SUMMARY OF RECENT ADVANCES
In plants, many of the innate immune receptors or disease resistance (R) proteins contain a NB-LRR (Nucleotide-binding site, Leucine-rich repeat) structure. The recent findings regarding NB-LRR signaling are summarized in this article. An emerging theme is that two NB-LRRs can function together to mediate disease resistance against pathogen isolates. Also, recent results delineate which NB-LRR protein fragments are sufficient to initiate defense signaling. Importantly, distinct fragments of different NB-LRRs are sufficient for function. Finally, we describe the new roles of accessory proteins and downstream host genes in NB-LRR signaling.
Association analysis is an alternative way for QTL mapping in ryegrass. So far, knowledge on nucleotide diversity and linkage disequilibrium in ryegrass is lacking, which is essential for the efficiency of association analyses.
11 expressed disease resistance candidate (R) genes including 6 nucleotide binding site and leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) like genes and 5 non-NBS-LRR genes were analyzed for nucleotide diversity. For each of the genes about 1 kb genomic fragments were isolated from 20 heterozygous genotypes in ryegrass. The number of haplotypes per gene ranged from 9 to 27. On average, one single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was present per 33 bp between two randomly sampled sequences for the 11 genes. NBS-LRR like gene fragments showed a high degree of nucleotide diversity, with one SNP every 22 bp between two randomly sampled sequences. NBS-LRR like gene fragments showed very high non-synonymous mutation rates, leading to altered amino acid sequences. Particularly LRR regions showed very high diversity with on average one SNP every 10 bp between two sequences. In contrast, non-NBS LRR resistance candidate genes showed a lower degree of nucleotide diversity, with one SNP every 112 bp. 78% of haplotypes occurred at low frequency (<5%) within the collection of 20 genotypes. Low intragenic LD was detected for most R genes, and rapid LD decay within 500 bp was detected.
Substantial LD decay was found within a distance of 500 bp for most resistance candidate genes in this study. Hence, LD based association analysis is feasible and promising for QTL fine mapping of resistance traits in ryegrass.
Plant disease resistance proteins commonly belong to the nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) protein family. These specialized immune proteins mediate recognition of diverse pathogen-derived effector proteins and initiate potent defense responses. NB-LRRs exhibit a multidomain architecture and each domain appears to have discrete functions depending on the stage of NB-LRR signaling. Novel proteins that were found to interact with the core HSP90 chaperone complex regulate accumulation and activation of NB-LRR immune receptors. Recent studies have also advanced our understanding of how accessory proteins contribute to NB-LRR activation. The dynamic nature of NB-LRR localization to different subcellular compartments before and after activation suggests that NB-LRRs may activate immune responses in multiple parts of the cell. In this review we highlight recent advances in understanding NB-LRR function.
Plant disease resistance can be triggered by specific recognition of microbial effectors by plant nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) receptors. Over the last few years, many efforts have greatly improved the understanding of effector and NB-LRR function, but have left a lot of questions as to how effector perception activates NB-LRR induction of defense signaling. This review describes exciting new findings showing similarities and differences in function of diverse plant NB-LRR proteins in terms of pathogen recognition and where and how resistance proteins are activated. Localization studies have shown that some NB-LRRs can activate signaling from the cytosol while others act in the nucleus. Also, the structural determination of two NB-LRR signaling domains demonstrated that receptor oligomerization is fundamental for activation of resistance signaling.
A major class of disease resistance (R) genes which encode nucleotide binding and leucine rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins have been used in traditional breeding programs for crop protection. However, it has been difficult to functionally transfer NB-LRR-type R genes in taxonomically distinct families. Here we demonstrate that a pair of Arabidopsis (Brassicaceae) NB-LRR-type R genes, RPS4 and RRS1, properly function in two other Brassicaceae, Brassica rapa and Brassica napus, but also in two Solanaceae, Nicotiana benthamiana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The solanaceous plants transformed with RPS4/RRS1 confer bacterial effector-specific immunity responses. Furthermore, RPS4 and RRS1, which confer resistance to a fungal pathogen Colletotrichum higginsianum in Brassicaceae, also protect against Colletotrichum orbiculare in cucumber (Cucurbitaceae). Importantly, RPS4/RRS1 transgenic plants show no autoimmune phenotypes, indicating that the NB-LRR proteins are tightly regulated. The successful transfer of two R genes at the family level implies that the downstream components of R genes are highly conserved. The functional interfamily transfer of R genes can be a powerful strategy for providing resistance to a broad range of pathogens.
Nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR)-encoding genes comprise the largest class of plant disease resistance genes. The 149 NBS-LRR-encoding genes and the 58 related genes that do not encode LRRs represent approximately 0.8% of all ORFs so far annotated in Arabidopsis ecotype Col-0. Despite their prevalence in the genome and functional importance, there was little information regarding expression of these genes.
We analyzed the expression patterns of ~170 NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes in Arabidopsis Col-0 using multiple analytical approaches: expressed sequenced tag (EST) representation, massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS), microarray analysis, rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) PCR, and gene trap lines. Most of these genes were expressed at low levels with a variety of tissue specificities. Expression was detected by at least one approach for all but 10 of these genes. The expression of some but not the majority of NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes was affected by salicylic acid (SA) treatment; the response to SA varied among different accessions. An analysis of previously published microarray data indicated that ten NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes exhibited increased expression in wild-type Landsberg erecta (Ler) after flagellin treatment. Several of these ten genes also showed altered expression after SA treatment, consistent with the regulation of R gene expression during defense responses and overlap between the basal defense response and salicylic acid signaling pathways. Enhancer trap analysis indicated that neither jasmonic acid nor benzothiadiazole (BTH), a salicylic acid analog, induced detectable expression of the five NBS-LRR-encoding genes and one TIR-NBS-encoding gene tested; however, BTH did induce detectable expression of the other TIR-NBS-encoding gene analyzed. Evidence for alternative mRNA polyadenylation sites was observed for many of the tested genes. Evidence for alternative splicing was found for at least 12 genes, 11 of which encode TIR-NBS-LRR proteins. There was no obvious correlation between expression pattern, phylogenetic relationship or genomic location of the NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes studied.
Transcripts of many NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes were defined. Most were present at low levels and exhibited tissue-specific expression patterns. Expression data are consistent with most Arabidopsis NBS-LRR-encoding and related genes functioning in plant defense responses but do not preclude other biological roles.
Plant leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR-RLKs) are receptor kinases that contain LRRs in their extracellular domain. In the last 15 years, many research groups have demonstrated major roles played by LRR-RLKs in plants during almost all developmental processes throughout the life of the plant and in defense/resistance against a large range of pathogens. Recently, a breakthrough has been made in this field that challenges the dogma of the specificity of plant LRR-RLKs.
We analyzed ~1000 complete genomes and show that LRR-RK genes have now been identified in 8 non-plant genomes. We performed an exhaustive phylogenetic analysis of all of these receptors, revealing that all of the LRR-containing receptor subfamilies form lineage-specific clades. Our results suggest that the association of LRRs with RKs appeared independently at least four times in eukaryotic evolutionary history. Moreover, the molecular evolutionary history of the LRR-RKs found in oomycetes is reminiscent of the pattern observed in plants: expansion with amplification/deletion and evolution of the domain organization leading to the functional diversification of members of the gene family. Finally, the expression data suggest that oomycete LRR-RKs may play a role in several stages of the oomycete life cycle.
In view of the key roles that LRR-RLKs play throughout the entire lifetime of plants and plant-environment interactions, the emergence and expansion of this type of receptor in several phyla along the evolution of eukaryotes, and particularly in oomycete genomes, questions their intrinsic functions in mimicry and/or in the coevolution of receptors between hosts and pathogens.
Group B streptococci (GBS) usually behave as commensal organisms that asymptomatically colonize the gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts of adults. However, GBS are also pathogens and the leading bacterial cause of life-threatening invasive disease in neonates. While the events leading to transmission and disease in neonates remain unclear, GBS carriage and level of colonization in the mother have been shown to be significant risk factors associated with invasive infection. Surface antigens represent ideal vaccine targets for eliciting antibodies that can act as opsonins and/or inhibit colonization and invasion. Using a genetic screen for exported proteins in GBS, we identified a gene, designated lrrG, that encodes a novel LPXTG anchored surface antigen containing leucine-rich repeat (LRR) motifs found in bacterial invasins and other members of the LRR protein family. Southern blotting showed that lrrG was present in all GBS strains tested, representing the nine serotypes, and revealed the presence of an lrrG homologue in Streptococcus pyogenes. Recombinant LrrG protein was shown in vitro to adhere to epithelial cells in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting that it may function as an adhesion factor in GBS. More importantly, immunization with recombinant LrrG elicited a strong immunoglobulin G response in CBA/ca mice and protected against lethal challenge with virulent GBS. The data presented in this report suggest that this conserved protein is a highly promising candidate antigen for use in a GBS vaccine.
Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like protein kinases (LRR RLKs) represent the largest group of Arabidopsis RLKs with approximately 235 members. A minority of these LRR RLKs have been assigned to diverse roles in development, pathogen resistance and hormone perception. Using a reverse genetics approach, a collection of homozygous T-DNA insertion lines for 69 root expressed LRR RLK genes was screened for root developmental defects and altered response after exposure to environmental, hormonal/chemical and abiotic stress. The obtained data demonstrate that LRR RLKs play a role in a wide variety of signal transduction pathways related to hormone and abiotic stress responses. The described collection of T-DNA insertion mutants provides a valuable tool for future research into the function of LRR RLK genes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-011-9769-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
LRR RLK; Arabidopsis; Root; Development; Hormone; stress
Bacterial leaf pustule (BLP) disease is caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. glycines (Xag). To investigate the plant basal defence mechanisms induced in response to Xag, differential gene expression in near-isogenic lines (NILs) of BLP-susceptible and BLP-resistant soybean was analysed by RNA-Seq. Of a total of 46 367 genes that were mapped to soybean genome reference sequences, 1978 and 783 genes were found to be up- and down-regulated, respectively, in the BLP-resistant NIL relative to the BLP-susceptible NIL at 0, 6, and 12h after inoculation (hai). Clustering analysis revealed that these genes could be grouped into 10 clusters with different expression patterns. Functional annotation based on gene ontology (GO) categories was carried out. Among the putative soybean defence response genes identified (GO:0006952), 134 exhibited significant differences in expression between the BLP-resistant and -susceptible NILs. In particular, pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) and damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) receptors and the genes induced by these receptors were highly expressed at 0 hai in the BLP-resistant NIL. Additionally, pathogenesis-related (PR)-1 and -14 were highly expressed at 0 hai, and PR-3, -6, and -12 were highly expressed at 12 hai. There were also significant differences in the expression of the core JA-signalling components MYC2 and JASMONATE ZIM-motif. These results indicate that powerful basal defence mechanisms involved in the recognition of PAMPs or DAMPs and a high level of accumulation of defence-related gene products may contribute to BLP resistance in soybean.
bacterial leaf pustules; disease resistance; RNA-Seq analysis; soybean
Like all plants, potato has evolved a surveillance system consisting of a large array of genes encoding for immune receptors that confer resistance to pathogens and pests. The majority of these so-called resistance or R proteins belong to the super-family that harbour a nucleotide binding and a leucine-rich-repeat domain (NB-LRR). Here, sequence information of the conserved NB domain was used to investigate the genome-wide genetic distribution of the NB-LRR resistance gene loci in potato. We analysed the sequences of 288 unique BAC clones selected using filter hybridisation screening of a BAC library of the diploid potato clone RH89-039-16 (S. tuberosum ssp. tuberosum) and a physical map of this BAC library. This resulted in the identification of 738 partial and full-length NB-LRR sequences. Based on homology of these sequences with known resistance genes, 280 and 448 sequences were classified as TIR-NB-LRR (TNL) and CC-NB-LRR (CNL) sequences, respectively. Genetic mapping revealed the presence of 15 TNL and 32 CNL loci. Thirty-six are novel, while three TNL loci and eight CNL loci are syntenic with previously identified functional resistance genes. The genetic map was complemented with 68 universal CAPS markers and 82 disease resistance trait loci described in literature, providing an excellent template for genetic studies and applied research in potato.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00122-011-1602-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Soybean cyst nematode (Heterodera glycines, SCN) is the most economically damaging pathogen of soybean (Glycine max) in the U.S. The Rhg1 locus is repeatedly observed as the quantitative trait locus with the greatest impact on SCN resistance. The Glyma18g02680.1 gene at the Rhg1 locus that encodes an apparent leucine-rich repeat transmembrane receptor-kinase (LRR-kinase) has been proposed to be the SCN resistance gene, but its function has not been confirmed. Generation of fertile transgenic soybean lines is difficult but methods have been published that test SCN resistance in transgenic roots generated with Agrobacterium rhizogenes.
We report use of artificial microRNA (amiRNA) for gene silencing in soybean, refinements to transgenic root SCN resistance assays, and functional tests of the Rhg1 locus LRR-kinase gene. A nematode demographics assay monitored infecting nematode populations for their progress through developmental stages two weeks after inoculation, as a metric for SCN resistance. Significant differences were observed between resistant and susceptible control genotypes. Introduction of the Rhg1 locus LRR-kinase gene (genomic promoter/coding region/terminator; Peking/PI 437654-derived SCN-resistant source), into rhg1- SCN-susceptible plant lines carrying the resistant-source Rhg4+ locus, provided no significant increases in SCN resistance. Use of amiRNA to reduce expression of the LRR-kinase gene from the Rhg1 locus of Fayette (PI 88788 source of Rhg1) also did not detectably alter resistance to SCN. However, silencing of the LRR-kinase gene did have impacts on root development.
The nematode demographics assay can expedite testing of transgenic roots for SCN resistance. amiRNAs and the pSM103 vector that drives interchangeable amiRNA constructs through a soybean polyubiqutin promoter (Gmubi), with an intron-GFP marker for detection of transgenic roots, may have widespread use in legume biology. Studies in which expression of the Rhg1 locus LRR-kinase gene from different resistance sources was either reduced or complemented did not reveal significant impacts on SCN resistance.
A homeostatic relationship with the intestinal microflora is increasingly appreciated as essential for human health and wellbeing. Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain of Nod2, a bacterial recognition protein, are associated with development of the inflammatory bowel disorder, Crohn's disease. We investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying disruption of intestinal symbiosis in patients carrying Nod2 mutations.
In this study, using purified recombinant LRR domains, we demonstrate that Nod2 is a direct antimicrobial agent and this activity is generally deficient in proteins carrying Crohn's-associated mutations. Wild-type, but not Crohn's-associated, Nod2 LRR domains directly interacted with bacteria in vitro, altered their metabolism and disrupted the integrity of the plasma membrane. Antibiotic activity was also expressed by the LRR domains of Nod1 and other pattern recognition receptors suggesting that the LRR domain is a conserved anti-microbial motif supporting innate cellular immunity.
The lack of anti-bacterial activity demonstrated with Crohn's-associated Nod2 mutations in vitro, supports the hypothesis that a deficiency in direct bacterial killing contributes to the association of Nod2 polymorphisms with the disease.
We have previously reported that the LRRC4 gene, which contains a conserved leucine-rich repeat (LRR) cassette and an immunoglobulin (Ig) IgC2 domain, is associated with glioma suppression both in vitro and in vivo. The present study provides evidence that the conspicuous absence of LRRC4 in high-grade gliomas directly contributes to the increasing tumor grade. The loss of LRRC4 in U251 cells is caused by the loss of homozygosity at chromosome 7q32-ter. It was also found that LRRC4 requires a functional LRR cassette domain to suppress U251 cell proliferation. In the LRR cassette domain, the third LRR motif of the core LRR is found to be indispensable for the function of LRRC4. The inhibitory effect of LRRC4 is accompanied by a decrease in the expression of pERK, pAkt, pNF-κBp65, signal transducer and activator of transcription protein-3 (STAT3), and mutant p53, and an increase in the expression of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK)2 and p-c-Jun, suggesting that LRRC4 plays a major role in suppressing U251 cell proliferation by regulating the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)/Akt/NF-κBp65, STAT3, and JNK2/c-Jun pathways. In conclusion, LRRC4 may act as a novel candidate of tumor suppressor gene. Therefore, the loss of LRRC4 function may be an important event in the progression of gliomas.
The gene lrrA, encoding a leucine-rich repeat protein, LrrA, that contains eight consensus tandem repeats of 23 amino acid residues, has been identified in Treponema denticola ATCC 35405. A leucine-rich repeat is a generally useful protein-binding motif, and proteins containing this repeat are typically involved in protein-protein interactions. Southern blot analysis demonstrated that T. denticola ATCC 35405 expresses the lrrA gene, but the gene was not identified in T. denticola ATCC 33520. In order to analyze the functions of LrrA in T. denticola, an lrrA-inactivated mutant of strain ATCC 35405 and an lrrA gene expression transformant of strain ATCC 33520 were constructed. Characterization of the mutant and transformant demonstrated that LrrA is associated with the extracytoplasmic fraction of T. denticola and expresses multifunctional properties. It was demonstrated that the attachment of strain ATCC 35405 to HEp-2 cell cultures and coaggregation with Tannerella forsythensis were attenuated by the lrrA mutation. In addition, an in vitro binding assay demonstrated specific binding of LrrA to a portion of the Tannerella forsythensis leucine-rich repeat protein, BspA, which is mediated by the N-terminal region of LrrA. It was also observed that the lrrA mutation caused a reduction of swarming in T. denticola ATCC 35405 and consequently attenuated tissue penetration. These results suggest that the leucine-rich repeat protein LrrA plays a role in the attachment and penetration of human epithelial cells and coaggregation with Tannerella forsythensis. These properties may play important roles in the virulence of T. denticola.
Nucleotide-binding site (NBS) disease resistance genes play an important role in defending plants from a variety of pathogens and insect pests. Many R-genes have been identified in various plant species. However, little is known about the NBS-encoding genes in Brachypodium distachyon. In this study, using computational analysis of the B. distachyon genome, we identified 126 regular NBS-encoding genes and characterized them on the bases of structural diversity, conserved protein motifs, chromosomal locations, gene duplications, promoter region, and phylogenetic relationships. EST hits and full-length cDNA sequences (from Brachypodium database) of 126 R-like candidates supported their existence. Based on the occurrence of conserved protein motifs such as coiled-coil (CC), NBS, leucine-rich repeat (LRR), these regular NBS-LRR genes were classified into four subgroups: CC-NBS-LRR, NBS-LRR, CC-NBS, and X-NBS. Further expression analysis of the regular NBS-encoding genes in Brachypodium database revealed that these genes are expressed in a wide range of libraries, including those constructed from various developmental stages, tissue types, and drought challenged or nonchallenged tissue.
Plant nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins are a large family involved in disease resistance; they may monitor the status of proteins targeted by pathogens.
The majority of disease resistance genes in plants encode nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins. This large family is encoded by hundreds of diverse genes per genome and can be subdivided into the functionally distinct TIR-domain-containing (TNL) and CC-domain-containing (CNL) subfamilies. Their precise role in recognition is unknown; however, they are thought to monitor the status of plant proteins that are targeted by pathogen effectors.
Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris causes black rot, a vascular disease on cruciferous plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana. The gene XC1553 from X. campestris pv. campestris strain 8004 encodes a protein containing leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) and appears to be restricted to strains of X. campestris pv. campestris. LRRs are found in a number of type III-secreted effectors in plant and animal pathogens. These prompted us to investigate the role of the XC1553 gene in the interaction between X. campestris pv. campestris and A. thaliana. Translocation assays using the hypersensitive-reaction-inducing domain of X. campestris pv. campestris AvrBs1 as a reporter revealed that XC1553 is a type III effector. Infiltration of Arabidopsis leaf mesophyll with bacterial suspensions showed no differences between the wild-type strain and an XC1553 gene mutant; both strains induced disease symptoms on Kashmir and Col-0 ecotypes. However, a clear difference was observed when bacteria were introduced into the vascular system by piercing the central vein of leaves. In this case, the wild-type strain 8004 caused disease on the Kashmir ecotype, but not on ecotype Col-0; the XC1553 gene mutant became virulent on the Col-0 ecotype and still induced disease on the Kashmir ecotype. Altogether, these data show that the XC1553 gene, which was renamed avrACXcc8004, functions as an avirulence gene whose product seems to be recognized in vascular tissues.
Iimmune regulatory proteins such as CIITA, NAIP, IPAF, NOD1, NOD2, NALP1, cryopyrin/NALP3 are members of a family characterized by the presence of a nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) and leucine-rich repeats (LRR). Members of this gene family encode a protein structure similar to the NB-LRR subgroup of disease-resistance genes in plants and are involved in the sensing of pathogenic products and the regulation of cell signaling and apoptosis. Several members of this family have been associated with immunologic disorders. NOD2 for instance is associated with both Crohn's disease and Blau syndrome.
A variety of different names are currently used to describe this gene family, its subfamilies and individual genes, including CATERPILLER (CLR), NOD-LRR, NACHT-LRR, CARD, NALP, NOD, PAN and PYPAF, and this lack of consistency has led to a pressing need to unify the nomenclature. Consequently, we collectively propose the family designation NLR (nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing) and provide unique and standardized gene designations for all family members.
Race-specific disease resistance in plants depends on the presence of resistance (R) genes. Most R genes encode NB-ARC-LRR proteins that carry a C-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR). Of the few proteins found to interact with the LRR domain, most have proposed (co)chaperone activity. Here, we report the identification of RSI2 (Required for Stability of I-2) as a protein that interacts with the LRR domain of the tomato R protein I-2. RSI2 belongs to the family of small heat shock proteins (sHSPs or HSP20s). HSP20s are ATP-independent chaperones that form oligomeric complexes with client proteins to prevent unfolding and subsequent aggregation. Silencing of RSI2-related HSP20s in Nicotiana benthamiana compromised the hypersensitive response that is normally induced by auto-active variants of I-2 and Mi-1, a second tomato R protein. As many HSP20s have chaperone properties, the involvement of RSI2 and other R protein (co)chaperones in I-2 and Mi-1 protein stability was examined. RSI2 silencing compromised the accumulation of full-length I-2 in planta, but did not affect Mi-1 levels. Silencing of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) and SGT1 led to an almost complete loss of full-length I-2 accumulation and a reduction in Mi-1 protein levels. In contrast to SGT1 and HSP90, RSI2 silencing led to accumulation of I-2 breakdown products. This difference suggests that RSI2 and HSP90/SGT1 chaperone the I-2 protein using different molecular mechanisms. We conclude that I-2 protein function requires RSI2, either through direct interaction with, and stabilization of I-2 protein or by affecting signalling components involved in initiation of the hypersensitive response.
HSP20; NB-LRR protein; alpha crystallin domain; hypersensitive response; resistasome; immunity
The phytopathogenic bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum encodes type III effectors, called GALA proteins, which contain F-box and LRR domains. The GALA LRRs do not perfectly fit any of the previously described LRR subfamilies. By applying protein sequence analysis and structural prediction, we clarify this ambiguous case of LRR classification and assign GALA-LRRs to CC-LRR subfamily. We demonstrate that side-by-side packing of LRRs in the 3D structures may control the limits of repeat variability within the LRR subfamilies during evolution. The LRR packing can be used as a criterion, complementing the repeat sequences, to classify newly identified LRR domains. Our phylogenetic analysis of F-box domains proposes the lateral gene transfer of bacterial GALA proteins from host plants. We also present an evolutionary scenario which can explain the transformation of the original plant LRRs into slightly different bacterial LRRs. The examination of the selective evolutionary pressure acting on GALA proteins suggests that the convex side of their horse-shoe shaped LRR domains is more prone to positive selection than the concave side, and we therefore hypothesize that the convex surface might be the site of protein binding relevant to the adaptor function of the F-box GALA proteins. This conclusion provides a strong background for further functional studies aimed at determining the role of these type III effectors in the virulence of R. solanacearum.
Leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) are highly versatile and evolvable protein-ligand interaction motifs found in a large number of proteins with diverse functions, including innate immunity and nervous system development. Here we catalogue all of the extracellular LRR (eLRR) proteins in worms, flies, mice and humans. We use convergent evidence from several transmembrane-prediction and motif-detection programs, including a customised algorithm, LRRscan, to identify eLRR proteins, and a hierarchical clustering method based on TribeMCL to establish their evolutionary relationships.
This yields a total of 369 proteins (29 in worm, 66 in fly, 135 in mouse and 139 in human), many of them of unknown function. We group eLRR proteins into several classes: those with only LRRs, those that cluster with Toll-like receptors (Tlrs), those with immunoglobulin or fibronectin-type 3 (FN3) domains and those with some other domain. These groups show differential patterns of expansion and diversification across species. Our analyses reveal several clusters of novel genes, including two Elfn genes, encoding transmembrane proteins with eLRRs and an FN3 domain, and six genes encoding transmembrane proteins with eLRRs only (the Elron cluster). Many of these are expressed in discrete patterns in the developing mouse brain, notably in the thalamus and cortex. We have also identified a number of novel fly eLRR proteins with discrete expression in the embryonic nervous system.
This study provides the necessary foundation for a systematic analysis of the functions of this class of genes, which are likely to include prominently innate immunity, inflammation and neural development, especially the specification of neuronal connectivity.
The interaction between tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and tobacco harbouring the N gene is a classical system for studying gene-for-gene interactions in disease resistance. The N gene confers resistance to TMV by mediating defence responses that function to limit viral replication and movement. We isolated the N gene and determined that N belongs to the nucleotide-binding-site-leucine-rich-repeat (NBS-LRR) class of plant disease resistance genes, and encodes both full-length and truncated proteins. Sequence homologies and mutagenesis studies indicated a signalling role for the N protein similar to that seen for proteins involved in defence responses in insects and mammals. The N gene confers resistance to TMV in transgenic tomato, demonstrating the use of the NBS-LRR class of disease resistance genes in engineering crop resistance. From the pathogen side of this interaction, the TMV 126 kDa replicase protein has been implicated as the avirulence factor that triggers N-mediated defence responses. We employed Agrobacterium-mediated expression strategies to demonstrate that expression of the putative helicase region of the replicase protein is sufficient to elicit N-mediated defences. The thermosensitivity of the N-mediated response to TMV is retained when induced by expression of this replicase fragment. Thus, both components of this gene-for-gene interaction are now available for studies that address the molecular mechanisms involved in N-mediated TMV resistance.
Leucine rich repeats (LRRs) are present in over 60,000 proteins that have been identified in viruses, bacteria, archae, and eukaryotes. All known structures of repeated LRRs adopt an arc shape. Most LRRs are 20-30 residues long. All LRRs contain LxxLxLxxNxL, in which "L" is Leu, Ile, Val, or Phe and "N" is Asn, Thr, Ser, or Cys and "x" is any amino acid. Seven classes of LRRs have been identified. However, other LRR classes remains to be characterized. The evolution of LRRs is not well understood.
Here we describe a novel LRR domain, or nested repeat observed in 134 proteins from 54 bacterial species. This novel LRR domain has 21 residues with the consensus sequence of LxxLxLxxNxLxxLDLxx(N/L/Q/x)xx or LxxLxCxxNxLxxLDLxx(N/L/x)xx. This LRR domain is characterized by a nested periodicity; it consists of alternating 10- and 11- residues units of LxxLxLxxNx(x/-). We call it "IRREKO" LRR, since the Japanese word for "nested" is "IRREKO". The first unit of the "IRREKO" LRR domain is frequently occupied by an "SDS22-like" LRR with the consensus of LxxLxLxxNxLxxLxxLxxLxx or a "Bacterial" LRR with the consensus of LxxLxLxxNxLxxLPxLPxx. In some proteins an "SDS22-like" LRR intervenes between "IRREKO" LRRs.
Proteins having "IRREKO" LRR domain are almost exclusively found in bacteria. It is suggested that IRREKO@LRR evolved from a common ancestor with "SDS22-like" and "Bacterial" classes and that the ancestor of IRREKO@LRR is 10 or 11 residues of LxxLxLxxNx(x/-). The "IRREKO" LRR is predicted to adopt an arc shape with smaller curvature in which β-strands are formed on both concave and convex surfaces.
The rice disease resistance (R) gene Xa3/Xa26 (having also been named Xa3 and Xa26) against Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo), which causes bacterial blight disease, belongs to a multiple gene family clustered in chromosome 11 and is from an AA genome rice cultivar (Oryza sativa L.). This family encodes leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinase-type proteins. Here, we show that the orthologs (alleles) of Xa3/Xa26, Xa3/Xa26-2, and Xa3/Xa26-3, from wild Oryza species O. officinalis (CC genome) and O. minuta (BBCC genome), respectively, were also R genes against Xoo. Xa3/Xa26-2 and Xa3/Xa26-3 conferred resistance to 16 of the 18 Xoo strains examined. Comparative sequence analysis of the Xa3/Xa26 families in the two wild Oryza species showed that Xa3/Xa26-3 appeared to have originated from the CC genome of O. minuta. The predicted proteins encoded by Xa3/Xa26, Xa3/Xa26-2, and Xa3/Xa26-3 share 91–99% sequence identity and 94–99% sequence similarity. Transgenic plants carrying a single copy of Xa3/Xa26, Xa3/Xa26-2, or Xa3/Xa26-3, in the same genetic background, showed a similar resistance spectrum to a set of Xoo strains, although plants carrying Xa3/Xa26-2 or Xa3/Xa26-3 showed lower resistance levels than the plants carrying Xa3/Xa26. These results suggest that the Xa3/Xa26 locus predates the speciation of A and C genome, which is approximately 7.5 million years ago. Thus, the resistance specificity of this locus has been conserved for a long time.
Bacterial blight; broad-spectrum resistance; durable resistance; Oryza officinalis; Oryza minuta; Oryza sativa