Studies in the last few years have shed light on the process of nitrate accumulation within plant cells, achieving molecular identification and partial characterization of the genes and proteins involved in this process. However, contrary to the plasma membrane-localized nitrate transport activities, the kinetics of active nitrate influx into the vacuole and its adaptation to external nitrate availability remain poorly understood. In this work, we have investigated the activity and regulation of the tonoplast-localized H+/NO3− antiport in cucumber roots in response to N starvation and NO3− induction. The time course of nitrate availability strongly influenced H+/NO3− antiport activity at the tonoplast of root cells. However, under N starvation active nitrate accumulation within the vacuole still occurred. Hence, either a constitutive H+-coupled transport system specific for nitrate operates at the tonoplast, or nitrate uses another transport protein of broader specificity to different anions to enter the vacuole via a proton-dependent process. H+/NO3− antiport in cucumber was significantly stimulated in NO3−-induced plants that were supplied with nitrate for 24 hours following 6-day-long N starvation. The cytosolic fraction isolated from the roots of NO3−-induced plants significantly stimulated H+/NO3− antiport in tonoplast membranes isolated from cucumbers growing on nitrate. The stimulatory effect of the cytosolic fraction was completely abolished by EGTA and the protein kinase inhibitor staurosporine and slightly enhanced by the phosphatase inhibitors okadaic acid and cantharidin. Hence, we conclude that stimulation of H+/NO3− antiport at the tonoplast of cucumber roots in response to nitrate provision may occur through the phosphorylation of a membrane antiporter involving Ca-dependent, staurosporine-sensitive protein kinase.
The 60+ members of the mammalian Rab protein family group into subfamilies postulated to share common functionality. The Rab VI subfamily contains 5 Rab proteins, Rab6a/a’, Rab6b, Rab6c and Rab41. High-level knockdown of Rab6a/a’ has little effect on the tightly organized Golgi ribbon in HeLa cells as seen by fluorescence microscopy. In striking contrast, we found Rab41 was strongly required for normal Golgi ribbon organization.
Treatment of HeLa cells with Rab41 siRNAs scattered the Golgi ribbon into clustered, punctate Golgi elements. Overexpression of GDP-locked Rab41, but not wild type or GTP-locked Rab41, produced a similar Golgi phenotype. By electron microscopy, Rab41 depletion produced short, isolated Golgi stacks. Golgi-associated vesicles accumulated. At low expression levels, wild type and GTP-locked Rab41 showed little concentration in the Golgi region, but puncta were observed and most were in ruffled regions at the cell periphery. There was 25% co-localization of GTP-locked Rab41 with the ER marker, Sec61p. GDP-locked Rab41, as expected, displayed an entirely diffuse cytoplasmic distribution. Depletion of Rab41 or overexpression of GDP-locked Rab41 partially inhibited ER-to-Golgi transport of VSV-G protein. However, Rab41 knockdown had little, if any, effect on endosome-to-Golgi transport of SLTB. Additionally, after a 2-day delay, treatment with Rab41 siRNA inhibited cell growth, while overexpression of GDP-locked Rab41, but not wild type or GTP-locked Rab41, produced a rapid, progressive cell loss. In double knockdown experiments with Rab6, the Golgi ribbon was fragmented, a result consistent with Rab41 and Rab6 acting in parallel.
We provide the first evidence for distinctive Rab41 effects on Golgi organization, ER-to-Golgi trafficking and cell growth. When combined with the evidence that Rab6a/a’ and Rab6b have diverse roles in Golgi function, while Rab6c regulates mitotic function, our data indicate that Rab VI subfamily members, although related by homology and structure, share limited functional conservation.
The nongreen plastids, such as etioplasts, chromoplasts, etc., as well as chloroplasts, are all derived from proplastids in the meristem. To date, the Min system members in plants have been identified as regulators of FtsZ-ring placement, which are essential for the symmetrical division of chloroplasts. However, the regulation of FtsZ-ring placement in nongreen plastids is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the division site placement of nongreen plastids by examining the etioplasts as representative in Arabidopsis Min system mutants. Surprisingly, the shape and number of etioplasts in cotyledons of arc3, arc11 and mcd1 mutants were similar to that observed in wild-type plants, whereas arc12 and parc6 mutants exhibited enlarged etioplasts that were reduced in number. In order to examine nongreen plastids in true leaves, we silenced the ALB3 gene in these Min system mutant backgrounds to produce immature chloroplasts without the thylakoidal network using virus induced gene silencing (VIGS). Interestingly, consistent with our observations in etioplasts, enlarged and fewer nongreen plastids were only detected in leaves of parc6 (VIGS-ALB3) and arc12 (VIGS-ALB3) plants. Further, the FtsZ-ring assembled properly at the midpoint in nongreen plastids of arc3, arc11 and mcd1 (VIGS-ALB3) plants, but organized into multiple rings in parc6 (VIGS-ALB3) and presented fragmented filaments in arc12 (VIGS-ALB3) plants, suggesting that division site placement in nongreen plastids requires fewer components of the plant Min system. Taken together, these results suggest that division site placement in nongreen plastids is different from that in chloroplasts.
ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA) proteins are important regulators involved in diverse cellular functions. To date, the molecular mechanisms of AAA proteins involved in response to salt and drought stresses in plants are largely unknown. In this study, a putative SKD1 (suppressor of K+ transport growth defect 1) ortholog from Zea mays (ZmSKD1), which encodes a putative AAA protein, was isolated. The transcript levels of ZmSKD1 were higher in aerial tissues and were markedly up-regulated by salt or drought stress. Over-expression of ZmSKD1 in tobacco plants enhanced their tolerances not only to salt but to drought. Moreover, reactive oxygen species accumulations in ZmSKD1 transgenic lines were relative less than those in wild-type plants during salt or PEG-induced water stress. The interaction between ZmSKD1 and NtLIP5 (Lyst-Interacting Protein 5 homolog from Nicotiana tabacum) was confirmed by both yeast two-hybrid and immuno-precipitation assays; moreover, the α-helix-rich domain in the C-terminus of ZmSKD1 was identified to be required for its interaction with NtLIP5 using truncation mutations. Collectively, these data demonstrate that ZmSKD1could be involved in salt and drought stress responses and its over-expression enhances salt or drought stress tolerance possibly through interacting with LIP5 in tobacco. This study may facilitate our understandings of the biological roles of SKD1-mediated ESCRT pathway under stress conditions in higher plants and accelerate genetic improvement of crop plants tolerant to environmental stresses.
Vesicular trafficking plays a crucial role in protein localization and movement, signal transduction, and multiple developmental processes in eukaryotic cells. Vesicle fusion is the final and key step in vesicle-mediated trafficking and mainly relies on SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors), the regulators including SM (Sec1/Munc18) family proteins, Rab GTPases and exocyst subunits. Verticillium dahliae is a widespread soil fungus that causes disruptive vascular diseases on a wide range of plants. To date, no genes involved in vesicular fusion process have been identified and characterized in V. dahliae. The recent publication of the draft genome sequence of V. dahliae allowed us to conduct a genome-wide identification, phylogeny and expression profile of genes encoding vesicular fusion components. Using compared genomics and phylogenetic methods, we identified 44 genes encoding vesicle fusion components in the V. dahliae genome. According to the structural features of their encoded proteins, the 44 V. dahliae genes were classified into 22 SNAREs (6 Qa-, 4 Qb-, 6 Qc-, 1 Qbc- and 5 R-types), 4 SM family proteins, 10 Rab GTPases and 8 exocyst proteins. Based on phylogeny and motif constitution analysis, orthologs of vesicle fusion component in filamentous fungi were generally clustered together into the same subclasses with well-supported bootstrap values. Analysis of the expression profiles of these genes indicated that many of them are significantly differentially expressed during vegetative growth and microsclerotia formation in V. dahliae. The analysis show that many components of vesicle fusion are well conserved in filamentous fungi and indicate that vesicle fusion plays a critical role in microsclerotia formation of smoke tree wilt fungus V. dahliae. The genome-wide identification and expression analysis of components involved in vesicle fusion should facilitate research in this gene family and give new insights toward elucidating their functions in growth, development and pathogenesis of V. dahliae.
Colibacillosis is an economically important syndromic disease of poultry caused by extra-intestinal avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) but the pathotype remains poorly defined. Combinations of virulence-associated genes (VAGs) have aided APEC identification. The intestinal microbiota is a potential APEC reservoir. Broiler chickens are selectively bred for fast, uniform growth. Here we simultaneously investigate intestinal E. coli VAG carriage in apparently healthy birds and characterise systemic E. coli from diseased broiler chickens from the same flocks. Four flocks were sampled longitudinally from chick placement until slaughter. Phylogrouping, macro-restriction pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) were performed on an isolate subset from one flock to investigate the population structure of faecal and systemic E. coli. Early in production, VAG carriage among chick intestinal E. coli populations was diverse (average Simpson's D value = 0.73); 24.05% of intestinal E. coli (n = 160) from 1 day old chicks were carrying ≥5 VAGs. Generalised Linear models demonstrated VAG prevalence in potential APEC populations declined with age; 1% of E. coli carrying ≥5 VAGs at slaughter and demonstrated high strain diversity. A variety of VAG profiles and high strain diversity were observed among systemic E. coli. Thirty three new MLST sequence types were identified among 50 isolates and a new sequence type representing 22.2% (ST-2999) of the systemic population was found, differing from the pre-defined pathogenic ST-117 at a single locus. For the first time, this study takes a longitudinal approach to unravelling the APEC paradigm. Our findings, supported by other studies, highlight the difficulty in defining the APEC pathotype. Here we report a high genetic diversity among systemic E. coli between and within diseased broilers, harbouring diverse VAG profiles rather than single and/or highly related pathogenic clones suggesting host susceptibility in broilers plays an important role in APEC pathogenesis.
Insulin Degrading Enzyme (IDE) is a protease conserved through evolution with a role in diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. The reason underlying its ubiquitous expression including cells lacking identified IDE substrates remains unknown. Here we show that the fission yeast IDE homologue (Iph1) modulates cellular sensitivity to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in a manner dependent on TORC1 (Target of Rapamycin Complex 1). Reduced sensitivity to tunicamycin was associated with a smaller number of cells undergoing apoptosis. Wild type levels of tunicamycin sensitivity were restored in iph1 null cells when the TORC1 complex was inhibited by rapamycin or by heat inactivation of the Tor2 kinase. Although Iph1 cleaved hallmark IDE substrates including insulin efficiently, its role in the ER stress response was independent of its catalytic activity since expression of inactive Iph1 restored normal sensitivity. Importantly, wild type as well as inactive human IDE complemented gene-invalidated yeast cells when expressed at the genomic locus under the control of iph1+ promoter. These results suggest that IDE has a previously unknown function unrelated to substrate cleavage, which links sensitivity to ER stress to a pro-survival role of the TORC1 pathway.
Senescence is the last phase of the plant life cycle and has an important role in plant development. Degradation of membrane lipids is an essential process during leaf senescence. Several studies have reported fundamental changes in membrane lipids and phospholipase D (PLD) activity as leaves senesce. Suppression of phospholipase Dα1 (PLDα1) retards abscisic acid (ABA)-promoted senescence. However, given the absence of studies that have profiled changes in the compositions of membrane lipid molecules during leaf senescence, there is no direct evidence that PLD affects lipid composition during the process. Here, we show that application of n-butanol, an inhibitor of PLD, and N-Acylethanolamine (NAE) 12∶0, a specific inhibitor of PLDα1, retarded ABA-promoted senescence to different extents. Furthermore, phospholipase Dδ (PLDδ) was induced in leaves treated with ABA, and suppression of PLDδ retarded ABA-promoted senescence in Arabidopsis. Lipid profiling revealed that detachment-induced senescence had different effects on plastidic and extraplastidic lipids. The accelerated degradation of plastidic lipids during ABA-induced senescence in wild-type plants was attenuated in PLDδ-knockout (PLDδ-KO) plants. Dramatic increases in phosphatidic acid (PA) and decreases in phosphatidylcholine (PC) during ABA-induced senescence were also suppressed in PLDδ-KO plants. Our results suggest that PLDδ-mediated hydrolysis of PC to PA plays a positive role in ABA-promoted senescence. The attenuation of PA formation resulting from suppression of PLDδ blocks the degradation of membrane lipids, which retards ABA-promoted senescence.
Calcium-binding proteins that contain EF-hand motifs have been reported to play important roles in transduction of signals associated with biotic and abiotic stresses. To functionally characterize gens of EF-hand family in response to abiotic stress, an MtCaMP1 gene belonging to EF-hand family from legume model plant Medicago truncatula was isolated and its function in response to drought and salt stress was investigated by expressing MtCaMP1 in Arabidopsis.
Transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings expressing MtCaMP1exhibited higher survival rate than wild-type seedlings under drought and salt stress, suggesting that expression of MtCaMP1 confers tolerance of Arabidopsis to drought and salt stress. The transgenic plants accumulated greater amounts of Pro due to up-regulation of P5CS1 and down-regulation of ProDH than wild-type plants under drought stress. There was a less accumulation of Na+ in the transgenic plants than in WT plants due to reduced up-regulation of AtHKT1 and enhanced regulation of AtNHX1 in the transgenic plants compared to WT plants under salt stress. There was a reduced accumulation of H2O2 and malondialdehyde in the transgenic plants than in WT plants under both drought and salt stress.
The expression of MtCaMP1 in Arabidopsis enhanced tolerance of the transgenic plants to drought and salt stress by effective osmo-regulation due to greater accumulation of Pro and by minimizing toxic Na+ accumulation, respectively. The enhanced accumulation of Pro and reduced accumulation of Na+ under drought and salt stress would protect plants from water default and Na+ toxicity, and alleviate the associated oxidative stress. These findings demonstrate that MtCaMP1 encodes a stress-responsive EF-hand protein that plays a regulatory role in response of plants to drought and salt stress.
We have identified and characterized two Arabidopsis long coiled-coil proteins PAMP-INDUCED COILED-COIL (PICC) and PICC-LIKE (PICL). PICC (147 kDa) and PICL (87 kDa) are paralogs that consist predominantly of a long coiled-coil domain (expanded in PICC), with a predicted transmembrane domain at the immediate C-terminus. Orthologs of PICC and PICL were found exclusively in vascular plants. PICC and PICL GFP fusion proteins are anchored to the cytoplasmic surface of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by a C-terminal transmembrane domain and a short tail domain, via a tail-anchoring mechanism. T-DNA-insertion mutants of PICC and PICL as well as the double mutant show an increased sensitivity to the plant abiotic stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) in a post-germination growth response. PICC, but not PICL gene expression is induced by the bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flg22. T-DNA insertion alleles of PICC, but not PICL, show increased susceptibility to the non-virulent strain P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000 hrcC, but not to the virulent strain P. syringae pv. tomato DC3000. This suggests that PICC mutants are compromised in PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). The data presented here provide first evidence for the involvement of a plant long coiled-coil protein in a plant defense response.
Calmodulin (CaM) is one of the most well-studied Ca2+ transducers in eukaryotic cells. It is known to regulate the activity of numerous proteins with diverse cellular functions; however, the functions of apoplastic CaM in plant cells are still poorly understood. By combining pharmacological analysis and microscopic techniques, we investigated the involvement of apoplastic CaM in pollen tube growth of Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) Loud. It was found that the tip-focused calcium gradient was rapidly disturbed as one of the early events after application of pharmacological agents, while the cytoplasmic organization was not significantly affected. The deposition and distribution of acidic pectins and esterified pectins were also dramatically changed, further perturbing the normal modeling of the cell wall. Several protein candidates from different functional categories may be involved in the responses to inhibition of apoplastic CaM. These results revealed that apoplastic CaM functions to maintain the tip-focused calcium gradient and to modulate the distribution/transformation of pectins during pollen tube growth.
Extracellular ATP (eATP) has been implicated in mediating plant growth and antioxidant defense; however, it is largely unknown whether eATP might mediate salinity tolerance. We used confocal microscopy, a non-invasive vibrating ion-selective microelectrode, and quantitative real time PCR analysis to evaluate the physiological significance of eATP in the salt resistance of cell cultures derived from a salt-tolerant woody species, Populus euphratica. Application of NaCl (200 mM) shock induced a transient elevation in [eATP]. We investigated the effects of eATP by blocking P2 receptors with suramin and PPADS and applying an ATP trap system of hexokinase-glucose. We found that eATP regulated a wide range of cellular processes required for salt adaptation, including vacuolar Na+ compartmentation, Na+/H+ exchange across the plasma membrane (PM), K+ homeostasis, reactive oxygen species regulation, and salt-responsive expression of genes related to K+/Na+ homeostasis and PM repair. Furthermore, we found that the eATP signaling was mediated by H2O2 and cytosolic Ca2+ released in response to high salt in P. euphratica cells. We concluded that salt-induced eATP was sensed by purinoceptors in the PM, and this led to the induction of downstream signals, like H2O2 and cytosolic Ca2+, which are required for the up-regulation of genes linked to K+/Na+ homeostasis and PM repair. Consequently, the viability of P. euphratica cells was maintained during a prolonged period of salt stress.
The Arabidopsis thaliana genome encodes several families of polypeptides that are known or predicted to participate in the formation of the SCF-class of E3-ubiquitin ligase complexes. One such gene family encodes the Skp1-like class of polypeptide subunits, where 21 genes have been identified and are known to be expressed in Arabidopsis. Phylogenetic analysis based on deduced polypeptide sequence organizes the family of ASK proteins into 7 clades. The complexity of the ASK gene family, together with the close structural similarity among its members raises the prospect of significant functional redundancy among select paralogs. We have assessed the potential for functional redundancy within the ASK gene family by analyzing an expanded set of criteria that define redundancy with higher resolution. The criteria used include quantitative expression of locus-specific transcripts using qRT-PCR, assessment of the sub-cellular localization of individual ASK:YFP auto-fluorescent fusion proteins expressed in vivo as well as the in planta assessment of individual ASK-F-Box protein interactions using bimolecular fluorescent complementation techniques in combination with confocal imagery in live cells. The results indicate significant functional divergence of steady state transcript abundance and protein-protein interaction specificity involving ASK proteins in a pattern that is poorly predicted by sequence-based phylogeny. The information emerging from this and related studies will prove important for defining the functional intersection of expression, localization and gene product interaction that better predicts the formation of discrete SCF complexes, as a prelude to investigating their molecular mode of action.
LEPA is one of the most conserved translation factors and is found from bacteria to higher plants. However, the physiological function of the chloroplast LEPA homolog in higher plants remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate the physiological role of cpLEPA in enabling efficient photosynthesis in higher plants. The cplepa-1 mutant displays slightly high chlorophyll fluorescence and pale green phenotypes under normal growth conditions. The growth of the cplepa-1 mutant is reduced when grown on soil, and greater reduction is observed under intense light illumination. Photosynthetic activity is impaired in the cplepa-1 mutants, which is reflected in the decreased steady-state levels of chloroplast proteins. In vivo protein labeling experiments explained the decrease in the steady-state levels of chloroplast proteins. An abnormal association of the chloroplast-encoded mRNAs with ribosomes suggests that the protein synthesis deficiencies in cplepa-1 are due to defects in translation initiation in the chloroplasts. The cpLEPA protein appears to be an essential translation factor that promotes the efficiency of chloroplast protein synthesis.
Despite advances in investigating functional aspects of osteoblast (OB) differentiation, especially studies on how bone proteins are deposited and mineralized, there has been little research on the intracellular trafficking of bone proteins during OB differentiation. Collagen synthesis and secretion is the major function of OBs and is markedly up-regulated upon ascorbic acid (AA) stimulation, significantly more so than in fibroblast cells. Understanding the mechanism by which collagen is mobilized in specialized OB cells is important for both basic cell biology and diseases involving defects in bone protein secretion and deposition. Protein trafficking along the exocytic and endocytic pathways is aided by many molecules, with Rab GTPases being master regulators of vesicle targeting. In this study, we used microarray analysis to identify the Rab GTPases that are up-regulated during a 5-day AA differentiation of OBs, namely Rab1, Rab3d, and Rab27b. Further, we investigated the role of identified Rabs in regulating the trafficking of collagen from the site of synthesis in the ER to the Golgi and ultimately to the plasma membrane utilizing Rab dominant negative (DN) expression. We also observed that experimental halting of biosynthetic trafficking by these mutant Rabs initiated proteasome-mediated degradation of procollagen and ceased global protein translation. Acute expression of Rab1 and Rab3d DN constructs partially alleviated this negative feedback mechanism and resulted in impaired ER to Golgi trafficking of procollagen. Similar expression of Rab27b DN constructs resulted in dispersed collagen vesicles which may represent failed secretory vesicles sequestered in the cytosol. A significant and strong reduction in extracellular collagen levels was also observed implicating the functional importance of Rab1, Rab3d and Rab27b in these major collagen-producing cells.
The cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii infects roots of Arabidopsis plants and establishes feeding sites called syncytia, which are the only nutrient source for nematodes. Development of syncytia is accompanied by changes in cell wall structures including the development of cell wall ingrowths. UDP-glucuronic acid is a precursor of several cell wall polysaccharides and can be produced by UDP-glucose dehydrogenase through oxidation of UDP-glucose. Four genes in Arabidopsis encode this enzyme. Promoter::GUS analysis revealed that UGD2 and UGD3 were expressed in syncytia as early as 1 dpi while expression of UGD1 and UGD4 could only be detected starting at 2 dpi. Infection assays showed no differences between Δugd1 and Δugd4 single mutants and wild type plants concerning numbers of males and females and the size of syncytia and cysts. On single mutants of Δugd2 and Δugd3, however, less and smaller females, and smaller syncytia formed compared to wild type plants. The double mutant ΔΔugd23 had a stronger effect than the single mutants. These data indicate that UGD2 and UGD3 but not UGD1 and UGD4 are important for syncytium development. We therefore studied the ultrastructure of syncytia in the ΔΔugd23 double mutant. Syncytia contained an electron translucent cytoplasm with degenerated cellular organelles and numerous small vacuoles instead of the dense cytoplasm as in syncytia developing in wild type roots. Typical cell wall ingrowths were missing in the ΔΔugd23 double mutant. Therefore we conclude that UGD2 and UGD3 are needed for the production of cell wall ingrowths in syncytia and that their lack leads to a reduced host suitability for H. schachtii resulting in smaller syncytia, lower number of developing nematodes, and smaller females.
Most secretory proteins contain signal peptides that direct their sorting to the ER and secreted via the conventional ER/Golgi transport pathway, while some signal-peptide-lacking proteins have been shown to export through ER/Golgi independent secretory pathways. Hygromycin B is an aminoglycoside antibiotic produced by Streptomyces hygroscopicus that is active against both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The hygromycin phosphotransferase (HYGR) can phosphorylate and inactivate the hygromycin B, and has been widely used as a positive selective marker in the construction of transgenic plants. However, the localization and trafficking of HYGR in plant cells remain unknown. Synaptotagmins (SYTs) are involved in controlling vesicle endocytosis and exocytosis as calcium sensors in animal cells, while their functions in plant cells are largely unclear.
We found Arabidopsis synaptotagmin SYT2 was localized on the Golgi apparatus by immunofluorescence and immunogold labeling. Surprisingly, co-expression of SYT2 and HYGR caused hypersensitivity of the transgenic Arabidopsis plants to hygromycin B. HYGR, which lacks a signal sequence, was present in the cytoplasm as well as in the extracellular space in HYGR-GFP transgenic Arabidopsis plants and its secretion is not sensitive to brefeldin A treatment, suggesting it is not secreted via the conventional secretory pathway. Furthermore, we found that HYGR-GFP was truncated at carboxyl terminus of HYGR shortly after its synthesis, and the cells deficient SYT2 failed to efficiently truncate HYGR-GFP,resulting in HYGR-GFP accumulated in prevacuoles/vacuoles, indicating that SYT2 was involved in HYGR-GFP trafficking and secretion.
These findings reveal for the first time that SYT2 is localized on the Golgi apparatus and regulates HYGR-GFP secretion via the unconventional protein transport from the cytosol to the extracelluar matrix in plant cells.
The UDP-Glc:glycoprotein glucosyltransferase (UGGT) is the sensor of glycoprotein conformations in the glycoprotein folding quality control as it exclusively glucosylates glycoproteins not displaying their native conformations. Monoglucosylated glycoproteins thus formed may interact with the lectin-chaperones calnexin (CNX) and calreticulin (CRT). This interaction prevents premature exit of folding intermediates to the Golgi and enhances folding efficiency. Bioinformatic analysis showed that in C. elegans there are two open reading frames (F48E3.3 and F26H9.8 to be referred as uggt-1 and uggt-2, respectively) coding for UGGT homologues. Expression of both genes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe mutants devoid of UGGT activity showed that uggt-1 codes for an active UGGT protein (CeUGGT-1). On the other hand, uggt-2 coded for a protein (CeUGGT-2) apparently not displaying a canonical UGGT activity. This protein was essential for viability, although cnx/crt null worms were viable. We constructed transgenic worms carrying the uggt-1 promoter linked to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) coding sequence and found that CeUGGT-1 is expressed in cells of the nervous system. uggt-1 is upregulated under ER stress through the ire-1 arm of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Real-time PCR analysis showed that both uggt-1 and uggt-2 genes are expressed during the entire C. elegans life cycle. RNAi-mediated depletion of CeUGGT-1 but not of CeUGGT-2 resulted in a reduced lifespan and that of CeUGGT-1 and CeUGGT-2 in a developmental delay. We found that both CeUGGT1 and CeUGGT2 play a protective role under ER stress conditions, since 10 µg/ml tunicamycin arrested development at the L2/L3 stage of both uggt-1(RNAi) and uggt-2(RNAi) but not of control worms. Furthermore, we found that the role of CeUGGT-2 but not CeUGGT-1 is significant in relieving low ER stress levels in the absence of the ire-1 unfolding protein response signaling pathway. Our results indicate that both C. elegans UGGT homologues have distinct biological functions.
The plant cell walls play an important role in somatic embryogenesis and plant development. Pectins are major chemical components of primary cell walls while homogalacturonan (HG) is the most abundant pectin polysaccharide. Developmental regulation of HG methyl-esterification degree is important for cell adhesion, division and expansion, and in general for proper organ and plant development.
Developmental localization of pectic homogalacturonan (HG) epitopes and the (1→4)-β-D-galactan epitope of rhamnogalacturonan I (RG-I) and degree of pectin methyl-esterification (DM) were studied during somatic embryogenesis of banana (Musa spp. AAA). Histological analysis documented all major developmental stages including embryogenic cells (ECs), pre-globular, globular, pear-shaped and cotyledonary somatic embryos. Histochemical staining of extracellularly secreted pectins with ruthenium red showed the most intense staining at the surface of pre-globular, globular and pear-shaped somatic embryos. Biochemical analysis revealed developmental regulation of galacturonic acid content and DM in diverse embryogenic stages. Immunodots and immunolabeling on tissue sections revealed developmental regulation of highly methyl-esterified HG epitopes recognized by JIM7 and LM20 antibodies during somatic embryogenesis. Cell walls of pre-globular/globular and late-stage embryos contained both low methyl-esterified HG epitopes as well as partially and highly methyl-esterified ones. Extracellular matrix which covered surface of early developing embryos contained pectin epitopes recognized by 2F4, LM18, JIM5, JIM7 and LM5 antibodies. De-esterification of cell wall pectins by NaOH caused a decrease or an elimination of immunolabeling in the case of highly methyl-esterified HG epitopes. However, immunolabeling of some low methyl-esterified epitopes appeared stronger after this base treatment.
These data suggest that both low- and highly-methyl-esterified HG epitopes are developmentally regulated in diverse embryogenic stages during somatic embryogenesis. This study provides new information about pectin composition, HG methyl-esterification and developmental localization of pectin epitopes during somatic embryogenesis of banana.
The Arabidopsis CAH1 alpha-type carbonic anhydrase is one of the few plant proteins known to be targeted to the chloroplast through the secretory pathway. CAH1 is post-translationally modified at several residues by the attachment of N-glycans, resulting in a mature protein harbouring complex-type glycans. The reason of why trafficking through this non-canonical pathway is beneficial for certain chloroplast resident proteins is not yet known. Therefore, to elucidate the significance of glycosylation in trafficking and the effect of glycosylation on the stability and function of the protein, epitope-labelled wild type and mutated versions of CAH1 were expressed in plant cells.
Transient expression of mutant CAH1 with disrupted glycosylation sites showed that the protein harbours four, or in certain cases five, N-glycans. While the wild type protein trafficked through the secretory pathway to the chloroplast, the non-glycosylated protein formed aggregates and associated with the ER chaperone BiP, indicating that glycosylation of CAH1 facilitates folding and ER-export. Using cysteine mutants we also assessed the role of disulphide bridge formation in the folding and stability of CAH1. We found that a disulphide bridge between cysteines at positions 27 and 191 in the mature protein was required for correct folding of the protein. Using a mass spectrometric approach we were able to measure the enzymatic activity of CAH1 protein. Under circumstances where protein N-glycosylation is blocked in vivo, the activity of CAH1 is completely inhibited.
We show for the first time the importance of post-translational modifications such as N-glycosylation and intramolecular disulphide bridge formation in folding and trafficking of a protein from the secretory pathway to the chloroplast in higher plants. Requirements for these post-translational modifications for a fully functional native protein explain the need for an alternative route to the chloroplast.
Early endosomes (EEs) are known to be a sorting station for internalized
molecules destined for degradation, recycling, or other intracellular
organelles. Segregation is an essential step in such sorting, but the molecular
mechanism of this process remains to be elucidated. Here, we show that actin is
required for efficient recycling and endosomal maturation by producing a motile
force. Perturbation of actin dynamics by drugs induced a few enlarged EEs
containing several degradative vacuoles and also interfered with their
transporting ability. Actin repolymerization induced by washout of the drug
caused the vacuoles to dissociate and individually translocate toward the
perinuclear region. We further elucidated that cortactin, an actin-nucleating
factor, was required for transporting contents from within EEs. Actin filaments
regulated by cortactin may provide a motile force for efficient sorting within
early endosomes. These data suggest that actin filaments coordinate with
microtubules to mediate segregation in EEs.
Modern agriculture is based on the notion that nitrate is the main source of nitrogen (N) for crops, but nitrate is also the most mobile form of N and easily lost from soil. Efficient acquisition of nitrate by crops is therefore a prerequisite for avoiding off-site N pollution. Sugarcane is considered the most suitable tropical crop for biofuel production, but surprisingly high N fertilizer applications in main producer countries raise doubt about the sustainability of production and are at odds with a carbon-based crop. Examining reasons for the inefficient use of N fertilizer, we hypothesized that sugarcane resembles other giant tropical grasses which inhibit the production of nitrate in soil and differ from related grain crops with a confirmed ability to use nitrate. The results of our study support the hypothesis that N-replete sugarcane and ancestral species in the Andropogoneae supertribe strongly prefer ammonium over nitrate. Sugarcane differs from grain crops, sorghum and maize, which acquired both N sources equally well, while giant grass, Erianthus, displayed an intermediate ability to use nitrate. We conclude that discrimination against nitrate and a low capacity to store nitrate in shoots prevents commercial sugarcane varieties from taking advantage of the high nitrate concentrations in fertilized soils in the first three months of the growing season, leaving nitrate vulnerable to loss. Our study addresses a major caveat of sugarcane production and affords a strong basis for improvement through breeding cultivars with enhanced capacity to use nitrate as well as through agronomic measures that reduce nitrification in soil.
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) and the lipoxygenases (LOXs) pathway play important roles in seed germination and seedling growth and development. Here, we reported on the functional characterization of Arabidopsis CPR5 in the ABA signaling and LOX pathways. The cpr5 mutant was hypersensitive to ABA in the seed germination, cotyledon greening and root growth, whereas transgenic plants overexpressing CPR5 were insensitive. Genetic analysis demonstrated that CPR5 gene may be located downstream of the ABI1 in the ABA signaling pathway. However, the cpr5 mutant showed an ABA independent drought-resistant phenotype. It was also found that the cpr5 mutant was hypersensitive to NDGA and NDGA treatment aggravated the ABA-induced delay in the seed germination and cotyledon greening. Taken together, these results suggest that the CPR5 plays a regulatory role in the regulation of seed germination and early seedling growth through ABA and LOX pathways independently.
Mutations in several subunits of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 (eIF3) cause male transmission defects in Arabidopsis thaliana. To identify the stage of pollen development at which eIF3 becomes essential it is desirable to examine viable pollen and distinguish mutant from wild type. To accomplish this we have developed a broadly applicable method to track mutant alleles that are not already tagged by a visible marker gene through the male lineage of Arabidopsis.
Fluorescence tagged lines (FTLs) harbor a transgenic fluorescent protein gene (XFP) expressed by the pollen-specific LAT52 promoter at a defined chromosomal position. In the existing collection of FTLs there are enough XFP marker genes to track nearly every nuclear gene by virtue of its genetic linkage to a transgenic marker gene. Using FTLs in a quartet mutant, which yields mature pollen tetrads, we determined that the pollen transmission defect of the eif3h-1 allele is due to a combination of reduced pollen germination and reduced pollen tube elongation. We also detected reduced pollen germination for eif3e. However, neither eif3h nor eif3e, unlike other known gametophytic mutations, measurably disrupted the early stages of pollen maturation.
eIF3h and eIF3e both become essential during pollen germination, a stage of vigorous translation of newly transcribed mRNAs. These data delimit the end of the developmental window during which paternal rescue is still possible. Moreover, the FTL collection of mapped fluorescent protein transgenes represents an attractive resource for elucidating the pollen development phenotypes of any fine-mapped mutation in Arabidopsis.
Bacillus sphaericus strains that produce the binary toxin (Bin) are highly toxic to Culex and Anopheles mosquitoes, and have been used since the late 1980s as a biopesticide for the control of these vectors of infectious disease agents. The Bin toxin produced by these strains targets mosquito larval midgut epithelial cells where it binds to Cpm1 (Culex pipiens maltase 1) a digestive enzyme, and causes severe intracellular damage, including a dramatic cytoplasmic vacuolation. The intoxication of mammalian epithelial MDCK cells engineered to express Cpm1 mimics the cytopathologies observed in mosquito enterocytes following Bin ingestion: pore formation and vacuolation. In this study we demonstrate that Bin-induced vacuolisation is a transient phenomenon that affects autolysosomes. In addition, we show that this vacuolisation is associated with induction of autophagy in intoxicated cells. Furthermore, we report that after internalization, Bin reaches the recycling endosomes but is not localized either within the vacuolating autolysosomes or within any other degradative compartment. Our observations reveal that Bin elicits autophagy as the cell's response to intoxication while protecting itself from degradation through trafficking towards the recycling pathways.