Laura de la Canal

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar de Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Publications (31)78.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is a signal molecule involved in several physiological processes in plants, including root development. Despite the importance of NO as a root growth regulator, the knowledge about the genes and metabolic pathways modulated by NO in this process is still limited. A constraint to unravel these pathways has been the use of exogenous applications of NO donors that may produce toxic effects. We have analysed the role of NO in root architecture through the depletion of endogenous NO using the scavenger cPTIO. Sunflower seedlings growing in liquid medium supplemented with cPTIO showed unaltered primary root length while the number of lateral roots was deeply reduced; indicating that endogenous NO participates in determining root branching in sunflower. The transcriptional changes induced by NO depletion have been analysed using a large-scale approach. A microarray analysis showed 330 genes regulated in the roots (p⩽0.001) upon endogenous NO depletion. A general cPTIO-induced up-regulation of genes involved in the lignin biosynthetic pathway was observed. Even if no detectable changes in total lignin content could be detected, cell walls analyses revealed that the ratio G/S lignin increased in roots treated with cPTIO. This means that endogenous NO may control lignin composition in planta. Our results suggest that a fine tuning regulation of NO levels could be used by plants to regulate root architecture and lignin composition. The functional implications of these findings are discussed.
    Nitric Oxide 04/2014; · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins with a high specificity for a variety of glycoconjugate sugar motifs. The jacalin-related lectins (JRL) are considered to be a small sub-family composed of galactose- and mannose-specific members. Using a proteomics approach, we have detected a 16 kDa protein (Helja) in sunflower seedlings that were further purified by mannose-agarose affinity chromatography. The aim of this work was to characterize the biological activity of Helja and to explore potential applications for the antifungal activity of this plant lectin against medically important yeasts. To initially assess the agglutination properties of the lectin, Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells were incubated with increasing concentrations of the purified lectin. At a concentration of 120 μg/ml, Helja clearly agglutinated these cells. The ability of different sugars to inhibit S. cerevisiae cell agglutination determined its carbohydrate-specificity. Among the monosaccharides tested, D-mannose had the greatest inhibitory effect, with a minimal concentration of 1.5 mM required to prevent cell agglutination. The antifungal activity was evaluated using pathogenic fungi belonging to the Candida and Pichia genera. We demonstrate that 200 μg/ml of Helja inhibited the growth of all yeasts, and it induced morphological changes, particularly through pseudohyphae formation on Candida tropicalis. Helja alters the membrane permeability of the tested fungi and is also able to induce the production of reactive oxygen species in C. tropicalis cells. We concluded that Helja is a mannose-binding JRL with cell agglutination capabilities and antifungal activity against yeasts. The biological properties of Helja may have practical applications in the control of human pathogens.
    Current Microbiology 03/2014; · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is a signal molecule involved in several physiological processes in plants, including root development. Despite the importance of NO as a root growth regulator, the knowledge about the genes and metabolic pathways modulated by NO in this process is still limited. A constraint to unravel these pathways has been the use of exogenous applications of NO donors that may produce toxic effects. We have analysed the role of NO in root architecture through the depletion of endogenous NO using the scavenger cPTIO. Sunflower seedlings growing in liquid medium supplemented with cPTIO showed unaltered primary root length while the number of lateral roots was deeply reduced; indicating that endogenous NO participates in determining root branching in sunflower. The transcriptional changes induced by NO depletion have been analysed using a large-scale approach. A microarray analysis showed 330 genes regulated in the roots (p⩽0.001) upon endogenous NO depletion. A general cPTIO-induced up-regulation of genes involved in the lignin biosynthetic pathway was observed. Even if no detectable changes in total lignin content could be detected, cell walls analyses revealed that the ratio G/S lignin increased in roots treated with cPTIO. This means that endogenous NO may control lignin composition in planta. Our results suggest that a fine tuning regulation of NO levels could be used by plants to regulate root architecture and lignin composition. The functional implications of these findings are discussed.
    Nitric Oxide. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Helianthinins are storage proteins present in Helianthus annuus seeds, belonging to the 11S globulin family. Here we describe that a fraction of the helianthinins is phosphorylated. This conclusion is supported by different criteria, including identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry of major protein bands revealed with a specific dye for phosphoproteins, anti-phosphoserine antibody and binding to a phosphoprotein affinity matrix. Moreover, we show that the phosphorylation status of helianthinins changes following germination.
    Seed Science Research 09/2013; 23(03). · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) constitute a family of small proteins recognized as being extracellular. In agreement with this notion, several lines of evidence have shown the apoplastic localization of HaAP10, a LTP from Helianthus annuus dry seeds. However, HaAP10 was recently detected intracellularly in imbibing seeds. To clarify its distribution, immunolocalization experiments were performed during the course of germination and confirmed its intracellular localization upon early seed imbibition. Further assays using a hydrophobic dye, FM4-64, inhibitors of vesicular traffic, and immunolocalization of the pectin rhamnogalacturonan-II, allowed the conclusion that endocytosis is activated as soon as seed imbibition starts. Furthermore, this study demonstrated that HaAP10 is endocytosed throughout imbibition. Biochemical and cellular approaches indicate that the intracellular fraction of this LTP appears associated with oil bodies and some evidence also suggest its presence in glyoxysomes. So, HaAP10 is apoplastic in dry seeds and upon imbibition is rapidly internalized and relocalized to organelles involved in lipid metabolism. The results suggest that HaAP10 may be acting as a fatty acid shuttle between the oil body and the glyoxysome during seed germination. This concept is consistent with the initial proposition that LTPs participate in the intracellular transfer of lipids which was further denied based on their apparent extracellular localization. This report reveals for the first time the relocalization of a lipid transfer protein and opens new perspectives on its role.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 11/2012; · 5.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of apoplastic proteins without predicted signal peptide in the gene sequence suggests the existence of protein secretion independent of the ER/Golgi classical route. In animals, one of the pathways proposed for alternative protein secretion involves the release of exosomes to the extracellular space. Although this pathway has not been dissected in plants some indirect evidence is emerging. We have reported that apoplastic fractions of sunflower seeds contain exosome-like vesicles. Besides, these vesicles are enriched in the lectin Helja, which is immunolocalized in the extracellular space even if it the protein has no predicted signal peptide. Here we show that Helja is not glycosylated and its secretion is insensitive to brefeldin A, two of the major characteristics to discard ER/Golgi-mediated protein transport. Moreover, the levels of Helja in sunflower extracellular vesicles are not affected by brefeldin A treatment. Our results suggest that Helja could be exported through an exosome-mediated pathway and point out that this mechanism may be responsible for the secretion of at least part of the leaderless proteins detected in the extracellular compartment of plants.
    Plant signaling & behavior 05/2012; 7(5):544-6.
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    ABSTRACT: During seed imbibition and embryo activation, rapid change from a metabolically resting state to the activation of diverse extracellular and/or membrane bound molecules is essential and, hence, endocytosis could be activated too. In fact, we have documented endocytic internalization of the membrane impermeable endocytic tracer FM4-64 already upon 30 min of imbibition of Arabidopsis seeds. This finding suggest that endocytosis is activated early during seed imbibition in Arabidopsis. Immunolocalization of rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) complexed with boron showed that whereas this pectin is localized only in the cell walls of dry seed embryos, it starts to be intracellular once the imbibition started. Brefeldin A (BFA) exposure resulted in recruitment of the intracellular RG-II pectin complexes into the endocytic BFA-induced compartments, confirming the endocytic origin of the RG-II signal detected intracellularly. Finally, germination was significantly delayed when Arabidopsis seeds were germinated in the presence of inhibitors of endocytic pathways, suggesting that trafficking of extracellular molecules might play an important role in the overcome of germination. This work constitutes the first demonstration of endocytic processes during germination and opens new perspectives about the role of the extracellular matrix and membrane components in seed germination.
    Plant signaling & behavior 03/2012; 7(3):416-21.
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently detected phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI4P) in the extracellular medium of tomato cell suspensions. Extracellular PI4P was shown to trigger the activation of defence responses induced by the fungal elicitor xylanase. In this study, by applying a differential centrifugation technique, we found that extracellular PI4P is associated with fractions composed of diverse phospholipids and proteins, which were pelleted from the extracellular medium of tomato cell suspensions grown under basal conditions. Using mass spectrometry, we identified the proteins present in these pelleted fractions. Most of these proteins have previously been characterised as having a role in defence responses. Next, we evaluated whether PI4P could also be detected in an entire plant system. For this, apoplastic fluids of tomato plants grown under basal conditions were analysed using a lipid overlay assay. Interestingly, PI4P could be detected in intercellular fluids obtained from tomato leaflets and xylem sap of tomato plants. By employing electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS), other phospholipids were also found in intercellular fluids of tomato plants. These had a markedly different profile from the phospholipid pattern identified in entire leaflets. Based on these results, the potential role of extracellular phospholipids in plant intercellular communication is discussed.
    Plant Biology 01/2012; 14(1):41-9. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extracellular proteins from sunflower seedlings were analyzed by electrophoresis followed by peptide mass fingerprinting. Tentative identification revealed novel proteins for this crop. A significant number of those proteins were not expected to be extracellular because they lacked the typical signal peptide responsible for secretion. In silico analysis showed that some members of this group presented the characteristic disordered structures of certain non-classical and leaderless mammalian secretory proteins. Among these proteins, a putative jacalin-related lectin (Helja) with a mannose binding domain was further isolated from extracellular fluids by mannose-affinity chromatography, thus validating its identification. Besides, immunolocalization assays confirmed its extracellular location. These results showed that a lectin, not predicted to be secreted in strict requirement of the N-terminal signal peptide, occurs in a sunflower extracellular compartment. The implications of this finding are discussed.
    Protein and Peptide Letters 09/2011; 19(3):270-6. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Jasmonates are lipid-derived hormones that act as signal molecules in abiotic and biotic stresses and influence several aspects of plant growth and development. In this work we have investigated the effect of jasmonic acid (JA) on the root architecture of Helianthus annuus seedlings and if JA and auxins interact to modulate the growth of the primary root (PR) and lateral roots (LR). The addition of μM concentrations of JA to the growing medium of sunflower seedlings decreased the growth of the PR and LR, and also reduced the number of LR. Moreover, treatment with ibuprofen, an inhibitor of JA synthesis, increased PR and LR root length causing a deep effect on root architecture. Hence, not only exogenous but also the endogenous JA regulates sunflower root growth. Microscopic analysis showed that the application of JA reduces the cortex cell length and the estimated cell production rate in root meristem while ibuprofen only affects the cell elongation. A possible interaction between JA and auxins to regulate root growth was further analyzed. We show that JA produced its phenotype even in the presence of reduced levels of auxin generated by treatment with an auxin transport inhibitor. Besides, the auxin produced its phenotype even when ibuprofen was applied. In conclusion, JA may induce primary and lateral root growth inhibition in sunflower by an auxin-independent pathway.
    Plant Growth Regulation 03/2011; 66(2). · 1.63 Impact Factor
  • Gabriela Gonorazky, Ana M Laxalt, Laura de la Canal
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    ABSTRACT: Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) is a minor phospholipid signal molecule involved in diverse biological processes. It is also the main precursor of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P(2)], which is well described as the substrate of the phospholipase C (PLC)-diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) signalling pathway. Recently, we have demonstrated that PI4P plays a role as an extracellular signalling molecule involved in the activation of xylanase-induced defence responses in tomato cell suspensions. Here we make an approach to the possible mode of action of extracellular PI4P by analysing the involvement of PLC/DGK signalling pathway. We show that extracellular PI4P can be incorporated into tomato cells and further metabolized to PI, although its conversion to PI(4,5)P(2) could not be detected. In addition, treatment of tomato cells with the PLC inhibitor U73122 inhibited the oxidative burst triggered by PI4P treatment, suggesting the involvement of PLC in the induction of this response. Nevertheless, we demonstrate that PI4P treatment does not induce DGK activity. These results indicate that PLC but not DKG activation would be triggered by extracellular PI4P. In this sense, a possible mode of action of extracellular PI4P as a direct substrate of PLC to induce this signalling pathway is discussed.
    Journal of plant physiology 11/2009; 167(5):411-5. · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Based on the presence of phospholipids in the extracellular fluids (EFs) of sunflower seeds, we have hypothesized on the existence of vesicles in the apoplastic compartment of plants. Ultracentrifugation of sunflower EF allowed the isolation of particles of 50-200 nm with apparent membrane organization. A small GTPase Rab was putatively identified in this vesicular fraction. Since Rab proteins are involved in vesicular traffic and their presence in exosomes from animal fluids has been demonstrated, evidence presented here supports the existence of exosome-like vesicles in apoplastic fluids of sunflower. Their putative contribution to intercellular communication in plants is discussed.
    FEBS letters 09/2009; 583(20):3363-6. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are low-molecular-mass proteins whose biological function still remains elusive. They are synthesized with a signal peptide that drives them to the secretory pathway. We have previously described the occurrence of an apoplastic LTP named Ha-AP10, present in sunflower seeds. Using a biochemical approach we now demonstrate that a fraction of Ha-AP10 is perispherically bound to membranes of germinating seeds. Purification of plasma membranes revealed the presence of Ha-AP10 in this fraction. Fluorimmunolocalization studies on germinating sunflower seeds demonstrated that in addition to the apoplastic and plasma membrane localization, Ha-AP10 is also present intracellularlly associated to unidentified structures. This varied distribution of Ha-AP10 in sunflower seeds may give novel clues to understand the role of LTPs in seed physiology.
    Journal of plant physiology 05/2009; · 2.50 Impact Factor
  • Francesca M Mitton, Marcela L Pinedo, Laura de la Canal
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana defective in induced resistance 1 (At-DIR1) has been characterized as a protein responsible for the generation or transmission of the still unknown signal involved in systemic acquired resistance. This acidic apoplastic protein is a member of the family of lipid transfer proteins and was detected in vascular fluids. To our knowledge, no DIR1-like protein has been described in other plant species. Hence, we have performed data mining to identify a putative ortholog of DIR1 in tomato. This strategy allowed the detection of a few gene products displaying sequence similarity to At-DIR1 whose structural features were further analysed in silico. The best match (unigene SGN-327306) encoded a protein with an acidic pI, a peculiar characteristic of DIR1 among lipid transfer proteins, and was hence selected as a putative tomato ortholog of At-DIR1. This sequence, named Le-DIR1, served for the design of a specific antigenic peptide and the generation of polyclonal antibodies. The antiserum anti-Le-DIR1 recognized a peptide of the expected size (7kDa) in phloem sap of tomato plants, hence confirming the existence of the predicted protein in vascular fluids. This result supports the notion of the existence of common systemic acquired resistance (SAR) signaling molecules in different species.
    Journal of plant physiology 10/2008; 166(5):543-7. · 2.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Various phosphoinositides have been implicated in plant defence signalling. Until now, such molecules have been exclusively related to intracellular signalling. Here, evidence is provided for the detection of extracellular phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) in tomato cell suspensions. We have analysed and compared the intracellular and extracellular phospholipid profiles of [(32)P(i)]-prelabelled tomato cells, challenged with the fungal elicitor xylanase. These phospholipid patterns were found to be different, being phosphatidylinositol phosphate (PIP) the most abundant phospholipid in the extracellular medium. Moreover, while cells responded with a typical increase in phosphatidic acid and a decrease in intracellular PIP upon xylanase treatment, extracellular PIP level increased in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Using two experimental approaches, the extracellular PIP isoform was identified as PI4P. Addition of PI4P to tomato cell suspensions triggered the same defence responses as those induced by xylanase treatment. These include production of reactive oxygen species, accumulation of defence-related gene transcripts and induction of cell death. We demonstrate that extracellular PI4P is accumulated in xylanase-elicited cells and that exogenous application of PI4P mimics xylanase effects, suggesting its putative role as an intercellular signalling molecule.
    Plant Cell and Environment 06/2008; 31(8):1051-62. · 5.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phospholipids are well known messengers involved in developmental and stress responses mediating intracellular signalling. It has been hypothesized that phospholipids exist which could participate in intercellular communication events through the apoplast of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. Here it is shown that extracellular washing fluids (EWFs) obtained from seeds imbibed for 2 h contain diverse phospholipids. Lipid profiling by electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry revealed that the EWFs have a particular composition, with phosphatidic acid (PA) and phosphatidylinositol (PI) being the major phospholipids. These profiles are clearly distinct from those of seed extract (SE), and comparative SDS-PAGE of EWF and SE, followed by intracellular and plasma membrane marker analyses, allowed a significant contamination of the EWF to be discarded. Treatment of the seeds with 100 microM jasmonic acid (JA) induces changes in the profile of EWF phospholipids, leading to a decrease in PI content, while the accumulation of phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PI4P) and specific PA species is observed. On the other hand, the EWF from seeds subjected to 50 microM abscisic acid (ABA) treatment exhibit an increase in PA and phosphatidylglycerol levels. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the existence of phospholipids as extracellular components of seeds. Moreover, the modulation of PA, PI, and PI4P levels by hormonal treatments further suggests their contribution to intercellular communication in planta.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2008; 59(3):553-62. · 5.79 Impact Factor
  • M L Martin, E Espinosa Vidal, L de la Canal
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    ABSTRACT: Ha-AP10 is a basic antifungal peptide from sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus antifungal peptide of 10 kDa) belonging to the family of plant lipid transfer proteins. We report here its expression in E. coli [Glutathione S-transferase (GST) system] and its phosphorylation by endogenous membrane-bound calcium-dependent protein kinases.
    Protein and Peptide Letters 02/2007; 14(8):793-9. · 1.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viscotoxins are cationic proteins, isolated from different mistletoe species, that belong to the group of thionins, a group of basic cysteine-rich peptides of approximately 5 kDa. They have been shown to be cytotoxic to different types of cell, including animal, bacterial and fungal. The aim of this study was to obtain information on the cell targets and the mechanism of action of viscotoxin isoform A3 (VtA3). We describe a detailed study of viscotoxin interaction with fungal-derived model membranes, its location inside spores of Fusarium solani, as well as their induced spore death. We show that VtA3 induces the appearance of ion-channel-like activity, the generation of H2O2, and an increase in cytoplasmic free Ca2+. Moreover, we show that Ca2+ is involved in VtA3-induced spore death and increased H2O2 concentration. The data presented here strongly support the notion that the antifungal activity of VtA3 is due to membrane binding and channel formation, leading to destabilization and disruption of the plasma membrane, thereby supporting a direct role for viscotoxins in the plant defence mechanism.
    FEBS Journal 02/2006; 273(1):72-83. · 3.99 Impact Factor
  • Ana G Gonorazky, Mariana C Regente, Laura de la Canal
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    ABSTRACT: Nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) belong to a large family of plant proteins whose function in vivo remains unknown. In this research, we studied a LTP previously isolated from sunflower seeds (Ha-AP10), which displays strong antimicrobial activity against a model fungus. The protein is present during at least the first 5 days of germination, and tissue printing experiments revealed the homogeneous distribution of the protein in the cotyledons. Here we report that Ha-AP10 exerts a weak inhibitory effect on the growth of Alternaria alternata, a fungus that naturally attacks sunflower seeds. These data put into question the contribution of Ha-AP10 as an antimicrobial protein of direct effect on pathogenic fungus, and rather suggest a function related to the mobilization of lipid reserves. We also show that the levels of Ha-AP10 in germinating seeds increase upon salt stress, fungal infection and ABA treatment, indicating that it somehow participates in the adaptative responses of germinating sunflower seeds.
    Journal of Plant Physiology 07/2005; 162(6):618-24. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether Ha-AP10, a member of the plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) family produces a direct cytotoxic effect on fungal cells mediated by membrane permeabilization. LTPs can inhibit fungal growth and are considered members of the ubiquitous class of antimicrobial peptides. However, the way they exert their effects on target cells is not yet understood. Viability assays demonstrate that Ha-AP10 acts as a fungicidal compound but no harmful effect is observed on plant cells. Liposome leakage assays show that the protein induces a moderate release of fluorescent probes encapsulated in model membranes, indicating its ability to interact with phospholipids. Using a fluorescent indicator of damage at the membrane level, we demonstrate that Ha-AP10 is able to induce the permeabilization of intact fungal spores in a dose-dependent manner. The results presented here demonstrate the permeabilization of fungal spores caused by Ha-AP10. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of fungal membrane damage by an LTP, giving a clue to elucidate the basis of its antimicrobial properties.
    Letters in Applied Microbiology 02/2005; 40(3):183-9. · 1.75 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

280 Citations
78.44 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2014
    • Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata
      • • Biological Research Institute (IIB)
      • • Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales
      Mar de Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 2005
    • Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas
      Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina