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1.  Over-expression of Trxo1 increases the viability of tobacco BY-2 cells under H2O2 treatment 
Annals of Botany  2015;116(4):571-582.
Background and Aims Reactive oxygen species (ROS), especially hydrogen peroxide, play a critical role in the regulation of plant development and in the induction of plant defence responses during stress adaptation, as well as in plant cell death. The antioxidant system is responsible for controlling ROS levels in these processes but redox homeostasis is also a key factor in plant cell metabolism under normal and stress situations. Thioredoxins (Trxs) are ubiquitous small proteins found in different cell compartments, including mitochondria and nuclei (Trxo1), and are involved in the regulation of target proteins through reduction of disulphide bonds, although their role under oxidative stress has been less well studied. This study describes over-expression of a Trxo1 for the first time, using a cell-culture model subjected to an oxidative treatment provoked by H2O2.
Methods Control and over-expressing PsTrxo1 tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 cells were treated with 35 mm H2O2 and the effects were analysed by studying the growth dynamics of the cultures together with oxidative stress parameters, as well as several components of the antioxidant systems involved in the metabolism of H2O2. Analysis of different hallmarks of programmed cell death was also carried out.
Key Results Over-expression of PsTrxo1 caused significant differences in the response of TBY-2 cells to high concentrations of H2O2, namely higher and maintained viability in over-expressing cells, whilst the control line presented a severe decrease in viability and marked indications of oxidative stress, with generalized cell death after 3 d of treatment. In over-expressing cells, an increase in catalase activity, decreases in H2O2 and nitric oxide contents and maintenance of the glutathione redox state were observed.
Conclusions A decreased content of endogenous H2O2 may be responsible in part for the delayed cell death found in over-expressing cells, in which changes in oxidative parameters and antioxidants were less extended after the oxidative treatment. It is concluded that PsTrxo1 transformation protects TBY-2 cells from exogenous H2O2, thus increasing their viability via a process in which not only antioxidants but also Trxo1 seem to be involved.
PMCID: PMC4577997  PMID: 26041732
Ascorbate; cell death; cell viability; glutathione; hydrogen peroxide; Nicotiana tabacum; over-expression; oxidative stress; reactive oxygen species; TBY-2 cells; thioredoxin o; tobacco
2.  Tackling Unwanted Proteolysis in Plant Production Hosts Used for Molecular Farming 
Although the field of molecular farming has significantly matured over the last years, some obstacles still need to be resolved. A major limiting factor for a broader application of plant hosts for the production of valuable recombinant proteins is the low yield of intact recombinant proteins. These low yields are at least in part due to the action of endogenous plant proteases on the foreign recombinant proteins. This mini review will present the current knowledge of the proteolytic enzymes involved in the degradation of different target proteins and strategies that are applied to suppress undesirable proteolytic activities in order to safeguard recombinant proteins during the production process.
PMCID: PMC4782010  PMID: 27014293
antibodies; biopharmaceuticals; degradation; protease inhibitors; proteases; recombinant proteins; tobacco
3.  Plant peroxisomes are degraded by starvation-induced and constitutive autophagy in tobacco BY-2 suspension-cultured cells 
Very recently, autophagy has been recognized as an important degradation pathway for quality control of peroxisomes in Arabidopsis plants. To further characterize the role of autophagy in plant peroxisome degradation, we generated stable transgenic suspension-cultured cell lines of heterotrophic Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Bright Yellow 2 expressing a peroxisome-targeted version of enhanced yellow fluorescent protein. Indeed, this cell line model system proved advantageous for detailed cytological analyses of autophagy stages and for quantification of cellular peroxisome pools under different culturing conditions and upon inhibitor applications. Complementary biochemical, cytological, and pharmacological analyses provided convincing evidence for peroxisome degradation by bulk autophagy during carbohydrate starvation. This degradation was slowed down by the inhibitor of autophagy, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), but the 3-MA effect ceased at advanced stages of starvation, indicating that another degradation mechanism for peroxisomes might have taken over. 3-MA also caused an increase particularly in peroxisomal proteins and cellular peroxisome numbers when applied under nutrient-rich conditions in the logarithmic growth phase, suggesting a high turnover rate for peroxisomes by basal autophagy under non-stress conditions. Together, our data demonstrate that a great fraction of the peroxisome pool is subject to extensive autophagy-mediated turnover under both nutrient starvation and optimal growth conditions. Our analyses of the cellular pool size of peroxisomes provide a new tool for quantitative investigations of the role of plant peroxisomes in reactive oxygen species metabolism.
PMCID: PMC4235271  PMID: 25477890
peroxisome; autophagy; pexophagy; tobacco BY-2 cells; organelle degradation; cellular peroxisome pool
4.  Development of an optimized tetracycline-inducible expression system to increase the accumulation of interleukin-10 in tobacco BY-2 suspension cells 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:40.
Plant cell suspension cultures can be used for the production of valuable pharmaceutical and industrial proteins. When the recombinant protein is secreted into the culture medium, restricting expression to a defined growth phase can improve both the quality and quantity of the recovered product by minimizing proteolytic activity. Temporal restriction is also useful for recombinant proteins whose constitutive expression affects cell growth and viability, such as viral interleukin-10 (vIL-10).
We have developed a novel, tetracycline-inducible system suitable for tobacco BY-2 suspension cells which increases the yields of vIL-10. The new system is based on a binary vector that is easier to handle than conventional vectors, contains an enhanced inducible promoter and 5′-UTR to improve yields, and incorporates a constitutively-expressed visible marker gene to allow the rapid and straightforward selection of the most promising transformed clones. Stable transformation of BY-2 cells with this vector, without extensive optimization of the induction conditions, led to a 3.5 fold increase in vIL-10 levels compared to constitutive expression in the same host.
We have developed an effective and straightforward molecular farming platform technology that improves both the quality and the quantity of recombinant proteins produced in plant cells, particularly those whose constitutive expression has a negative impact on plant growth and development. Although we tested the platform using vIL-10 produced in BY-2 cells, it can be applied to other host/product combinations and is also useful for basic research requiring strictly controlled transgene expression.
PMCID: PMC3410776  PMID: 22784336
5.  A membrane-bound matrix-metalloproteinase from Nicotiana tabacum cv. BY-2 is induced by bacterial pathogens 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:83.
Plant matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) are conserved proteolytic enzymes found in a wide range of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant species. Acting on the plant extracellular matrix, they play crucial roles in many aspects of plant physiology including growth, development and the response to stresses such as pathogen attack.
We have identified the first tobacco MMP, designated NtMMP1, and have isolated the corresponding cDNA sequence from the tobacco suspension cell line BY-2. The overall domain structure of NtMMP1 is similar to known MMP sequences, although certain features suggest it may be constitutively active rather than dependent on proteolytic processing. The protein appears to be expressed in two forms with different molecular masses, both of which are enzymatically active as determined by casein zymography. Exchanging the catalytic domain of NtMMP1 with green fluorescent protein (GFP) facilitated subcellular localization by confocal laser scanning microscopy, showing the protein is normally inserted into the plasma membrane. The NtMMP1 gene is expressed constitutively at a low level but can be induced by exposure to bacterial pathogens.
Our biochemical analysis of NtMMP1 together with bioinformatic data on the primary sequence indicate that NtMMP1 is a constitutively-active protease. Given its induction in response to bacterial pathogens and its localization in the plasma membrane, we propose a role in pathogen defense at the cell periphery.
PMCID: PMC2715019  PMID: 19563670

Results 1-5 (5)