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1.  Triple subcellular targeting of isopentenyl diphosphate isomerases encoded by a single gene 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(11):1495-1497.
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IDI) is a key enzyme of the isoprenoid pathway, catalyzing the interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate, the universal precursors of all isoprenoids. In plants, several subcellular compartments, including cytosol/ER, peroxisomes, mitochondria and plastids, are involved in isoprenoid biosynthesis. Here, we report on the unique triple targeting of two Catharanthus roseus IDI isoforms encoded by a single gene (CrIDI1). The triple localization of CrIDI1 in mitochondria, plastids and peroxisomes is explained by alternative transcription initiation of CrIDI1, by the specificity of a bifunctional N-terminal mitochondria/plastid transit peptide and by the presence of a C-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal. Moreover, bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays revealed self-interactions suggesting that the IDI likely acts as a multimer in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3548878  PMID: 22951398
isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase; isoprenoid; alkaloid; triple targeting; subcellular localization; Catharanthus roseus
2.  Subcellular evidence for the involvement of peroxisomes in plant isoprenoid biosynthesis 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2011;6(12):2044-2046.
The role of peroxisomes in isoprenoid metabolism, especially in plants, has been questioned in several reports. A recent study of Sapir-Mir et al.1 revealed that the two isoforms of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) isomerase, catalyzing the isomerisation of IPP to dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) are found in the peroxisome. In this addendum, we provide additional data describing the peroxisomal localization of 5-phosphomevalonate kinase and mevalonate 5-diphosphate decarboxylase, the last two enzymes of the mevalonic acid pathway leading to IPP.2 This finding was reinforced in our latest report showing that a short isoform of farnesyl diphosphate, using IPP and DMAPP as substrates, is also targeted to the organelle.3 Therefore, the classical sequestration of isoprenoid biosynthesis between plastids and cytosol/ER can be revisited by including the peroxisome as an additional isoprenoid biosynthetic compartment within plant cells.
PMCID: PMC3337203  PMID: 22080790
5-phosphomevalonate kinase; Arabidopsis thaliana; Catharanthus roseus; farnesyl diphosphate synthase; isoprenoid; mevalonate 5-diphosphate decarboxylase; mevalonic acid pathway; peroxisome
3.  Strictosidine activation in Apocynaceae: towards a "nuclear time bomb"? 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:182.
The first two enzymatic steps of monoterpene indole alkaloid (MIA) biosynthetic pathway are catalysed by strictosidine synthase (STR) that condensates tryptamine and secologanin to form strictosidine and by strictosidine β-D-glucosidase (SGD) that subsequently hydrolyses the glucose moiety of strictosidine. The resulting unstable aglycon is rapidly converted into a highly reactive dialdehyde, from which more than 2,000 MIAs are derived. Many studies were conducted to elucidate the biosynthesis and regulation of pharmacologically valuable MIAs such as vinblastine and vincristine in Catharanthus roseus or ajmaline in Rauvolfia serpentina. However, very few reports focused on the MIA physiological functions.
In this study we showed that a strictosidine pool existed in planta and that the strictosidine deglucosylation product(s) was (were) specifically responsible for in vitro protein cross-linking and precipitation suggesting a potential role for strictosidine activation in plant defence. The spatial feasibility of such an activation process was evaluated in planta. On the one hand, in situ hybridisation studies showed that CrSTR and CrSGD were coexpressed in the epidermal first barrier of C. roseus aerial organs. However, a combination of GFP-imaging, bimolecular fluorescence complementation and electromobility shift-zymogram experiments revealed that STR from both C. roseus and R. serpentina were localised to the vacuole whereas SGD from both species were shown to accumulate as highly stable supramolecular aggregates within the nucleus. Deletion and fusion studies allowed us to identify and to demonstrate the functionality of CrSTR and CrSGD targeting sequences.
A spatial model was drawn to explain the role of the subcellular sequestration of STR and SGD to control the MIA metabolic flux under normal physiological conditions. The model also illustrates the possible mechanism of massive activation of the strictosidine vacuolar pool upon enzyme-substrate reunion occurring during potential herbivore feeding constituting a so-called "nuclear time bomb" in reference to the "mustard oil bomb" commonly used to describe the myrosinase-glucosinolate defence system in Brassicaceae.
PMCID: PMC3095312  PMID: 20723215

Results 1-3 (3)