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author:("Jiang, linen")
1.  Autophagosome biogenesis in plants 
Autophagy  2014;10(4):704-705.
The autophagy core machinery is essentially conserved in eukaryotic cells for autophagy regulation. However, the underlying mechanisms for autophagosome formation in plant cells remain elusive. We have recently demonstrated that SH3 domain-containing protein 2 (SH3P2), a BAR (Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs) domain protein, functions as a novel regulator for autophagosome biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Using SH3P2 and its GFP fusion as probes, we have characterized the dynamics and structures of autophagosome formation in plant cells. The phagophore assembly site, marked by SH3P2, is identified as having a close connection with the ER. SH3P2 also binds to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) and functions downstream of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K) complex. Thus, SH3P2 serves as a novel membrane-associated protein in regulating autophagosome formation in Arabidopsis thaliana.
PMCID: PMC4091160  PMID: 24598432
Bin-Amphiphysin-Rvs domain; phagophore assembly site; phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase; phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate; plant autophagosome formation; SH3 domain-containing protein
2.  How to deal with burden of critical illness: A comparison of strategies in different areas of China 
Objectives: This article aims to introduce, compare and analyze the design and development of Critical Illness Insurance systems in different parts of China under different social and economic conditions, to explain their characteristics and similarities. It may provide references to other countries, especially developing countries, to solve the problem of high medical costs.
Methods: According to the methods in Comparative Economics, 3 areas (Taicang in Jiangsu, Zhanjiang in Guangdong, Xunyi in Shanxi) which are in high, medium and low socio-economic condition respectively were chosen in China. Their critical illness insurance systems were analyzed in the study.
Results: Each system shares several common points, including coordinating urban and rural medical insurance fund, financing from the basic medical insurance surplus, and exploring payment reform and so on. But in the way of management, Taicang and Zhanjiang cooperate with commercial insurance agencies, but Xunyi chooses autonomous management by government. In Xunyi, multi-channel financing is relatively more dispersed, while funds of Taicang and Zhanjiang are mainly from the basic medical insurance surplus. The specific method of payment is different among these three areas.
Conclusion: Because of the differences in economic development, population structure, and sources of funds, each area took their own mode on health policy orientation, financing, payment, coverage, and fund management to design their Critical Illness Insurance systems. This might provide references to other areas in China and other developing countries in the world.
PMCID: PMC4048526  PMID: 24948999
Critical Illness Insurance; Comparison
3.  Exo70E2 is essential for exocyst subunit recruitment and EXPO formation in both plants and animals 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(3):412-426.
Exocyst-positive organelle (EXPO) is a double-membrane organelle mediating unconventional protein secretion in plants. The Arabidopsis exocyst subunit AtExo70E2 is essential for the recruitment of other exocyst subunits to EXPO and plays a key role in EXPO formation in both plant and animal cells.
In contrast to a single copy of Exo70 in yeast and mammals, the Arabidopsis genome contains 23 paralogues of Exo70 (AtExo70). Using AtExo70E2 and its GFP fusion as probes, we recently identified a novel double-membrane organelle termed exocyst-positive organelle (EXPO) that mediates an unconventional protein secretion in plant cells. Here we further demonstrate that AtExo70E2 is essential for exocyst subunit recruitment and for EXPO formation in both plants and animals. By performing transient expression in Arabidopsis protoplasts, we established that a number of exocyst subunits (especially the members of the Sec family) are unable to be recruited to EXPO in the absence of AtExo70E2. The paralogue AtExo70A1 is unable to substitute for AtExo70E2 in this regard. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay and bimolecular fluorescence complementation analyses confirm the interaction between AtExo70E2 and Sec6 and Sec10. AtExo70E2, but not its yeast counterpart, is also capable of inducing EXPO formation in an animal cell line (HEK293A cells). Electron microscopy confirms the presence of double-membraned, EXPO-like structures in HEK293A cells expressing AtExo70E2. Inversely, neither human nor yeast Exo70 homologues cause the formation of EXPO in Arabidopsis protoplasts. These results point to a specific and crucial role for AtExo70E2 in EXPO formation.
PMCID: PMC3907280  PMID: 24307681
4.  The novel quantitative trait locus GL3.1 controls rice grain size and yield by regulating Cyclin-T1;3 
Cell Research  2012;22(12):1666-1680.
Increased crop yields are required to support rapid population growth worldwide. Grain weight is a key component of rice yield, but the underlying molecular mechanisms that control it remain elusive. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of a new quantitative trait locus (QTL) for the control of rice grain length, weight and yield. This locus, GL3.1, encodes a protein phosphatase kelch (PPKL) family — Ser/Thr phosphatase. GL3.1 is a member of the large grain WY3 variety, which is associated with weaker dephosphorylation activity than the small grain FAZ1 variety. GL3.1-WY3 influences protein phosphorylation in the spikelet to accelerate cell division, thereby resulting in longer grains and higher yields. Further studies have shown that GL3.1 directly dephosphorylates its substrate, Cyclin-T1;3, which has only been rarely studied in plants. The downregulation of Cyclin-T1;3 in rice resulted in a shorter grain, which indicates a novel function for Cyclin-T in cell cycle regulation. Our findings suggest a new mechanism for the regulation of grain size and yield that is driven through a novel phosphatase-mediated process that affects the phosphorylation of Cyclin-T1;3 during cell cycle progression, and thus provide new insight into the mechanisms underlying crop seed development. We bred a new variety containing the natural GL3.1 allele that demonstrated increased grain yield, which indicates that GL3.1 is a powerful tool for breeding high-yield crops.
PMCID: PMC3515756  PMID: 23147796
QTL; cell cycle; yield; phosphatise; Cyclin T
6.  microRNAs inhibit the translation of target mRNAs on the endoplasmic reticulum in Arabidopsis 
Cell  2013;153(3):562-574.
Translation inhibition is a major but poorly understood mode of action of micro(mi)RNAs in plants and animals. In particular, the subcellular location where this process takes place is unknown. Here we show that the translation inhibition but not the mRNA cleavage activity of Arabidopsis miRNAs requires ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1 (AMP1). AMP1 encodes an integral membrane protein associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ARGONAUTE1, the miRNA effector and a peripheral ER membrane protein. Large differences in polysome association of miRNA target RNAs are found between wild type and the amp1 mutant for membrane-bound but not total polysomes. This, together with AMP1-independent recruitment of miRNA target transcripts to membrane fractions, shows that miRNAs inhibit the translation of target RNAs on the ER. This study demonstrates that translation inhibition is an important activity of plant miRNAs, reveals the subcellular location of this activity, and uncovers a previously unknown function of the ER.
PMCID: PMC3694718  PMID: 23622241
AMP1; ER; membrane-bound polysome; microRNA; microsome; polysome; translation
7.  Ephexin1 is required for structural maturation and neurotransmission at the neuromuscular junction 
Neuron  2010;65(2):204-216.
The maturation of neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) requires the topological transformation of postsynaptic acetylcholine receptor (AChR)-containing structures from a simple plaque to an elaborate structure composed of pretzel-like branches. This maturation process results in the precise apposition of the pre- and postsynaptic specializations. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the plaque-to-pretzel transition of AChR clusters. In this study, we identify an essential role for the RhoGEF ephexin1 in the maturation of AChR clusters. Adult ephexin1−/− mice exhibit severe muscle weakness and impaired synaptic transmission at the NMJ. Intriguingly, when ephexin1 expression is deficient in vivo, the NMJ fails to differentiate into the pretzel-like shape, and such abnormalities can be rescued by re-expression of ephexin1. We further demonstrate that ephexin1 regulates the stability of AChR clusters in a RhoA-dependent manner. Taken together, our findings reveal an indispensible role for ephexin1 in regulating the structural maturation and neurotransmission of NMJs.
PMCID: PMC3718047  PMID: 20152127
synapse; ephrin; EphA4; Rho GTPase; AChR
8.  ARA7(Q69L) expression in transgenic Arabidopsis cells induces the formation of enlarged multivesicular bodies 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(10):2817-2829.
Arabidopsis thaliana ARA7 (AtRabF2b), a member of the plant Rab5 small GTPases functioning in the vacuolar transport pathway, localizes to pre-vacuolar compartments (PVCs), known as multivesicular bodies (MVBs) in plant cells. Overexpression of the constitutively active GTP-bound mutant of ARA7, ARA7(Q69L), induces the formation of large ring-like structures (1–2 µm in diameter). To better understand the biology of these ARA7(Q69L)-induced ring-like structures, transgenic Arabidopsis cell lines expressing ARA7(Q69L) tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of a heat shock-inducible promoter were generated. In these transgenic cells, robust ring-like structures were formed after 4 h of heat shock induction. Transient co-expression, confocal imaging, and immunogold electron microscopy (immunogold-EM) experiments demonstrated that these GFP–ARA7(Q69L)-labelled ring-like structures were distinct from the Golgi apparatus and trans-Golgi network, but were labelled with an antibody against an MVB marker protein. In addition, live cell imaging and detailed EM analysis showed that the GFP–ARA7(Q69L)-induced spherical structures originated from the homotypic fusion of MVBs. In summary, it was demonstrated that GFP–ARA7(Q69L) expression is an efficient tool for studying PVC/MVB-mediated protein trafficking and vacuolar degradation in plant cells.
PMCID: PMC3697957  PMID: 23682115
ARA7(Q69L); homotypic fusion; MVB enlargement; multivesicular body; pre-vacuolar compartment; transgenic Arabidopsis cells.
9.  PICK1 and ICA69 Control Insulin Granule Trafficking and Their Deficiencies Lead to Impaired Glucose Tolerance 
PLoS Biology  2013;11(4):e1001541.
PICK1 and ICA69, proteins containing a BAR domain, regulate the biogenesis and maturation of insulin granules in mice.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia. Insulin, which is secreted by pancreatic beta cells, is recognized as the critical regulator of blood glucose, but the molecular machinery responsible for insulin trafficking remains poorly defined. In particular, the roles of cytosolic factors that govern the formation and maturation of insulin granules are unclear. Here we report that PICK1 and ICA69, two cytosolic lipid-binding proteins, formed heteromeric BAR-domain complexes that associated with insulin granules at different stages of their maturation. PICK1-ICA69 heteromeric complexes associated with immature secretory granules near the trans-Golgi network (TGN). A brief treatment of Brefeldin A, which blocks vesicle budding from the Golgi, increased the amount of PICK1 and ICA69 at TGN. On the other hand, mature secretory granules were associated with PICK1 only, not ICA69. PICK1 deficiency in mice caused the complete loss of ICA69 and led to increased food and water intake but lower body weight. Glucose tolerance tests demonstrated that these mutant mice had high blood glucose, a consequence of insufficient insulin. Importantly, while the total insulin level was reduced in PICK1-deficient beta cells, proinsulin was increased. Lastly, ICA69 knockout mice also displayed similar phenotype as the mice deficient in PICK1. Together, our results indicate that PICK1 and ICA69 are key regulators of the formation and maturation of insulin granules.
Author Summary
Insulin is a key regulator of blood glucose and insufficient insulin leads to diabetes. Insulin is synthesized as proinsulin, processed in endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi, and eventually packaged into insulin granules, a type of dense core vesicles. Despite its importance, the molecular mechanisms governing the biogenesis and maturation of insulin granules are not fully understood. In this study, we identified two cytosolic proteins, PICK1 and ICA69, as important regulators of insulin granule biogenesis and maturation. Both PICK1 and ICA69 have the banana-shaped BAR domain that can bend the lipid membrane and help the formation of dense core vesicles. We show that without PICK1 or ICA69, insulin granules cannot be properly formed and, as a result, proinsulin cannot be effectively processed into mature insulin. Mice lacking functional PICK1 or ICA69 genes have reduced insulin but increased proinsulin. Consequently, these mice have high levels of glucose, a prominent feature found in diabetes patients. These results add to previous findings that PICK1 is important for the generation of proacrosomal granules found in cells of the testis, and thereby support a wider role for PICK1 and ICA69 in regulating dense core vesicle biogenesis and maturation.
PMCID: PMC3635858  PMID: 23630453
10.  Successful transport to the vacuole of heterologously expressed mung bean 8S globulin occurs in seed but not in vegetative tissues 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2013;64(6):1587-1601.
This study investigated the subcellular location of mung bean (Vigna radiata) 8S globulin in transient expression systems as well as in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells and different tissues from a transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) line stably expressing this storage globulin. When transiently expressed in protoplasts from both BY-2 cells and Arabidopsis suspension cultured cells, the 8S globulin located to structures that were neither Golgi nor pre-vacuolar compartments (PVCs). Immunogold electron microscopy of the transgenics reveals the 8S globulin-positive structures to be small, spherical, ribosome-covered endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-derived bodies. In BY-2 cells and all vegetative cells, the 8S globulin was present as a pro-form. However, in Arabidopsis embryos, with the onset of endogenous storage protein synthesis, the 8S globulin exited the ER and passed through the PVC to the protein storage vacuole where it was processed to its smaller mature form. These results clearly demonstrated that, when taken out of context and expressed in vegetative cells, the mung bean 8S storage globulin cannot exit the ER, and indicate that natural targeting of storage proteins to the vacuole should be better studied in the maturing seed.
PMCID: PMC3617825  PMID: 23382549
8S globulin; ER body; pre-vacuolar compartment; storage protein.
11.  Isolation and proteomic analysis of the SYP61 compartment reveal its role in exocytic trafficking in Arabidopsis 
Cell Research  2011;22(2):413-424.
The endomembrane system is a complex and dynamic intracellular trafficking network. It is very challenging to track individual vesicles and their cargos in real time; however, affinity purification allows vesicles to be isolated in their natural state so that their constituent proteins can be identified. Pioneering this approach in plants, we isolated the SYP61 trans-Golgi network compartment and carried out a comprehensive proteomic analysis of its contents with only minimal interference from other organelles. The proteome of SYP61 revealed the association of proteins of unknown function that have previously not been ascribed to this compartment. We identified a complete SYP61 SNARE complex, including regulatory proteins and validated the proteome data by showing that several of these proteins associated with SYP61 in planta. We further identified the SYP121-complex and cellulose synthases, suggesting that SYP61 plays a role in the exocytic trafficking and the transport of cell wall components to the plasma membrane. The presence of proteins of unknown function in the SYP61 proteome including ECHIDNA offers the opportunity to identify novel trafficking components and cargos. The affinity purification of plant vesicles in their natural state provides a basis for further analysis and dissection of complex endomembrane networks. The approach is widely applicable and can afford the study of several vesicle populations in plants, which can be compared with the SYP61 vesicle proteome.
PMCID: PMC3271593  PMID: 21826108
SYP61; trans-Golgi network; SNARE; proteomics; vesicles
12.  Multivesicular bodies in developing tobacco seed and mung bean are functionally equivalent 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(4):450-453.
Protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) are the primarily storage organelles in cotyledon cells for protein preservation in seeds. Storage proteins are transported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus for subsequent delivery to PSVs via presumably Golgi-derived dense vesicles (DVs). However, recent studies demonstrated that storage proteins in early stage of developing cotyledon of mung beans reached the multivesicular bodies (MVBs) prior to the detection of DVs, indicating the possible involvement of MVBs in mediating transport of storage proteins during the early stage of seed development. Here, we further show that the MVBs in developing tobacco seeds are functionally and biochemically equivalent to those in developing mung beans. Thus, MVBs in developing tobacco seeds are structurally distinct from DVs, contain both vacuolar sorting receptors (VSRs) and storage proteins, and they are insensitive to treatments of wortmannin and brefeldin A (BFA).
PMCID: PMC3419030  PMID: 22499175
MVB; PVC; mung bean; tobacco; seed
13.  Ubiquitin initiates sorting of Golgi and plasma membrane proteins into the vacuolar degradation pathway 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:164.
In yeast and mammals, many plasma membrane (PM) proteins destined for degradation are tagged with ubiquitin. These ubiquitinated proteins are internalized into clathrin-coated vesicles and are transported to early endosomal compartments. There, ubiquitinated proteins are sorted by the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery into the intraluminal vesicles of multivesicular endosomes. Degradation of these proteins occurs after endosomes fuse with lysosomes/lytic vacuoles to release their content into the lumen. In plants, some PM proteins, which cycle between the PM and endosomal compartments, have been found to be ubiquitinated, but it is unclear whether ubiquitin is sufficient to mediate internalization and thus acts as a primary sorting signal for the endocytic pathway. To test whether plants use ubiquitin as a signal for the degradation of membrane proteins, we have translationally fused ubiquitin to different fluorescent reporters for the plasma membrane and analyzed their transport.
Ubiquitin-tagged PM reporters localized to endosomes and to the lumen of the lytic vacuole in tobacco mesophyll protoplasts and in tobacco epidermal cells. The internalization of these reporters was significantly reduced if clathrin-mediated endocytosis was inhibited by the coexpression of a mutant of the clathrin heavy chain, the clathrin hub. Surprisingly, a ubiquitin-tagged reporter for the Golgi was also transported into the lumen of the vacuole. Vacuolar delivery of the reporters was abolished upon inhibition of the ESCRT machinery, indicating that the vacuolar delivery of these reporters occurs via the endocytic transport route.
Ubiquitin acts as a sorting signal at different compartments in the endomembrane system to target membrane proteins into the vacuolar degradation pathway: If displayed at the PM, ubiquitin triggers internalization of PM reporters into the endocytic transport route, but it also mediates vacuolar delivery if displayed at the Golgi. In both cases, ubiquitin-tagged proteins travel via early endosomes and multivesicular bodies to the lytic vacuole. This suggests that vacuolar degradation of ubiquitinated proteins is not restricted to PM proteins but might also facilitate the turnover of membrane proteins in the early secretory pathway.
PMCID: PMC3534617  PMID: 22970698
14.  Production of active human glucocerebrosidase in seeds of Arabidopsis thaliana complex-glycan-deficient (cgl) plants 
Glycobiology  2011;22(4):492-503.
There is a clear need for efficient methods to produce protein therapeutics requiring mannose-termination for therapeutic efficacy. Here we report on a unique system for production of active human lysosomal acid β-glucosidase (glucocerebrosidase, GCase, EC using seeds of the Arabidopsis thaliana complex-glycan-deficient (cgl) mutant, which are deficient in the activity of N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase I (EC Gaucher disease is a prevalent lysosomal storage disease in which affected individuals inherit mutations in the gene (GBA1) encoding GCase. A gene cassette optimized for seed expression was used to generate the human enzyme in seeds of the cgl (C5) mutant, and the recombinant GCase was mainly accumulated in the apoplast. Importantly, the enzymatic properties including kinetic parameters, half-maximal inhibitory concentration of isofagomine and thermal stability of the cgl-derived GCase were comparable with those of imiglucerase, a commercially available recombinant human GCase used for enzyme replacement therapy in Gaucher patients. N-glycan structural analyses of recombinant cgl-GCase showed that the majority of the N-glycans (97%) were mannose terminated. Additional purification was required to remove ~15% of the plant-derived recombinant GCase that possessed potentially immunogenic (xylose-and/or fucose-containing) N-glycans. Uptake of cgl-derived GCase by mouse macrophages was similar to that of imiglucerase. The cgl seed system requires no addition of foreign (non-native) amino acids to the mature recombinant GCase protein, and the dry transgenic seeds represent a stable repository of the therapeutic protein. Other strategies that may completely prevent plant-like complex N-glycans are discussed, including the use of a null cgl mutant.
PMCID: PMC3425599  PMID: 22061999 CAMSID: cams2308
Arabidopsis cgl mutant; Gaucher disease; human glucocerebrosidase; mannose-terminated N-glycans; N-glycosylation
15.  Subcellular Localization of Class II HDAs in Arabidopsis thaliana: Nucleocytoplasmic Shuttling of HDA15 Is Driven by Light 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e30846.
Class II histone deacetylases in humans and other model organisms undergo nucleocytoplasmic shuttling. This unique functional regulatory mechanism has been well elucidated in eukaryotic organisms except in plant systems. In this study, we have paved the baseline evidence for the cytoplasmic and nuclear localization of Class II HDAs as well as their mRNA expression patterns. RT-PCR analysis on the different vegetative parts and developmental stages reveal that Class II HDAs are ubiquitously expressed in all tissues with minimal developmental specificity. Moreover, stable and transient expression assays using HDA-YFP/GFP fusion constructs indicate cytoplasmic localization of HDA5, HDA8, and HDA14 further suggesting their potential for nuclear transport and deacetylating organellar and cytoplasmic proteins. Organelle markers and stains confirm HDA14 to abound in the mitochondria and chloroplasts while HDA5 localizes in the ER. HDA15, on the other hand, shuttles in and out of the nucleus upon light exposure. In the absence of light, it is exported out of the nucleus where further re-exposition to light treatments signals its nuclear import. Unlike HDA5 which binds with 14-3-3 proteins, HDA15 fails to interact with these chaperones. Instead, HDA15 relies on its own nuclear localization and export signals to navigate its subcellular compartmentalization classifying it as a Class IIb HDA. Our study indicates that nucleocytoplasmic shuttling is indeed a hallmark for all eukaryotic Class II histone deacetylases.
PMCID: PMC3281883  PMID: 22363501
16.  Storage globulins pass through the Golgi apparatus and multivesicular bodies in the absence of dense vesicle formation during early stages of cotyledon development in mung bean 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;63(3):1367-1380.
During seed development and maturation, large amounts of storage proteins are synthesized and deposited in protein storage vacuoles (PSVs). Multiple mechanisms have been proposed to be responsible for transporting storage proteins to PSVs in developing seeds. In this study, a specific antibody was raised against the mung bean (Vigna radiata) seed storage protein 8S globulin and its deposition was followed via immunogold electron microscopy in developing mung bean cotyledons. It is demonstrated that non-aggregated 8S globulins are present in multivesicular bodies (MVBs) in early stages of cotyledon development where neither dense vesicles (DVs) nor a PSV were recognizable. However, at later stages of cotyledon development, condensed globulins were visible in both DVs and distinct MVBs with a novel form of partitioning, with the internal vesicles being pushed to one sector of this organelle. These distinct MVBs were no longer sensitive to wortmannin. This study thus indicates a possible role for MVBs in transporting storage proteins to PSVs during the early stage of seed development prior to the involvement of DVs. In addition, wortmannin treatment is shown to induce DVs to form aggregates and to fuse with the plasma membrane.
PMCID: PMC3276096  PMID: 22143915
Dense vesicle; endosome; multivesicular body; protein storage vacuole; storage pre-vacuolar compartment; storage protein; wortmannin
17.  Golgi Apparatus-Localized Synaptotagmin 2 Is Required for Unconventional Secretion in Arabidopsis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26477.
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.
Methodology/Principal Findings
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.
PMCID: PMC3225361  PMID: 22140429
18.  QUASIMODO 3 (QUA3) is a putative homogalacturonan methyltransferase regulating cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis suspension-cultured cells 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(14):5063-5078.
Pectins are complex polysaccharides that are essential components of the plant cell wall. In this study, a novel putative Arabidopsis S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent methyltransferase, termed QUASIMODO 3 (QUA3, At4g00740), has been characterized and it was demonstrated that it is a Golgi-localized, type II integral membrane protein that functions in methylesterification of the pectin homogalacturonan (HG). Although transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings with overexpression, or knock-down, of QUA3 do not show altered phenotypes or changes in pectin methylation, this enzyme is highly expressed and abundant in Arabidopsis suspension-cultured cells. In contrast, in cells subjected to QUA3 RNA interference (RNAi) knock-down there is less pectin methylation as well as altered composition and assembly of cell wall polysaccharides. Taken together, these observations point to a Golgi-localized QUA3 playing an essential role in controlling pectin methylation and cell wall biosynthesis in Arabidopsis suspension cell cultures.
PMCID: PMC3193014  PMID: 21725030
Arabidopsis; cell wall; homogalacturonan; methyltransferase; pectin; plant suspension cultured cells; S-adenosyl-L-methionine
19.  Wortmannin induces homotypic fusion of plant prevacuolar compartments* 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(11):3075-3083.
Wortmannin, a specific inhibitor of phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase, is a useful tool for studying protein trafficking and identifying organelles in the plant secretory and endocytic pathways. It has recently been demonstrated that wortmannin at 16.5 μM or 33 μM caused the prevacuolar compartments (PVCs), identified as multivesicular bodies (MVBs) by their enrichment in vacuolar sorting receptor (VSRs) proteins and the BP-80 reporter, to form small vacuoles rapidly. However, the source(s) of the membrane needed for the rapid enlargement of PVCs/MVBs has been unclear. Using both confocal immunofluorescence and immunogold EM with high pressure freeze substitution of plant samples, it has been demonstrated here that wortmannin induces homotypic fusions of PVCs/MVBs thus providing an explanation for the demand for extra membrane. In addition, possible wortmannin-induced fusions between the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and PVC, as well as between the small internal vesicles and PVC membrane, were also observed and they may also contribute to the membranes needed for PVC enlargement. In contrast to mammalian cells and yeast, wortmannin-induced fusion of PVCs appears to be unique to plants.
PMCID: PMC2718212  PMID: 19436047
Homotypic fusion; multivesicular body; prevacuolar compartment; trans-Golgi network; wortmannin
20.  PICK1 deficiency causes male infertility in mice by disrupting acrosome formation 
Protein interacting with C kinase 1 (PICK1) is a peripheral membrane protein involved in protein trafficking, a function that has been well characterized in neurons. Here, we report that male mice deficient in PICK1 are infertile and have a phenotype resembling the human disease globozoospermia. The primary defect in the testes of Pick1-knockout mice was fragmentation of acrosomes in the early stages of spermiogenesis. This fragmentation was followed by defects in nuclear elongation and mitochondrial sheath formation, leading to round-headed sperm, reduced sperm count, and severely impaired sperm motility. We found that PICK1 interacted with Golgi-associated PDZ- and coiled-coil motif–containing protein (GOPC) and the primary catalytic subunit of protein kinase 2 (CK2α′), proteins whose deficiencies lead to globozoospermia in mice. PICK1 was highly expressed in round spermatids and localized to Golgi-derived proacrosomal granules. GOPC colocalized with PICK1 in the Golgi region and facilitated formation of PICK1-positive clusters. Furthermore, there was an increase in apoptosis in the seminiferous tubules of Pick1–/– mice, a phenotype also seen in CK2α′-deficient mice. Our results suggest that PICK1 is involved in vesicle trafficking from the Golgi apparatus to the acrosome and cooperates with other proteins such as GOPC and CK2α′ in acrosome biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2662547  PMID: 19258705
21.  Heterologous expression analyses of rice OsCAS in Arabidopsis and in yeast provide evidence for its roles in cyanide detoxification rather than in cysteine synthesis in vivo 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(3):993-1008.
While most dicot plants produce little ethylene in their vegetative stage, many monocots such as rice liberate a relatively large amount of ethylene with cyanide as a co-product in their seedling stage when etiolated. One of the known functions of β-cyanoalanine synthase (CAS) is to detoxify the co-product cyanide during ethylene biosynthesis in higher plants. Based on a tryptic peptide sequence obtained from a partially purified CAS activity protein preparation in etiolated rice seedlings, the full-length putative rice CAS-encoding cDNA sequence (OsCAS), which is homologous to those O-acetylserine sulphydrylase (OASS) genes, was cloned. Unlike most of the CAS genes reported from dicots, the transcription of OsCAS is promoted by auxins but suppressed by ethylene. To address the function and the subcellular localization of this gene product in planta, a binary vector construct consisting of this gene appended with a yellow fluorescent protein-encoding sequence was employed to transform Arabidopsis. Specific activities on CAS and OASS of the purified recombinant protein from transgenic Arabidopsis were 181.04 μmol H2S mg−1 protein min−1 and 0.92 μmol Cys mg−1 protein min−1, respectively, indicating that OsCAS favours CAS activity. The subcellular localization of OsCAS was found mostly in the mitochondria by immunogold electron-microscopy. Chemical cross-linking and in-gel assay on a heterodimer composed of functional and non-functional mutants in a yeast expression system on OsCAS suggested that OsCAS functions as a homodimer, similar to that of OASS. Despite the structural similarity of OsCAS with OASS, it has also been confirmed that OsCAS could not interact with serine-acetyltransferase, indicating that OsCAS mainly functions in cyanide detoxification.
PMCID: PMC2652057  PMID: 19181864
Cyanide; β-cyanoalanine synthase; ethylene; rice; serine acetyltransferase
22.  A 64 kDa sucrose binding protein is membrane-associated and tonoplast-localized in developing mung bean seeds 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2009;60(2):629-639.
Sucrose binding proteins (SBPs) were predicted to be membrane-associated, but have been shown to localize in the lumen of protein storage vacuoles of various seeds. In this study, a new 64 kDa SBP has been identified from developing mung bean (Vigna radiata) seeds (here termed VrSBP1) via MS/MS analysis and N-terminal amino acid sequencing analysis and specific antibodies were generated using purified VrSBP1 proteins. Western blot analysis with the new VrSBP1 antibodies showed that, similar to most seed storage proteins, VrSBP1 proteins accumulated during seed development and were subsequently mobilized once the mung bean seeds germinated. Immunogold electron microscope (EM) studies on ultra-thin sections of high-pressure freezing/frozen substituted developing mung bean cotyledons demonstrated that VrSBP1 was localized specifically to the tonoplast of the protein storage vacuole and to the limiting membrane of a novel putative prevacuolar compartment. Biochemical and subcellular fractionation studies further demonstrated that VrSBP1 proteins were membrane-associated in developing mung beans, consistent with their tonoplast localization. This study thus shows convincing evidence of tonoplast-localization of a plant SBP for its future functional characterization and provides a model of studying non-integral membrane proteins associated with the tonoplasts in plant cells.
PMCID: PMC2651462  PMID: 19129164
High-pressure freezing; immunogold EM; membrane-associated; mung bean; sucrose binding proteins; tonoplast
23.  Enigmatic Brefeldin A 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2007;2(3):199-202.
The fungal macrocyclic lactone brefeldin A (BFA) has been a useful tool in studying protein trafficking in the secretory and endocytic pathways in plant cells. The development of various GFP-tagged organelle markers expressed in transgenic plant cells has allowed dynamic study of organelles in response to BFA in living cells. Several organelles including the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the Golgi apparatus and endosomal compartment have been shown to have visible morphological changes in response to BFA treatment, resulting in the formation of BFA-induced aggregated compartments or ER-Golgi hybrids in various plant cells. Using transgenic tobacco BY-2 cells expressing membrane-anchored yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) reporters marking Golgi apparatus or prevacuolar compartment (PVC), we have recently demonstrated that Golgi and PVC organelles have different sensitivity to BFA, where BFA at recoverable high concentrations (50 to 100 µg/ml) also induced PVC or multivesicular body (MVB) to form aggregates in plant cells. We have thus extended the BFA action to plant PVCs/MVBs, which will serve as a useful tool for studying PVC-mediated protein sorting and PVC biogenesis.
PMCID: PMC2634058  PMID: 19704697
brefeldin A (BFA); BY-2 cells; endosomal compartment; multivesicular bodies (MVB); prevacuolar compartment (PVC); vacuolar sorting receptor (VSR); wortmannin
24.  The protein storage vacuole 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;155(6):991-1002.
Storage proteins are deposited into protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) during plant seed development and maturation and stably accumulate to high levels; subsequently, during germination the storage proteins are rapidly degraded to provide nutrients for use by the embryo. Here, we show that a PSV has within it a membrane-bound compartment containing crystals of phytic acid and proteins that are characteristic of a lytic vacuole. This compound organization, a vacuole within a vacuole whereby storage functions are separated from lytic functions, has not been described previously for organelles within the secretory pathway of eukaryotic cells. The partitioning of storage and lytic functions within the same vacuole may reflect the need to keep the functions separate during seed development and maturation and yet provide a ready source of digestive enzymes to initiate degradative processes early in germination.
PMCID: PMC2150895  PMID: 11739409
storage protein; prevacuolar compartment; lytic vacuole; multivesicular body
25.  Biogenesis of the Protein Storage Vacuole Crystalloid 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2000;150(4):755-770.
We identify new organelles associated with the vacuolar system in plant cells. These organelles are defined biochemically by their internal content of three integral membrane proteins: a chimeric reporter protein that moves there directly from the ER; a specific tonoplast intrinsic protein; and a novel receptor-like RING-H2 protein that traffics through the Golgi apparatus. Highly conserved homologues of the latter are expressed in animal cells. In a developmentally regulated manner, the organelles are taken up into vacuoles where, in seed protein storage vacuoles, they form a membrane-containing crystalloid. The uptake and preservation of the contents of these organelles in vacuoles represents a unique mechanism for compartmentalization of protein and lipid for storage.
PMCID: PMC2175284  PMID: 10953001
integral membrane protein; storage; protein; prevacuolar compartment; autophagy; RING-H2

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