[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lipochitin oligosaccharides called Nod factors function as primary rhizobial signal molecules triggering legumes to develop new plant organs: root nodules that host the bacteria as nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. Here, we show that the Lotus japonicus Nod factor receptor 5 (NFR5) and Nod factor receptor 1 (NFR1) bind Nod factor directly at high-affinity binding sites. Both receptor proteins were posttranslationally processed when expressed as fusion proteins and extracted from purified membrane fractions of Nicotiana benthamiana or Arabidopsis thaliana. The N-terminal signal peptides were cleaved, and NFR1 protein retained its in vitro kinase activity. Processing of NFR5 protein was characterized by determining the N-glycosylation patterns of the ectodomain. Two different glycan structures with identical composition, Man(3)XylFucGlcNAc(4), were identified by mass spectrometry and located at amino acid positions N68 and N198. Receptor-ligand interaction was measured by using ligands that were labeled or immobilized by application of chemoselective chemistry at the anomeric center. High-affinity ligand binding was demonstrated with both solid-phase and free solution techniques. The K(d) values obtained for Nod factor binding were in the nanomolar range and comparable to the concentration range sufficient for biological activity. Structure-dependent ligand specificity was shown by using chitin oligosaccharides. Taken together, our results suggest that ligand recognition through direct ligand binding is a key step in the receptor-mediated activation mechanism leading to root nodule development in legumes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(34):13859-64. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In legumes rhizobial infection during root nodule symbiosis (RNS) is controlled by a conserved set of receptor proteins and downstream components. MtSYMREM1, a protein of the Remorin family in Medicago truncatula, was shown to interact with at least three receptor-like kinases (RLKs) that are essential for RNS. Remorins are comprised of a conserved C-terminal domain and a variable N-terminal region that defines the six different Remorin groups. While both N- and C-terminal regions of Remorins belonging to the same phylogenetic group are similar to each other throughout the plant kingdom, the N-terminal domains of legume-specific group 2 Remorins show exceptional high degrees of sequence divergence suggesting evolutionary specialization of this protein within this clade. We therefore identified and characterized the MtSYMREM1 ortholog from Lotus japonicus (LjSYMREM1), a model legume that forms determinate root nodules. Here, we resolved its spatio-temporal regulation and showed that over-expression of LjSYMREM1 increases nodulation on transgenic roots. Using a structure-function approach we show that protein interactions including Remorin oligomerization are mainly mediated and stabilized by the Remorin C-terminal region with its coiled-coil domain while the RLK kinase domains transiently interact in vivo and phosphorylate a residue in the N-terminal region of the LjSYMREM1 protein in vitro. These data provide novel insights into the mechanism of this putative molecular scaffold protein and underline its importance during rhizobial infection.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(1):e30817. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Soil-living rhizobia secrete lipochitin oligosaccharides known as Nod factors, which in Lotus japonicus are perceived by at least two Nod-factor receptors, NFR1 and NFR5. Despite progress in identifying molecular components critical for initial legume host recognition of the microsymbiont and cloning of downstream components, little is known about the activation and signalling mechanisms of the Nod-factor receptors themselves. Here we show that both receptor proteins localize to the plasma membrane, and present evidence for heterocomplex formation initiating downstream signalling. Expression of NFR1 and NFR5 in Nicotiana benthamiana and Allium ampeloprasum (leek) cells caused a rapid cell-death response. The signalling leading to cell death was abrogated using a kinase-inactive variant of NFR1. In these surviving cells, a clear interaction between NFR1 and NFR5 was detected in vivo through bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). To analyse the inter- and intramolecular phosphorylation events of the kinase complex, the cytoplasmic part of NFR1 was assayed for in vitro kinase activity, and autophosphorylation on 24 amino acid residues, including three tyrosine residues, was found by mass spectrometry. Substitution of the phosphorylated amino acids of NFR1 identified a single phosphorylation site to be essential for NFR1 Nod-factor signalling in vivo and kinase activity in vitro. In contrast to NFR1, no in vitro kinase activity of the cytoplasmic domain of NFR5 was detected. This is further supported by the fact that a mutagenized NFR5 construct, substituting an amino acid essential for ATP binding, restored nodulation of nfr5 mutant roots.
The Plant Journal 02/2011; 65(3):404-17. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Legume-Rhizobium symbiosis is an example of selective cell recognition controlled by host/non-host determinants. Individual bacterial strains have a distinct host range enabling nodulation of a limited set of legume species and vice versa. We show here that expression of Lotus japonicus Nfr1 and Nfr5 Nod-factor receptor genes in Medicago truncatula and L. filicaulis, extends their host range to include bacterial strains, Mesorhizobium loti or DZL, normally infecting L. japonicus. As a result, the symbiotic program is induced, nodules develop and infection threads are formed. Using L. japonicus mutants and domain swaps between L. japonicus and L. filicaulis NFR1 and NFR5, we further demonstrate that LysM domains of the NFR1 and NFR5 receptors mediate perception of the bacterial Nod-factor signal and that recognition depends on the structure of the lipochitin-oligosaccharide Nod-factor. We show that a single amino-acid variation in the LysM2 domain of NFR5 changes recognition of the Nod-factor synthesized by the DZL strain and suggests a possible binding site for bacterial lipochitin-oligosaccharide signal molecules.
The EMBO Journal 10/2007; 26(17):3923-35. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transfer of T-DNA from binary vectors to transgenic “hairy roots” rely on co-transformation of the T-DNA from the binary vector and the T-DNA from the Ri plasmid into the same plant cell. The frequency of co-transformation varies, so for some experiments an alternative method integrating the gene construct under study diretly into the Ri T-DNA segment may be useful.