[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As an early adopter of plant chemical genetics to the study of endomembrane trafficking, we have observed the growth of small molecule approaches.Within the field, we often describe the strengths of the approach in a broad, generic manner, such as the ability to address redundancy and lethality. But, we are now in a much better position to evaluate the demonstrated value of the approach based on examples. In this perspective, we offer an assessment of chemical genetics in plants and where its applications may be of particular utility from the perspective of the cell biologist. Beyond this, we suggest areas to be addressed to provide broader access and enhance the effectiveness of small molecule approaches in plant biology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant vacuoles are essential organelles for plant growth and development, and have multiple functions. Vacuoles are highly dynamic and pleiomorphic, and their size varies depending on the cell type and growth conditions. Vacuoles compartmentalize different cellular components such as proteins, sugars, ions and other secondary metabolites and play critical roles in plants response to different biotic/abiotic signaling pathways. In this review, we will summarize the patterns of changes in vacuole morphology in certain cell types, our understanding of the mechanisms of plant vacuole biogenesis, and the role of SNAREs and Rab GTPases in vacuolar trafficking.
Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:476. · 3.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolomics and chemical genomics studies can each provide unique insights into plant biology. Although a variety of analytical techniques can be used for the interrogation of plant systems, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) provides unbiased characterization of abundant metabolites. An example methodology is provided for probing the metabolism of Arabidopsis thaliana in a chemical genomics experiment including methods for tissue treatment, tissue collection, metabolite extraction, and methods to minimize variance in biological and technical sample replicates. Additionally, considerations and methods for data analysis, including multivariate statistics, univariate statistics, and data interpretation are included. The process is illustrated by examining the metabolic effects of chemical treatment of Arabidopsis with Sortin 1, also known as vacuolar protein sorting inhibitor 1. Sortin 1 was applied to Arabidopsis seedlings to examine metabolic effects in a chemical genomics experiment and to demonstrate the utility of metabolomics in conjunction with other "omics" techniques.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endomembrane cycling processes in plants remain mostly intractable through classical genetic interrogation. Chemical disruption of these processes provides an opportunity to slow or inhibit these processes for study. Tobacco pollen, which is dependent upon endomembrane cycling for tube growth, provides a plant system that is amenable to high-throughput screening of chemical disruptors. We describe here the process that allowed the identification of over 360 endomembrane cycling disruptors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Translation inhibition is a major but poorly understood mode of action of microRNAs (miRNAs) in plants and animals. In particular, the subcellular location where this process takes place is unknown. Here, we show that the translation inhibition, but not the mRNA cleavage activity, of Arabidopsis miRNAs requires ALTERED MERISTEM PROGRAM1 (AMP1). AMP1 encodes an integral membrane protein associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and ARGONAUTE1, the miRNA effector and a peripheral ER membrane protein. Large differences in polysome association of miRNA target RNAs are found between wild-type and the amp1 mutant for membrane-bound, but not total, polysomes. This, together with AMP1-independent recruitment of miRNA target transcripts to membrane fractions, shows that miRNAs inhibit the translation of target RNAs on the ER. This study demonstrates that translation inhibition is an important activity of plant miRNAs, reveals the subcellular location of this activity, and uncovers a previously unknown function of the ER. PAPERCLIP:
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role, if any, of microtubules in auxin transport is poorly understood in plant biology. In this issue of Developmental Cell, Ambrose et al. (2013) show that the microtubule binding protein CLASP regulates PIN2 auxin transporter trafficking and stability via Sorting Nexin1, a component of the retromer complex.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upstream ORFs are elements found in the 5'-leader sequences of specific mRNAs that modulate the translation of downstream ORFs encoding major gene products. In Arabidopsis, the translational control of auxin response factors (ARFs) by upstream ORFs has been proposed as a regulatory mechanism required to respond properly to complex auxin-signaling inputs. In this study, we identify and characterize the aberrant auxin responses in specific ribosomal protein mutants in which multiple ARF transcription factors are simultaneously repressed at the translational level. This characteristic lends itself to the use of these mutants as genetic tools to bypass the genetic redundancy among members of the ARF family in Arabidopsis. Using this approach, we were able to assign unique functions for ARF2, ARF3, and ARF6 in plant development.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tip growth of pollen tubes and root hairs occurs via rapid polar growth. These rapidly elongating cells require tip-focused endomembrane trafficking for the deposition and recycling of proteins, membranes, and cell wall materials. Most of the image-based data published to date are subjective and non-quantified. Quantitative and comparative descriptors of these highly dynamic processes have been a major challenge, but are highly desirable for genetic and chemical genomics approaches to dissect this biological network. To address this problem, we screened for small molecules that perturbed the localization of a marker for the Golgi Ras-like monomeric G-protein RAB2:GFP expressed in transgenic tobacco pollen. Semi-automated high-throughput imaging and image analysis resulted in the identification of novel compounds that altered pollen tube development and endomembrane trafficking. Six compounds that caused mislocalization and varying degrees of altered movement of RAB2:GFP-labeled endomembrane bodies were used to generate a training set of image data from which to quantify vesicle dynamics. The area, velocity, straightness, and intensity of each body were quantified using semi-automated image analysis tools revealing quantitative differences in the phenotype caused by each compound. A score was then given to each compound enabling quantitative comparisons between compounds. Our results demonstrate that image analysis can be used to quantitatively evaluate dynamic subcellular endomembrane phenotypes induced by bioactive chemicals, mutations, or other perturbing agents as part of a strategy to quantitatively dissect the endomembrane network.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of small molecules to transiently modulate protein function can circumvent the limitations of classical genetic approaches caused by gene redundancy and lethality. Although chemical genomics and genetics screens facilitate the characterization of new biological components, they have infrequently led to the identification of target proteins involved in metabolism. The current state of metabolomics technologies permits the detection of thousands of molecules, allowing the exploration of yet uncharacterized metabolic pathways. The combination of these two approaches, termed here "ChemoMetabolomics", is a promising application of both technologies. This novel approach will facilitate the detection of metabolic modulators, the dissection of the crosstalk in the metabolic network, and the development of hypotheses on how changes in metabolism affect developmental or cellular responses. Furthermore, it will facilitate the elucidation of the linkage between metabolic and developmental programs and assist the gain of an elaborated view of biological processes at the system level.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants' developmental plasticity plays a pivotal role in responding to environmental conditions. One of the most plastic plant organs is the root system. Different environmental stimuli such as nutrients and water deficiency may induce lateral root formation to compensate for a low level of water and/or nutrients. It has been shown that the hormone auxin tunes lateral root development and components for its signaling pathway have been identified. Using chemical biology, we discovered an Arabidopsis thaliana lateral root formation mechanism that is independent of the auxin receptor SCF(TIR). The bioactive compound Sortin2 increased lateral root occurrence by acting upstream from the morphological marker of lateral root primordium formation, the mitotic activity. The compound did not display auxin activity. At the cellular level, Sortin2 accelerated endosomal trafficking, resulting in increased trafficking of plasma membrane recycling proteins to the vacuole. Sortin2 affected Late endosome/PVC/MVB trafficking and morphology. Combining Sortin2 with well-known drugs showed that endocytic trafficking of Late E/PVC/MVB towards the vacuole is pivotal for Sortin2-induced SCF(TIR)-independent lateral root initiation. Our results revealed a distinctive role for endosomal trafficking in the promotion of lateral root formation via a process that does not rely on the auxin receptor complex SCF(TIR).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the introduction of chemical genomics to plant biology as a tool for basic research, the field has advanced significantly. There are now examples of important basic discoveries that demonstrate the power and untapped potential of this approach. Given the combination of protein and small-molecule complexity, new phenotypes can be described through the perturbation of cellular functions that can be linked to growth and developmental phenotypes. There are now clear examples of overcoming functional redundancy in plants to dissect molecular mechanisms or critical pathways such as hormone signaling and dynamic intracellular processes. Owing to ongoing advances, including more sophisticated high-content screening and rapid approaches for target identification, the field is beginning to move forward. However, there are also challenges to improve automation, imaging, and analysis and provide chemical biology resources to the broader plant biology community.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interactions between phytohormones are crucial for plants to adapt to complex environmental changes. One example is the ethylene-regulated local auxin biosynthesis in roots, which partly contributes to ethylene-directed root development and gravitropism. Using a chemical biology approach, we identified a small molecule, l-kynurenine (Kyn), which effectively inhibited ethylene responses in Arabidopsis thaliana root tissues. Kyn application repressed nuclear accumulation of the ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) transcription factor. Moreover, Kyn application decreased ethylene-induced auxin biosynthesis in roots, and TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS1/TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE RELATEDs (TAA1/TARs), the key enzymes in the indole-3-pyruvic acid pathway of auxin biosynthesis, were identified as the molecular targets of Kyn. Further biochemical and phenotypic analyses revealed that Kyn, being an alternate substrate, competitively inhibits TAA1/TAR activity, and Kyn treatment mimicked the loss of TAA1/TAR functions. Molecular modeling and sequence alignments suggested that Kyn effectively and selectively binds to the substrate pocket of TAA1/TAR proteins but not those of other families of aminotransferases. To elucidate the destabilizing effect of Kyn on EIN3, we further found that auxin enhanced EIN3 nuclear accumulation in an EIN3 BINDING F-BOX PROTEIN1 (EBF1)/EBF2-dependent manner, suggesting the existence of a positive feedback loop between auxin biosynthesis and ethylene signaling. Thus, our study not only reveals a new level of interactions between ethylene and auxin pathways but also offers an efficient method to explore and exploit TAA1/TAR-dependent auxin biosynthesis.
The Plant Cell 11/2011; 23(11):3944-60. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endomembrane trafficking relies on the coordination of a highly complex, dynamic network of intracellular vesicles. Understanding the network will require a dissection of cargo and vesicle dynamics at the cellular level in vivo. This is also a key to establishing a link between vesicular networks and their functional roles in development. We used a high-content intracellular screen to discover small molecules targeting endomembrane trafficking in vivo in a complex eukaryote, Arabidopsis thaliana. Tens of thousands of molecules were prescreened and a selected subset was interrogated against a panel of plasma membrane (PM) and other endomembrane compartment markers to identify molecules that altered vesicle trafficking. The extensive image dataset was transformed by a flexible algorithm into a marker-by-phenotype-by-treatment time matrix and revealed groups of molecules that induced similar subcellular fingerprints (clusters). This matrix provides a platform for a systems view of trafficking. Molecules from distinct clusters presented avenues and enabled an entry point to dissect recycling at the PM, vacuolar sorting, and cell-plate maturation. Bioactivity in human cells indicated the value of the approach to identifying small molecules that are active in diverse organisms for biology and drug discovery.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2011; 108(43):17850-5. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The endomembrane system is a complex and dynamic intracellular trafficking network. It is very challenging to track individual vesicles and their cargos in real time; however, affinity purification allows vesicles to be isolated in their natural state so that their constituent proteins can be identified. Pioneering this approach in plants, we isolated the SYP61 trans-Golgi network compartment and carried out a comprehensive proteomic analysis of its contents with only minimal interference from other organelles. The proteome of SYP61 revealed the association of proteins of unknown function that have previously not been ascribed to this compartment. We identified a complete SYP61 SNARE complex, including regulatory proteins and validated the proteome data by showing that several of these proteins associated with SYP61 in planta. We further identified the SYP121-complex and cellulose synthases, suggesting that SYP61 plays a role in the exocytic trafficking and the transport of cell wall components to the plasma membrane. The presence of proteins of unknown function in the SYP61 proteome including ECHIDNA offers the opportunity to identify novel trafficking components and cargos. The affinity purification of plant vesicles in their natural state provides a basis for further analysis and dissection of complex endomembrane networks. The approach is widely applicable and can afford the study of several vesicle populations in plants, which can be compared with the SYP61 vesicle proteome.
Cell Research 08/2011; 22(2):413-24. · 10.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The onset of differentiation entails modifying the gene expression state of cells, to allow activation of developmental programs that are maintained repressed in the undifferentiated precursor cells [1, 2]. This requires a mechanism to change gene expression on a genome-scale. Recent evidence suggests that in mammalian stem cells, derepression of developmental regulators during differentiation involves a shift from stalled to productive elongation of their transcripts [3-5], but factors mediating this shift have not been identified and the evidence remains correlative.
We report the identification of the MINIYO (IYO) gene, a positive regulator of transcriptional elongation that is essential for cells to initiate differentiation in Arabidopsis. IYO interacts with RNA polymerase II and the Elongator complex and is required to sustain global levels of transcriptional elongation activity, specifically in differentiating tissues. Accordingly, IYO is expressed in embryos, meristems, and organ primordia and not in mature tissues. Moreover, differential subcellular protein distribution further refines the domain of IYO function by directing nuclear accumulation, and thus its transcriptional activity, to cells initiating differentiation. Importantly, IYO overexpression induces premature cell differentiation and leads to meristem termination phenotypes.
These findings identify IYO as a necessary and sufficient factor for initiating differentiation in Arabidopsis and suggest that the targeted nuclear accumulation of IYO functions as a transcriptional switch for this fate transition.
Current biology: CB 06/2011; 21(12):999-1008. · 10.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Argonaute (AGO) proteins are critical components of RNA silencing pathways that bind small RNAs and mediate gene silencing at their target sites. We found that Arabidopsis AGO2 is highly induced by the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst). Further genetic analysis demonstrated that AGO2 functions in antibacterial immunity. One abundant species of AGO2-bound small RNA is miR393b(∗), which targets a Golgi-localized SNARE gene, MEMB12. Pst infection downregulates MEMB12 in a miR393b(∗)-dependent manner. Loss of function of MEMB12, but not SYP61, another intracellular SNARE, leads to increased exocytosis of an antimicrobial pathogenesis-related protein, PR1. Overexpression of miR393b(∗) resembles memb12 mutant in resistance responses. Thus, AGO2 functions in antibacterial immunity by binding miR393b(∗) to modulate exocytosis of antimicrobial PR proteins via MEMB12. Since miR393 also contributes to antibacterial responses, miR393(∗)/miR393 represent an example of a miRNA(∗)/miRNA pair that functions in immunity through two distinct AGOs: miR393(∗) through AGO2 and miR393 through AGO1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sortin1 is a chemical genetic-hit molecule that causes specific mislocalization of plant and yeast-soluble and membrane vacuolar markers. To better understand its mode of action, we designed a Sortin1-hypersensitive screen and identified several Sortin1-hypersensitive and flavonoid-defective mutants. Mechanistically, Sortin1 mimics the effect of the glutathione inhibitor buthionine sulfoximine and alters the vacuolar accumulation of flavonoids, likely blocking their transport through vacuole-localized ABC transporters. Structure-activity relationship studies conducted in Arabidopsis revealed the structural requirements for Sortin1 bioactivity and demonstrated that overlapping Sortin1 substructures can be used to discriminate between vacuolar-flavonoid accumulations and vacuolar-biogenesis defects. We conclude that Sortin1 is a valuable probe for dissecting novel links among flavonoid transport, vacuolar integrity, and the trafficking of vacuolar targeted cargoes in Arabidopsis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemical genomics is relatively new to plant biology in academia; however, the ability of this approach to present novel discoveries is being demonstrated clearly. One particularly suitable application of this approach is plant endomembrane trafficking. The rapid and dynamic nature of vesicular trafficking plus genetic redundancy has hampered effective study of this complex network. The ability of small molecules to act quickly to inhibit or arrest vesicular trafficking should permit the association of specific vesicles, especially endosome compartments, with their cargoes, particularly those destined for the plasma membrane. This approach and the large target space presented by the endomembrane trafficking network require the discovery of many new bioactive molecules. Advances in high-throughput chemical screening in plants are making this a reality. However, successful chemical genomic approaches in plants must be coupled with improvements in automated microscopy, image analysis, and target identification. In addition, the ability to correlate specific molecules with complex phenotypic data will be crucial. The data obtained from these experiments will be composed of a matrix of intracellular markers displaying complex chemically induced phenotypes as well as whole plant and perhaps data generated by genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. In this manner, it should be possible to view endomembrane trafficking and its interactions as a systems-based network.
Current opinion in plant biology 12/2010; 13(6):706-13. · 10.33 Impact Factor