specific stilbene polyketides in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli 
BMC Biotechnology  2006;6:22.
Phenylpropanoids are the precursors to a range of important plant metabolites such as the cell wall constituent lignin and the secondary metabolites belonging to the flavonoid/stilbene class of compounds. The latter class of plant natural products has been shown to function in a wide range of biological activities. During the last few years an increasing number of health benefits have been associated with these compounds. In particular, they demonstrate potent antioxidant activity and the ability to selectively inhibit certain tyrosine kinases. Biosynthesis of many medicinally important plant secondary metabolites, including stilbenes, is frequently not very well understood and under tight spatial and temporal control, limiting their availability from plant sources. As an alternative, we sought to develop an approach for the biosynthesis of diverse stilbenes by engineered recombinant microbial cells.
A pathway for stilbene biosynthesis was constructed in Escherichia coli with 4-coumaroyl CoA ligase 1 4CL1) from Arabidopsis thaliana and stilbene synthase (STS) cloned from Arachis hypogaea. E. coli cultures expressing these enzymes together converted the phenylpropionic acid precursor 4-coumaric acid, added to the growth medium, to the stilbene resveratrol (>100 mg/L). Caffeic acid, added in the same way, resulted in the production of the expected dihydroxylated stilbene, piceatannol (>10 mg/L). Ferulic acid, however, was not converted to the expected stilbene product, isorhapontigenin. Substitution of 4CL1 with a homologous enzyme, 4CL4, with a preference for ferulic acid over 4-coumaric acid, had no effect on the conversion of ferulic acid. Accumulation of tri- and tetraketide lactones from ferulic acid, regardless of the CoA-ligase expressed in E. coli, suggests that STS cannot properly accommodate and fold the tetraketide intermediate to the corresponding stilbene structure.
Phenylpropionic acids, such as 4-coumaric acid and caffeic acid, can be efficiently converted to stilbene compounds by recombinant E. coli cells expressing plant biosynthetic genes. Optimization of precursor conversion and cyclization of the bulky ferulic acid precursor by host metabolic engineering and protein engineering may afford the synthesis of even more structurally diverse stilbene compounds.
PMCID: PMC1435877  PMID: 16551366
4.  Transcriptional profile of Taxus chinensis cells in response to methyl jasmonate 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:295.
Methyl jasmonate (MeJA) has been successfully used as an effective elicitor to enhance production of taxol and other taxanes in cultured Taxus cells. However the mechanism of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis remains unclear. Genomic information for species in the genus Taxus is currently unavailable. Therefore, information about the transcriptome of Taxus cells and specifically, description of changes in gene expression in response to MeJA, is needed for the better exploration of the biological mechanisms of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis.
In this research, the transcriptome profiles of T. chinensis cells at 16 hours (T16) after MeJA treatment and of mock-treated cells (T0) were analyzed by “RNA-seq” to investigate the transcriptional alterations of Taxus cell in response to MeJA elicitation. More than 58 million reads (200 bp in length) of cDNA from both samples were generated, and 46,581 unigenes were found. There were 13,469 genes found to be expressed differentially between the two timepoints, including all of the known jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis/JA signaling pathway genes and taxol-related genes. The qRT-PCR results showed that the expression profiles of 12 randomly selected DEGs and 10 taxol biosynthesis genes were found to be consistent with the RNA-Seq data. MeJA appeared to stimulate a large number of genes involved in several relevant functional categories, such as plant hormone biosynthesis and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Additionally, many genes encoding transcription factors were shown to respond to MeJA elicitation.
The results of a transcriptome analysis suggest that exogenous application of MeJA could induce JA biosynthesis/JA signaling pathway/defence responses, activate a series of transcription factors, as well as increase expression of genes in the terpenoid biosynthesis pathway responsible for taxol synthesis. This comprehensive description of gene expression information could greatly facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of MeJA-mediated taxane biosynthesis in Taxus cells.
PMCID: PMC3414795  PMID: 22748077
5.  The cytoskeleton enhances gene expression in the response to the Harpin elicitor in grapevine 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2010;61(14):4021-4031.
The cytoskeleton undergoes dramatic reorganization during plant defence. This response is generally interpreted as part of the cellular repolarization establishing physical barriers against the invading pathogen. To gain insight into the functional significance of cytoskeletal responses for defence, two Vitis cell cultures that differ in their microtubular dynamics were used, and the cytoskeletal response to the elicitor Harpin in parallel to alkalinization of the medium as a fast response, and the activation of defence-related genes were followed. In one cell line derived from the grapevine cultivar ‘Pinot Noir’, microtubules contained mostly tyrosinylated α-tubulin, indicating high microtubular turnover, whereas in another cell line derived from the wild grapevine V. rupestris, the α-tubulin was strongly detyrosinated, indicating low microtubular turnover. The cortical microtubules were disrupted and actin filaments were bundled in both cell lines, but the responses were elevated in V. rupestris as compared with V. vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’. The cytoskeletal responsiveness correlated with elicitor-induced alkalinization and the expression of defence genes. Using resveratrol synthase and stilbene synthase as examples, it could be shown that pharmacological manipulation of microtubules could induce gene expression in the absence of elicitor. These findings are discussed with respect to a role for microtubules as positive regulators of defence-induced gene expression.
PMCID: PMC2935876  PMID: 20675535
Actin; defence genes; elicitor; grapevine (V. vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’, V. rupestris); Harpin; microtubules
6.  Metabolomics Analysis and Biosynthesis of Rosmarinic Acid in Agastache rugosa Kuntze Treated with Methyl Jasmonate 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64199.
This study investigated the effect of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) on metabolic profiles and rosmarinic acid (RA) biosynthesis in cell cultures of Agastache rugosa Kuntze. Transcript levels of phenylpropanoid biosynthetic genes, i.e., ArPAL, Ar4CL, and ArC4H, maximally increased 4.5-fold, 3.4-fold, and 3.5-fold, respectively, compared with the untreated controls, and the culture contained relatively high amounts of RA after exposure of cells to 50 µM MeJA. RA levels were 2.1-, 4.7-, and 3.9-fold higher after exposure to 10, 50, and 100 µM MeJA, respectively, than those in untreated controls. In addition, the transcript levels of genes attained maximum levels at different time points after the initial exposure. The transcript levels of ArC4H and Ar4CL were transiently induced by MeJA, and reached a maximum of up to 8-fold at 3 hr and 6 hr, respectively. The relationships between primary metabolites and phenolic acids in cell cultures of A. rugosa treated with MeJA were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry. In total, 45 metabolites, including 41 primary metabolites and 4 phenolic acids, were identified from A. rugosa. Metabolite profiles were subjected to partial least square-discriminate analysis to evaluate the effects of MeJA. The results indicate that both phenolic acids and precursors for the phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathway, such as aromatic amino acids and shikimate, were induced as a response to MeJA treatment. Therefore, MeJA appears to have an important impact on RA accumulation, and the increased RA accumulation in the treated cells might be due to activation of the phenylpropanoid genes ArPAL, ArC4H, and Ar4CL.
PMCID: PMC3665811  PMID: 23724034
7.  Thiamine modulates metabolism of the phenylpropanoid pathway leading to enhanced resistance to Plasmopara viticola in grapevine 
BMC Plant Biology  2013;13:31.
Previously, we have reported the ability of thiamine (vitamin B1) to induce resistance against Plasmopara viticola in a susceptible grapevine cv. Chardonnay. However, mechanisms underlying vitamins, especially, thiamine-induced disease resistance in grapevine are still largely unknown. Here, we assessed whether thiamine could modulate phenylpropanoid pathway-derived phytoalexins in grapevine plants, as well as, the role of such secondary metabolites in thiamine-induced resistance process to P. viticola.
Our data show that thiamine treatment elicited the expression of phenylpropanoid pathway genes in grapevine plants. The expression of these genes correlated with an accumulation of stilbenes, phenolic compounds, flavonoids and lignin. Furthermore, the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treaded plants was increased by 3.5-fold higher level as compared with untreated-control plants. Four phenolic compounds are responsible of 97% of the total anti-oxidant potential of thiamine-treated plants. Among these compounds, is the caftaric acid, belonging to the hydroxy-cinnamic acids family. This element contributed, by its own, by 20% of this total anti-oxidant potential. Epifluorescence microscopy analysis revealed a concomitant presence of unbranched-altered P. viticola mycelia and stilbenes production in the leaf mesophyll of thiamine-treated inoculated plants, suggesting that stilbenes are an important component of thiamine-induced resistance in grapevine.
This work is the first to show the role of thiamine, as a vitamin, in the modulation of grapevine plant secondary metabolism contributing to an enhanced resistance to P. viticola, the most destructive fungal disease in vineyards.
PMCID: PMC3599452  PMID: 23442597
Thiamine; Plasmopara viticola; Stilbenes; Phenylpropanoid pathway genes; Lignin; Flavonoids; Grapevine; Induced resistance; Real-Time q-PCR; HPLC; UPLC-MS
8.  Silymarin secretion and its elicitation by methyl jasmonate in cell cultures of Silybum marianum is mediated by phospholipase D-phosphatidic acid 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;61(3):747-754.
The flavonolignan silymarin is released to the extracellular medium of Silybum marianum cultures and its production can be stimulated by the elicitor methyljasmonate (MeJA). The sequence of the signalling processes leading to this response is unknown at present. It is reported in this work that MeJA increased the activity of the enzyme phospholipase D (PLD). Treatment with mastoparan (Mst), a PLD activity stimulator, also enhanced PLD and caused a substantial increase in silymarin production. The application of the product of PLD activity, phosphatidic acid (PA) promoted silymarin accumulation. Altering PLD activity by introducing in cultures n-butanol (nBuOH), which inhibits PA production by PLD, prevented silymarin elicitation by MeJA or Mst and also impeded its release in non-elicited cultures. Treatment with iso-, sec- or tert- butanol had no effect on silymarin production. The exogenous addition of PA reversed the inhibitory action of nBuOH, both in control and MeJA-treated cultures. These results suggest that the enzyme PLD and its product PA mediate silymarin secretion to the medium of S. marianum cultures.
PMCID: PMC2814106  PMID: 20007197
Cell cultures; elicitation; phospholipase D; phosphatidic acid; signalling; silymarin
9.  Inhibition of STAT3 Expression and Signaling in Resveratrol-Differentiated Medulloblastoma Cells1 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2008;10(7):736-744.
In this study, the potential influence of resveratrol (3,5,4′-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) in signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling of medulloblastoma cells was evaluated by checking the status of STAT3 signaling and its downstream gene expression in two medulloblastoma cell lines (UW228-2 and UW228-3) with and without resveratrol treatment. The results revealed that resveratrol induced neuronal differentiation of medulloblastoma cells. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 expression and phosphorylation were detected in normally cultured UW228-2 and UW228-3 cells that were apparently attenuated after resveratrol treatment. The expression of STAT3 downstream genes, survivin, cyclin D1, Cox-2, and c-Myc, was suppressed but Bcl-2 was enhanced by resveratrol. Meanwhile, the production and secretion of leukemia inhibitory factor, a STAT3 activator, became active in resveratrol-treated cells. To further ascertain the significance of STAT3 signaling for medulloblastoma cells, AG490, a selective inhibitor of STAT3 phosphorylation, was used to treat UW228-3 cells. Phosphorylation of STAT3 was inhibited by AG490 accompanied with growth suppression, differentiation-like changes, and down-regulation of survivin, cyclin D1, Cox-2, and c-Myc. Our data thus suggest the importance of STAT3 signaling in maintenance and survival of medulloblastoma cells. This signaling may be the major target of resveratrol. Enhanced leukemia inhibitory factor and Bcl-2 expressions in resveratrol-treated cells might reflect a compensatory response to the loss of STAT3 function.
PMCID: PMC2435009  PMID: 18592012
10.  Methyl jasmonate-elicited herbivore resistance: does MeJA function as a signal without being hydrolyzed to JA? 
Planta  2008;227(5):1161-1168.
Treatment with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) elicits herbivore resistance in many plant species and over-expression of JA carboxyl methyltransferase (JMT) constitutively increases JA-induced responses in Arabidopsis. When wild-type (WT) Nicotiana attenuata plants are treated with MeJA, a rapid transient endogenous JA burst is elicited, which in turn increases levels of nicotine and trypsin proteinase inhibitors (TPIs) and resistance to larvae of the specialist herbivore, Manduca sexta. All of these responses are impaired in plants silenced in lipoxygenase 3 expression (asLOX3) but are restored to WT levels by MeJA treatment. Whether these MeJA-induced responses are directly elicited by MeJA or by its cleavage product, JA, is unknown. Using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), we silenced MeJA-esterase (NaMJE) expression and found this gene responsible for most of the MeJA-cleaving activity in N. attenuata protein extracts. Silencing NaMJE in asLOX3, but not in WT plants, significantly reduced MeJA-induced nicotine levels and resistance to M. sexta, but not TPI levels. MeJA-induced transcript levels of threonine deaminase (NaTD) and phenylalanine ammonia lyase (NaPAL1) were also decreased in VIGS MJE (asLOX3) plants. Finally the performance of M. sexta larvae that fed on plants treated with JA or MeJA demonstrated that silencing NaMJE inhibited MeJA-induced but not JA-induced resistance in asLOX3 plants. From these results, we conclude that the resistance elicited by MeJA treatment is directly elicited not by MeJA but by its de-methylated product, JA.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00425-008-0690-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2756367  PMID: 18214527
MeJA esterase (NaMJE); Methyl jasmonate (MeJA); Jasmonate (JA); Nicotiana attenuata; Manduca sexta
11.  Contribution of taxane biosynthetic pathway gene expression to observed variability in paclitaxel accumulation in Taxus suspension cultures 
Biotechnology journal  2012;7(3):418-427.
Variability in product accumulation is one of the major obstacles limiting the widespread commercialization of plant cell culture technology to supply natural product pharmaceuticals. Despite extensive process engineering efforts, which have led to increased yields, plant cells exhibit variability in productivity that is poorly understood. Elicitation of Taxus cultures with methyl jasmonate (MeJA) induces paclitaxel accumulation, but to varying extents in different cultures. In this work, cultures with different aggregation profiles were established to create predictable differences in paclitaxel accumulation upon MeJA elicitation. Expression of known paclitaxel biosynthetic genes in MeJA-elicited cultures exhibiting both substantial (15-fold) and moderate (2-fold) differences in paclitaxel accumulation was analyzed using qRT-PCR. Each population exhibited the characteristic large increase in paclitaxel pathway gene expression following MeJA elicitation; however, differences in expression between populations were minor, and only observed for the cultures with the 15-fold variation in paclitaxel content. These data suggest that although upregulation of biosynthetic pathway gene expression contributes to observed increases in paclitaxel synthesis upon elicitation with MeJA, there are additional factors that need to be uncovered before paclitaxel productivity can be fully optimized.
PMCID: PMC3505991  PMID: 22095859
plant biotechnology; gene expression; paclitaxel; Taxus; production variability
12.  Genome-wide analysis of the grapevine stilbene synthase multigenic family: genomic organization and expression profiles upon biotic and abiotic stresses 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:130.
Plant stilbenes are a small group of phenylpropanoids, which have been detected in at least 72 unrelated plant species and accumulate in response to biotic and abiotic stresses such as infection, wounding, UV-C exposure and treatment with chemicals. Stilbenes are formed via the phenylalanine/polymalonate-route, the last step of which is catalyzed by the enzyme stilbene synthase (STS), a type III polyketide synthase (PKS). Stilbene synthases are closely related to chalcone synthases (CHS), the key enzymes of the flavonoid pathway, as illustrated by the fact that both enzymes share the same substrates. To date, STSs have been cloned from peanut, pine, sorghum and grapevine, the only stilbene-producing fruiting-plant for which the entire genome has been sequenced. Apart from sorghum, STS genes appear to exist as a family of closely related genes in these other plant species.
In this study a complete characterization of the STS multigenic family in grapevine has been performed, commencing with the identification, annotation and phylogenetic analysis of all members and integration of this information with a comprehensive set of gene expression analyses including healthy tissues at differential developmental stages and in leaves exposed to both biotic (downy mildew infection) and abiotic (wounding and UV-C exposure) stresses. At least thirty-three full length sequences encoding VvSTS genes were identified, which, based on predicted amino acid sequences, cluster in 3 principal groups designated A, B and C. The majority of VvSTS genes cluster in groups B and C and are located on chr16 whereas the few gene family members in group A are found on chr10. Microarray and mRNA-seq expression analyses revealed different patterns of transcript accumulation between the different groups of VvSTS family members and between VvSTSs and VvCHSs. Indeed, under certain conditions the transcriptional response of VvSTS and VvCHS genes appears to be diametrically opposed suggesting that flow of carbon between these two competing metabolic pathways is tightly regulated at the transcriptional level.
This study represents an overview of the expression pattern of each member of the STS gene family in grapevine under both constitutive and stress-induced conditions. The results strongly indicate the existence of a transcriptional subfunctionalization amongst VvSTSs and provide the foundation for further functional investigations about the role and evolution of this large gene family. Moreover, it represents the first study to clearly show the differential regulation of VvCHS and VvSTS genes, suggesting the involvement of transcription factors (TFs) in both the activation and repression of these genes.
PMCID: PMC3433347  PMID: 22863370
Stilbene synthase; Chalcone synthase; Abiotic stress; Downy mildew; Grapevine
13.  Identification of the dehydrin gene family from grapevine species and analysis of their responsiveness to various forms of abiotic and biotic stress 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:140.
Dehydrins (DHNs) protect plant cells from desiccation damage during environmental stress, and also participate in host resistance to various pathogens. In this study, we aimed to identify and characterize the DHN gene families from Vitis vinifera and wild V. yeshanensis, which is tolerant to both drought and cold, and moderately resistant to powdery mildew.
Four DHN genes were identified in both V. vinifera and V. yeshanensis, which shared a high sequence identity between the two species but little homology between the genes themselves. These genes were designated DHN1, DHN2, DHN3 and DHN4. All four of the DHN proteins were highly hydrophilic and were predicted to be intrinsically disordered, but they differed in their isoelectric points, kinase selectivities and number of functional motifs. Also, the expression profiles of each gene differed appreciably from one another. Grapevine DHN1 was not expressed in vegetative tissues under normal growth conditions, but was induced by drought, cold, heat, embryogenesis, as well as the application of abscisic acid (ABA), salicylic acid (SA), and methyl jasmonate (MeJA). It was expressed earlier in V. yeshanensis under drought conditions than in V. vinifera, and also exhibited a second round of up-regulation in V. yeshanensis following inoculation with Erysiphe necator, which was not apparent in V. vinifera. Like DHN1, DHN2 was induced by cold, heat, embryogenesis and ABA; however, it exhibited no responsiveness to drought, E. necator infection, SA or MeJA, and was also expressed constitutively in vegetative tissues under normal growth conditions. Conversely, DHN3 was only expressed during seed development at extremely low levels, and DHN4 was expressed specifically during late embryogenesis. Neither DHN3 nor DHN4 exhibited responsiveness to any of the treatments carried out in this study. Interestingly, the presence of particular cis-elements within the promoter regions of each gene was positively correlated with their expression profiles.
The grapevine DHN family comprises four divergent members. While it is likely that their functions overlap to some extent, it seems that DHN1 provides the main stress-responsive function. In addition, our results suggest a close relationship between expression patterns, physicochemical properties, and cis-regulatory elements in the promoter regions of the DHN genes.
PMCID: PMC3460772  PMID: 22882870
Grapevine; Dehydrin; Stress-induced expression; Powdery mildew; Promoter
14.  Vasoprotective effects of resveratrol and SIRT1: attenuation of cigarette smoke-induced oxidative stress and proinflammatory phenotypic alterations 
The dietary polyphenolic compound resveratrol, by activating the protein deacetylase enzyme silent information regulator 2/sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), prolongs life span in evolutionarily distant organisms and may mimic the cytoprotective effects of dietary restriction. The present study was designed to elucidate the effects of resveratrol on cigarette smoke-induced vascular oxidative stress and inflammation, which is a clinically highly relevant model of accelerated vascular aging. Cigarette smoke exposure of rats impaired the acetylcholine-induced relaxation of carotid arteries, which could be prevented by resveratrol treatment. Smoking and in vitro treatment with cigarette smoke extract (CSE) increased reactive oxygen species production in rat arteries and cultured coronary arterial endothelial cells (CAECs), respectively, which was attenuated by resveratrol treatment. The smoking-induced upregulation of inflammatory markers (ICAM-1, inducible nitric oxide synthase, IL-6, and TNF-α) in rat arteries was also abrogated by resveratrol treatment. Resveratrol also inhibited CSE-induced NF-κB activation and inflammatory gene expression in CAECs. In CAECs, the aforementioned protective effects of resveratrol were abolished by knockdown of SIRT1, whereas the overexpression of SIRT1 mimicked the effects of resveratrol. Resveratrol treatment of rats protected aortic endothelial cells against cigarette smoking-induced apoptotic cell death. Resveratrol also exerted antiapoptotic effects in CSE-treated CAECs, which could be abrogated by knockdown of SIRT1. Resveratrol treatment also attenuated CSE-induced DNA damage in CAECs (comet assay). Thus resveratrol and SIRT1 exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiapoptotic effects, which protect the endothelial cells against the adverse effects of cigarette smoking-induced oxidative stress. The vasoprotective effects of resveratrol will likely contribute to its anti-aging action in mammals and may be especially beneficial in patho-physiological conditions associated with accelerated vascular aging.
PMCID: PMC2551743  PMID: 18424637
tobacco; polyphenol; stroke; inflammation; apoptosis; vascular aging; sirtuin 1
15.  Investigation of Phenolic Acids in Suspension Cultures of Vitis vinifera Stimulated with Indanoyl-Isoleucine, N-Linolenoyl-L-Glutamine, Malonyl Coenzyme A and Insect Saliva 
Metabolites  2012;2(1):165-177.
Vitis vinifera c.v. Muscat de Frontignan (grape) contains various high valuable bioactive phenolic compounds with pharmaceutical properties and industrial interest which are not fully exploited. The focus of this investigation consists in testing the effects of various biological elicitors on a non-morphogenic callus suspension culture of V. vinifera. The investigated elicitors: Indanoyl-isoleucine (IN), N-linolenoyl-L-glutamine (LG), insect saliva (IS) and malonyl coenzyme A (MCoA) were aimed at mimicking the influence of environmental pathogens on plants in their natural habitats and at provoking exogenous induction of the phenylpropanoid pathway. The elicitors’ indanoyl-isoleucine (IN), N-linolenoyl-L-glutamine (LG) and insect saliva (IS), as well as malonyl coenzyme A (MCoA), were independently inoculated to stimulate the synthesis of phenylpropanoids. All of the enhancers positively increased the concentration of phenolic compounds in grape cells. The highest concentration of phenolic acids was detected after 2 h for MCoA, after 48 h for IN and after 24 h for LG and IS respectively. At the maximum production time, treated grape cells had a 3.5-fold (MCoA), 1.6-fold (IN) and 1.5-fold (IS) higher phenolic acid content compared to the corresponding control samples. The HPLC results of grape cells showed two major resveratrol derivatives: 3-O-Glucosyl-resveratrol and 4-(3,5-dihydroxyphenyl)-phenol. Their influences of the different elicitors, time of harvest and biomass concentration (p < 0.0001) were statistically significant on the synthesis of phenolic compounds. The induction with MCoA was found to demonstrate the highest statistical effect corresponding to the strongest stress response within the phenylpropanoid pathway in grape cells.
PMCID: PMC3901193  PMID: 24957372
indanoyl-isoleucine; N-linolenoyl-L-glutamine; malonyl coenzyme A; insect saliva; Vitis vinifera; phenolic acids
16.  Resveratrol inhibits collagen I synthesis by suppressing IGF-1R activation in intestinal fibroblasts 
AIM: To investigate whether resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) inhibits collagen I synthesis induced by insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) in intestinal fibroblasts, and to explore the possible molecular mechanisms.
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups: a control group and a 2,4,6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis group. After 21 d of TNBS administration, the degree of inflammation and fibrosis in colon was measured by HE staining and Masson’s trichrome staining. Western blotting was used to examine collagen I, IGF-1 and silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) protein expression in colitis tissues. Western blotting and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction were used to characterize collagen I protein and col1a2 mRNA expression in mouse intestinal fibroblasts and CCD-18Co cells treated with IGF-1. A MEK inhibitor (U0126) was used to determine whether IGF-1-induced collagen I expression was mediated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)-dependent mechanism. Effects of resveratrol on collagen I protein level, insulin growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and ERK1/2 phosphorylation levels were also examined after IGF-1 treatment in fibroblasts. To evaluate whether SIRT1 was necessary for the anti-fibrosis effect of resveratrol, cells were transfected with SIRT1-specific small interfering RNAs, wild-type SIRT1, and deacetylase-inactive mutant SIRT1.
RESULTS: Collagen I and IGF-1 expression was increased, and SIRT1 expression was decreased (0.67 ± 0.04 vs 1.05 ± 0.07, P < 0.001) in TNBS-induced colitis compared with the control group. In vitro, IGF-1 could induce collagen I expression, mainly through the ERK 1/2 signal pathway. Resveratrol reduced basal and IGF-1-induced collagen I gene and protein expression in intestinal fibroblasts. Overexpression of wild-type SIRT1, not deacetylase-inactive mutant SIRT1, decreased expression of collagen I induced by IGF-1. Moreover, silencing SIRT1 restored collagen I expression in fibroblasts challenged with resveratrol. However, disruption of SIRT1 did not influence the anti-fibrotic effects of resveratrol and IGF-1-induced collagen I expression. Further analysis revealed that resveratrol significantly decreased phosphorylation of IGF-1R and its downstream signaling molecules by inhibiting IGF-1 binding to its receptor.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that resveratrol effectively inhibits collagen I synthesis in IGF-1-stimulated fibroblasts, partly by inhibiting IGF-1R activation, and SIRT1 is also responsible for the process.
PMCID: PMC4000501  PMID: 24782617
Intestinal fibrosis; Insulin-like growth factor-1; Resveratrol; Silent information regulator 1; Fibroblasts
17.  Anti-obesity effect of resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts on 3T3-L1 adipocytes differentiation 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2012;6(4):286-293.
Resveratrol (3,4,5-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene), a phytoalexin found in grape skin, grape products, and peanuts as well as red wine, has been reported to have various biological and pharmacological properties. The purpose of this study was to investigate the anti-obesity effect of resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts on adipocytes. The anti-obesity effects of grape skin extracts were investigated by measuring proliferation and differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells. The effect of grape skin ethanol extracts on cell proliferation was detected by the MTS assay. The morphological changes and degree of adipogenesis of preadipocyte 3T3-L1 cells were measured by Oil Red-O staining assay. Treatment with extracts of resveratrol-amplified grape skin decreased lipid accumulation and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activity without affecting 3T3-L1 cell viability. Grape skin extract treatment resulted in significantly attenuated expression of key adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor, CCAAT/enhancer-binding proteins, and their target genes (FAS, aP2, SCD-1, and LPL). These results indicate that resveratrol-amplified grape skin extracts may be useful for preventing obesity by regulating lipid metabolism.
PMCID: PMC3439571  PMID: 22977681
Grape skin extracts; resveratrol; 3T3-L1; adipocyte differentiation
18.  Modulation of Phytoalexin Biosynthesis in Engineered Plants for Disease Resistance 
Phytoalexins are antimicrobial substances of low molecular weight produced by plants in response to infection or stress, which form part of their active defense mechanisms. Starting in the 1950’s, research on phytoalexins has begun with biochemistry and bio-organic chemistry, resulting in the determination of their structure, their biological activity as well as mechanisms of their synthesis and their catabolism by microorganisms. Elucidation of the biosynthesis of numerous phytoalexins has permitted the use of molecular biology tools for the exploration of the genes encoding enzymes of their synthesis pathways and their regulators. Genetic manipulation of phytoalexins has been investigated to increase the disease resistance of plants. The first example of a disease resistance resulting from foreign phytoalexin expression in a novel plant has concerned a phytoalexin from grapevine which was transferred to tobacco. Transformations were then operated to investigate the potential of other phytoalexin biosynthetic genes to confer resistance to pathogens. Unexpectedly, engineering phytoalexins for disease resistance in plants seem to have been limited to exploiting only a few phytoalexin biosynthetic genes, especially those encoding stilbenes and some isoflavonoids. Research has rather focused on indirect approaches which allow modulation of the accumulation of phytoalexin employing transcriptional regulators or components of upstream regulatory pathways. Genetic approaches using gain- or less-of functions in phytoalexin engineering together with modulation of phytoalexin accumulation through molecular engineering of plant hormones and defense-related marker and elicitor genes have been reviewed.
PMCID: PMC3742236  PMID: 23880860
plant engineering; phytoalexins; transcriptional factors; hormones; elicitors; regulation
19.  The jasmonate pathway mediates salt tolerance in grapevines 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(5):2127-2139.
Salt stress is a major constraint for many crop plants, such as the moderately salt-sensitive economically important fruit crop grapevine. Plants have evolved different strategies for protection against salinity and drought. Jasmonate signalling is a central element of both biotic and abiotic stress responses. To discriminate stress quality, there must be cross-talk with parallel signal chains. Using two grapevine cell lines differing in salt tolerance, the response of jasmonate ZIM/tify-domain (JAZ/TIFY) proteins (negative regulators of jasmonate signalling), a marker for salt adaptation Na+/H+ EXCHANGER (NHX1), and markers for biotic defence STILBENE SYNTHASE (StSy) and RESVERATROL SYNTHASE (RS) were analysed. It is shown that salt stress signalling shares several events with biotic defence including activity of a gadolinium-sensitive calcium influx channel (monitored by apoplastic alkalinization) and transient induction of JAZ/TIFY transcripts. Exogenous jasmonate can rescue growth in the salt-sensitive cell line. Suppression of jasmonate signalling by phenidone or aspirin blocks the induction of JAZ/TIFY transcripts. The rapid induction of RS and StSy characteristic for biotic defence in grapevine is strongly delayed in response to salt stress. In the salt-tolerant line, NHX1 is induced and the formation of reactive oxygen species, monitored as stress markers in the sensitive cell line, is suppressed. The data are discussed in terms of a model where salt stress signalling acts as a default pathway whose readout is modulated by a parallel signal chain triggered by biotic factors downstream of jasmonate signalling.
PMCID: PMC3295401  PMID: 22223808
Grapevine (V. rupestris, V. riparia); Harpin; jasmonic acid; JAZ/TIFY; salt stress
20.  Water Deficit Increases Stilbene Metabolism in Cabernet Sauvignon Berries 
The impact of water deficit on stilbene biosynthesis in wine grape (Vitis vinifera) berries was investigated. Water deficit increased the accumulation of trans-piceid (the glycosylated form of resveratrol) by 5-fold in Cabernet Sauvignon berries but not in Chardonnay. Similarly, water deficit significantly increased the transcript abundance of genes involved in the biosynthesis of stilbene precursors in Cabernet Sauvignon. Increased expression of stilbene synthase, but not that of resveratrol-O-glycosyltransferase, resulted in increased trans-piceid concentrations. In contrast, the transcript abundance of the same genes declined in Chardonnay in response to water deficit. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified in the promoters of stilbene synthase genes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. These polymorphisms resulted in eight changes within the predicted cis regulatory elements in Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. These results suggest that cultivar-specific molecular mechanisms might exist that control resveratrol biosynthesis in grapes.
PMCID: PMC3015458  PMID: 21128664
Grape berry; stilbene synthase; stilbenes; Vitis vinifera; water deficit
21.  Defence Signalling Triggered by Flg22 and Harpin Is Integrated into a Different Stilbene Output in Vitis Cells 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40446.
Plants can activate defence to pathogen attack by two layers of innate immunity: basal immunity triggered by pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI) linked with programmed cell death. Flg22 and Harpin are evolutionary distinct bacterial PAMPs. We have previously shown that Harpin triggers hypersensitive cell death mimicking ETI in Vitis rupestris, but not in the Vitis vinifera cultivar ‘Pinot Noir’. In contrast, the bacterial PAMP flg22 activating PTI does not trigger cell death. To get insight into the defence signalling triggered by flg22 and Harpin, we compared cellular responses upon flg22 and Harpin treatment in the two Vitis cell lines. We found that extracellular alkalinisation was blocked by inhibition of calcium influx, and modulated by pharmacological manipulation of the cytoskeleton and mitogen-activated protein kinase activity with quantitative differences between cell lines and type of PAMPs. In addition, an oxidative burst was detected that was much stronger and faster in response to Harpin as compared to flg22. In V. rupestris, both flg22 and Harpin induced transcripts of defence-related genes including stilbene synthase, microtubule disintegration and actin bundling in a similar way, whereas they differed in V. vinifera cv. ‘Pinot Noir’. In contrast to Harpin, flg22 failed to trigger significant levels of the stilbene trans-resveratrol, and did not induce hypersensitive cell death even in the highly responsive V. rupestris. We discuss these data in a model, where flg22- and Harpin-triggered defence shares a part of early signal components, but differs in perception, oxidative burst, and integration into a qualitatively different stilbene output, such that for flg22 a basal PTI is elicited in both cell lines, while Harpin induces cell death mimicking an ETI-like pattern of defence.
PMCID: PMC3391249  PMID: 22792328
22.  Selection of reference genes for qPCR in hairy root cultures of peanut 
BMC Research Notes  2011;4:392.
Hairy root cultures produced via Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation have emerged as practical biological models to elucidate the biosynthesis of specialized metabolites. To effectively understand the expression patterns of the genes involved in the metabolic pathways of these compounds, reference genes need to be systematically validated under specific experimental conditions as established by the MIQE (Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments) guidelines. In the present report we describe the first validation of reference genes for RT-qPCR in hairy root cultures of peanut which produce stilbenoids upon elicitor treatments.
A total of 21 candidate reference genes were evaluated. Nineteen genes were selected based on previous qPCR studies in plants and two were from the T-DNAs transferred from A. rhizogenes. Nucleotide sequences of peanut candidate genes were obtained using their homologous sequences in Arabidopsis. To identify the suitable primers, calibration curves were obtained for each candidate reference gene. After data analysis, 12 candidate genes meeting standard efficiency criteria were selected. The expression stability of these genes was analyzed using geNorm and NormFinder algorithms and a ranking was established based on expression stability of the genes. Candidate reference gene expression was shown to have less variation in methyl jasmonate (MeJA) treated root cultures than those treated with sodium acetate (NaOAc).
This work constitutes the first effort to validate reference genes for RT-qPCR in hairy roots. While these genes were selected under conditions of NaOAc and MeJA treatment, we anticipate these genes to provide good targets for reference genes for hairy roots under a variety of stress conditions. The lead reference genes were a gene encoding for a TATA box binding protein (TBP2) and a gene encoding a ribosomal protein (RPL8C). A commonly used reference gene GAPDH showed low stability of expression suggesting that its use may lead to inaccurate gene expression profiles when used for data normalization in stress-stimulated hairy roots. Likewise the A. rhizogenes transgene rolC showed less expression stability than GAPDH. This study proposes that a minimum of two reference genes should be used for a normalization procedure in gene expression profiling using elicited hairy roots.
PMCID: PMC3199266  PMID: 21985172
23.  Stilbene synthase gene transfer caused alterations in the phenylpropanoid metabolism of transgenic strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa) 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(7):2093-2106.
The gene encoding stilbene synthase is frequently used to modify plant secondary metabolism with the aim of producing the self-defence phytoalexin resveratrol. In this study, strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa) was transformed with the NS-Vitis3 gene encoding stilbene synthase from frost grape (Vitis riparia) under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S and the floral filament-specific fil1 promoters. Changes in leaf metabolites were investigated with UPLC-qTOF-MS (ultra performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry) profiling, and increased accumulation of cinnamate, coumarate, and ferulate derivatives concomitantly with a decrease in the levels of flavonols was observed, while the anticipated resveratrol or its derivatives were not detected. The changed metabolite profile suggested that chalcone synthase was down-regulated by the genetic modification; this was verified by decreased chalcone synthase transcript levels. Changes in the levels of phenolic compounds led to increased susceptibility of the transgenic strawberry to grey mould fungus.
PMCID: PMC2682502  PMID: 19443619
Genetic engineering; LC-MS; metabolite profiling; metabolomics; phenolic compounds; strawberry; stilbene synthase
24.  Resistance to Plasmopara viticola in a grapevine segregating population is associated with stilbenoid accumulation and with specific host transcriptional responses 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:114.
Downy mildew, caused by the oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is a serious disease in Vitis vinifera, the most commonly cultivated grapevine species. Several wild Vitis species have instead been found to be resistant to this pathogen and have been used as a source to introgress resistance into a V. vinifera background. Stilbenoids represent the major phytoalexins in grapevine, and their toxicity is closely related to the specific compound. The aim of this study was to assess the resistance response to P. viticola of the Merzling × Teroldego cross by profiling the stilbenoid content of the leaves of an entire population and the transcriptome of resistant and susceptible individuals following infection.
A three-year analysis of the population's response to artificial inoculation showed that individuals were distributed in nine classes ranging from total resistance to total susceptibility. In addition, quantitative metabolite profiling of stilbenoids in the population, carried out using HPLC-DAD-MS, identified three distinct groups differing according to the concentrations present and the complexity of their profiles. The high producers were characterized by the presence of trans-resveratrol, trans-piceid, trans-pterostilbene and up to thirteen different viniferins, nine of them new in grapevine.
Accumulation of these compounds is consistent with a resistant phenotype and suggests that they may contribute to the resistance response.
A preliminary transcriptional study using cDNA-AFLP selected a set of genes modulated by the oomycete in a resistant genotype. The expression of this set of genes in resistant and susceptible genotypes of the progeny population was then assessed by comparative microarray analysis.
A group of 57 genes was found to be exclusively modulated in the resistant genotype suggesting that they are involved in the grapevine-P. viticola incompatible interaction. Functional annotation of these transcripts revealed that they belong to the categories defense response, photosynthesis, primary and secondary metabolism, signal transduction and transport.
This study reports the results of a combined metabolic and transcriptional profiling of a grapevine population segregating for resistance to P. viticola. Some resistant individuals were identified and further characterized at the molecular level. These results will be valuable to future grapevine breeding programs.
PMCID: PMC3170253  PMID: 21838877
25.  Resveratrol Directly Targets COX-2 to Inhibit Carcinogenesis 
Molecular carcinogenesis  2008;47(10):797-805.
Targeted molecular cancer therapies can potentially deliver treatment directly to a specific protein or gene to optimize efficacy and reduce adverse side effects often associated with traditional chemotherapy. Key oncoprotein and oncogene targets are rapidly being identified based on their expression, pathogenesis and clinical outcome. One such protein target is cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is highly expressed in various cancers. Research findings suggest that resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) demonstrates non-selective COX-2 inhibition. We report herein that resveratrol (RSVL) directly binds with COX-2 and this binding is absolutely required for RSVL's inhibition of the ability of human colon adenocarcinoma HT-29 cells to form colonies in soft agar. Binding of COX-2 with RSVL was compared with two RSVL analogues, 3,3’,4’,5’5’-pentahydroxy-trans-stilbene (RSVL-2) or 3,4’,5-trimethoxy-trans-stilbene (RSVL-3). The results indicated that COX-2 binds with RSVL-2 more strongly than with RSVL, but does not bind with RSVL-3. RSVL or RSVL-2, but not RSVL-3, inhibited COX-2-mediated PGE2 production in vitro and ex vivo. HT-29 human colon adenocarcinoma cells express high levels of COX-2 and either RSVL or RSVL-2, but not RSVL-3, suppressed anchorage independent growth of these cells in soft agar. RSVL or RSVL-2 (not RSVL-3) suppressed growth of COX-2+/+ cells by 60 or 80%, respectively. Notably, cells deficient in COX-2 were unresponsive to RSVL or RSVL-2. These data suggest that the anticancer effects of RSVL or RSLV-2 might be mediated directly through COX-2.
PMCID: PMC2562941  PMID: 18381589
cell transformation; fluorescence; resveratrol analogs

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