Trichome specific expression of the tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) cembratrien-ol synthase genes is controlled by both activating and repressing cis-regions.
ABSTRACT Tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris) glandular trichomes make an attractive target for isoprenoid metabolic engineering because they produce large amounts of one type of diterpenoids, alpha- and beta-cembratrien-diols. This article describes the establishment of tools for metabolic engineering of tobacco trichomes, namely a transgenic line with strongly reduced levels of diterpenoids in the exudate and the characterization of a trichome specific promoter. The diterpene-free tobacco line was generated by silencing the major tobacco diterpene synthases, which were found to be encoded by a family of four highly similar genes (NsCBTS-2a, NsCBTS-2b, NsCBTS-3 and NsCBTS-4), one of which is a pseudogene. The promoter regions of all four CBTS genes were sequenced and found to share over 95% identity between them. Transgenic plants expressing uidA under the control of the NsCBTS-2a promoter displayed a specific pattern of GUS expression restricted exclusively to the glandular cells of the tall secretory trichomes. A series of sequential and internal deletions of the NsCBTS-2a promoter led to the identification of two cis-acting regions. The first, located between positions -589 to -479 from the transcription initiation site, conferred a broad transcriptional activation, not only in the glandular cells, but also in cells of the trichome stalk, as well as in the leaf epidermis and the root. The second region, located between positions -279 to -119, had broad repressor activity except in trichome glandular cells and is mainly responsible for the specific expression pattern of the NsCBTS-2a gene. These results establish the basis for the identification of trans-regulators required for the expression of the CBTS genes restricted to the secretory cells of the glandular trichomes.
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ABSTRACT: Parthenolide, the main bioactive compound of the medicinal plant feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), is a promising anti-cancer drug. However, the biosynthetic pathway of parthenolide has not been elucidated yet. Here we report on the isolation and characterization of all the genes from feverfew that are required for the biosynthesis of parthenolide, using a combination of 454 sequencing of a feverfew glandular trichome cDNA library, co-expression analysis and metabolomics. When parthenolide biosynthesis was reconstituted by transient co-expression of all pathway genes in Nicotiana benthamiana, up to 1.4μgg(-1) parthenolide was produced, mostly present as cysteine and glutathione conjugates. These relatively polar conjugates were highly active against colon cancer cells, with only slightly lower activity than free parthenolide. In addition to these biosynthetic genes, another gene encoding a costunolide and parthenolide 3β-hydroxylase was identified opening up further options to improve the water solubility of parthenolide and therefore its potential as a drug.Metabolic Engineering 04/2014; · 6.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Terpene biosynthesis in tomato glandular trichomes has been well studied, with most if not all terpene synthases (TPSs) being identified. However, transcription factors (TFs) that regulate TPSs have not yet been discovered from tomato. In order to unravel the transcriptional regulation of the Solanum lycopersicum linalool synthase (SlMTS1, recently renamed SlTPS5) gene in glandular trichomes, we functionally dissected its promoter. A 207 bp fragment containing the minimal promoter and the 5'UTR appeared to be sufficient for trichome-specific expression in transgenic plants. Yeast-one-hybrid screens with this fragment identified a glandular trichome-specific transcription factor, designated Expression of Terpenoids 1 (SlEOT1). SlEOT1 is a member of a conserved family of TFs that includes the Arabidopsis Stylish 1 (AtSTY1) and Short Internode (AtSHI) genes. The EOT1 protein localized to the nucleus and specifically transactivated the SlTPS5 promoter in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves.Plant Molecular Biology 10/2013; · 3.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Characterization of plant terpene synthases is typically done by production of recombinant enzymes in Escherichia coli. This is often difficult due to solubility and codon usage issues. Furthermore, plant terpene synthases which are targeted to the plastids, such as diterpene synthases, have to be shortened in a more or less empirical approach to improve expression. We report here an optimized Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression assay in Nicotiana benthamiana for plant diterpene synthase expression and product analysis. Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression of plant diterpene synthases in N. benthamiana led to the accumulation of diterpenes within 3 days of infiltration and with a maximum at 5 days. Over 50% of the products were exported onto the leaf surface, thus considerably facilitating the analysis by reducing the complexity of the extracts. The robustness of the method was tested by expressing three different plant enzymes, cembratrien-ol synthase from Nicotiana sylvestris, casbene synthase from Ricinus communis and levopimaradiene synthase from Gingko biloba. Furthermore, co-expression of a 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate synthase from tomato and a geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase from tobacco led to a 3.5-fold increase in the amount of cembratrien-ol produced, with maximum yields reaching 2500 ng/cm2. With this optimized method for diterpene synthase expression and product analysis, a single infiltrated leaf of N. benthamiana would be sufficient to produce quantities required for the structure elucidation of unknown diterpenes. The method will also be of general use for gene function discovery, pathway reconstitution and metabolic engineering of diterpenoid biosynthesis in plants.Plant Methods 12/2013; 9(1):46. · 2.67 Impact Factor