Recent patents on agrobacterium-mediated gene and protein transfer, for research and biotechnology.
ABSTRACT Agrobacterium has been widely used, in the last decades, for genetic transformation of a large number of plant species, and the genes and DNA sequences involved in this process have been subject of numerous patents. This review focuses on recent discoveries, which have shown new possibilities for the utilization of this versatile microorganism. For example, the identification of an ever-increasing number of the bacterial and plant factors involved in the Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer and integration may lead to new applications in various fields of research and biotechnology. One of the main challenges in the Agrobacterium-mediated gene transfer technology is to achieve a better control of the integration and expression of transferred genes in the host cells and to apply it for targeted integration into the host genome or gene replacement (a technique not yet available in plants). In addition to genetic transformation of plants, under laboratory conditions, the host range of Agrobacterium can be extended to virtually all eukaryotic species, as demonstrated for various fungi, sea urchins, and animal cells. Not only can Agrobacterium transfer DNA to these very diverse hosts, but also its virulence machinery is able to inject proteins into the host cell, independently of the DNA transfer. Thus, Agrobacterium represents a universal gene and protein transfer machine.
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ABSTRACT: Genetic transformation of plants by Agrobacterium, which in nature causes neoplastic growths, represents the only known case of trans-kingdom DNA transfer. Furthermore, under laboratory conditions, Agrobacterium can also transform a wide range of other eukaryotic species, from fungi to sea urchins to human cells. How can the Agrobacterium virulence machinery function in such a variety of evolutionarily distant and diverse species? The answer to this question lies in the ability of Agrobacterium to hijack fundamental cellular processes which are shared by most eukaryotic organisms. Our knowledge of these host cellular functions is critical for understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie genetic transformation of eukaryotic cells. This review outlines the bacterial virulence machinery and provides a detailed discussion of seven major biological systems of the host cell-cell surface receptor arrays, cellular motors, nuclear import, chromatin targeting, targeted proteolysis, DNA repair, and plant immunity--thought to participate in the Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation.Cellular Microbiology 02/2007; 9(1):9-20. · 4.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Soil microorganisms that produce the enzyme 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) deaminase promote plant growth by sequestering and cleaving plant-produced ACC, and thereby lowering the level of ethylene in the plant. Decreased ethylene levels allows the plant to be more resistant to a wide variety of environmental stresses. Here, the biochemistry of ACC deaminase; the environmental distribution, regulation, evolution and expression of ACC deaminase genes; and information regarding the effect of this enzyme on different plants is documented and discussed.FEMS Microbiology Letters 11/2005; 251(1):1-7. · 2.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We used Agrobacterium T-DNA nuclear transport to examine the specificity of nuclear targeting between plants and animals and the nuclear import of DNA by a specialized transport protein. Two karyophilic Agrobacterium virulence (Vir) proteins, VirD2 and VirE2, which presumably associate with the transported T-DNA and function in many plant species, were microinjected into Drosophila embryos and Xenopus oocytes. In both animal systems, VirD2 localized to the cell nuclei and VirE2 remained exclusively cytoplasmic, suggesting that VirE2 nuclear localization signals may be plant specific. Repositioning one amino acid residue within VirE2 nuclear localization signals enabled them to function in animal cells. The modified VirE2 protein bound DNA and actively transported it into the nuclei of Xenopus oocytes. These observations suggest a functional difference in nuclear import between animals and plants and show that DNA can be transported into the cell nucleus via a protein-specific pathway.The Plant Cell 04/1996; 8(3):363-73. · 9.25 Impact Factor