[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous genetic studies have revealed that a pollen-specific calmodulin-binding protein, No Pollen Germination 1 (NPG1), is required for pollen germination. However, its mode of action is unknown. Here we report direct interaction of NPG1 with pectate lyase-like proteins (PLLs). A truncated form of AtNPG1 lacking the N-terminal tetratricopeptide repeat 1 (TPR1) failed to interact with PLLs, suggesting that it is essential for NPG1 interaction with PLLs. Localization studies with AtNPG1 fused to a fluorescent reporter driven by its native promoter revealed its presence in the cytosol and cell wall of the pollen grain and the growing pollen tube of plasmolyzed pollen. Together, our data suggest that the function of NPG1 in regulating pollen germination is mediated through its interaction with PLLs, which may modify the pollen cell wall and regulate pollen tube emergence and growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing (AS) of precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) from multiexon genes allows organisms to increase their coding potential and regulate gene expression through multiple mechanisms. Recent transcriptome-wide analysis of AS using RNA sequencing has revealed that AS is highly pervasive in plants. Pre-mRNAs from over 60% of intron-containing genes undergo AS to produce a vast repertoire of mRNA isoforms. The functions of most splice variants are unknown. However, emerging evidence indicates that splice variants increase the functional diversity of proteins. Furthermore, AS is coupled to transcript stability and translation through nonsense-mediated decay and microRNA-mediated gene regulation. Widespread changes in AS in response to developmental cues and stresses suggest a role for regulated splicing in plant development and stress responses. Here, we review recent progress in uncovering the extent and complexity of the AS landscape in plants, its regulation, and the roles of AS in gene regulation. The prevalence of AS in plants has raised many new questions that require additional studies. New tools based on recent technological advances are allowing genome-wide analysis of RNA elements in transcripts and of chromatin modifications that regulate AS. Application of these tools in plants will provide significant new insights into AS regulation and crosstalk between AS and other layers of gene regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1,2,4-butanetriol (butanetriol) is a useful precursor for the synthesis of the energetic material butanetriol trinitrate and several pharmaceutical compounds. Bacterial synthesis of butanetriol from xylose or arabinose takes place in a pathway that requires four enzymes. To produce butanetriol in plants by expressing bacterial enzymes, we cloned native bacterial or codon optimized synthetic genes under different promoters into a binary vector and stably transformed Arabidopsis plants. Transgenic lines expressing introduced genes were analyzed for the production of butanetriol using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Soil-grown transgenic plants expressing these genes produced up to 20µg/g of butanetriol. To test if an exogenous supply of pentose sugar precursors would enhance the butanetriol level, transgenic plants were grown in a medium supplemented with either xylose or arabinose and the amount of butanetriol was quantified. Plants expressing synthetic genes in the arabinose pathway showed up to a forty-fold increase in butanetriol levels after arabinose was added to the medium. Transgenic plants expressing either bacterial or synthetic xylose pathways, or the arabinose pathway showed toxicity symptoms when xylose or arabinose was added to the medium, suggesting that a by-product in the pathway or butanetriol affected plant growth. Furthermore, the metabolite profile of plants expressing arabinose and xylose pathways was altered. Our results demonstrate that bacterial pathways that produce butanetriol can be engineered into plants to produce this chemical. This proof-of-concept study for phytoproduction of butanetriol paves the way to further manipulate metabolic pathways in plants to enhance the level of butanetriol production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinesin-like calmodulin-binding protein (KCBP), a member of the Kinesin 14 family, is a minus end directed C-terminal motor unique to plants and green algae. Its motor activity is negatively regulated by calcium/calmodulin binding, and its tail region contains a secondary microtubule-binding site. It has been identified but not functionally characterized in the conifer Picea abies. Conifer pollen tubes exhibit polarized growth as organelles move into the tip in an unusual fountain pattern directed by microfilaments but uniquely organized by microtubules. We demonstrate here that PaKCBP and calmodulin regulate elongation and motility. PaKCBP is a 140 kDa protein immunolocalized to the elongating tip, coincident with microtubules. This localization is lost when microtubules are disrupted with oryzalin, which also reorganizes microfilaments into bundles. Colocalization of PaKCBP along microtubules is enhanced when microfilaments are disrupted with latrunculin B, which also disrupts the fine network of microtubules throughout the tip while preserving thicker microtubule bundles. Calmodulin inhibition by W-12 perfusion reversibly slows pollen tube elongation, alters organelle motility, promotes microfilament bundling, and microtubule bundling coincident with increased PaKCBP localization. The constitutive activation of PaKCBP by microinjection of an antibody that displaces calcium/calmodulin and activates microtubule bundling repositions vacuoles in the tip before rapidly stopping organelle streaming and pollen tube elongation. We propose that PaKCBP is one of the target proteins in conifer pollen modulated by calmodulin inhibition leading to microtubule bundling, which alters microtubule and microfilament organization, repositions vacuoles and slows organelle motility and pollen tube elongation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transition to flowering in plants is tightly controlled by environmental cues, which regulate the photoperiod and vernalization pathways, and endogenous signals, which mediate the autonomous and gibberellin pathways. In this work, we investigated the role of two Zn(2+)-finger transcription factors, the paralogues AtVOZ1 and AtVOZ2, in Arabidopsis thaliana flowering. Single atvoz1-1 and atvoz2-1 mutants showed no significant phenotypes as compared to wild type. However, atvoz1-1 atvoz2-1 double mutant plants exhibited several phenotypes characteristic of flowering-time mutants. The double mutant displayed a severe delay in flowering, together with additional pleiotropic phenotypes. Late flowering correlated with elevated expression of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), which encodes a potent floral repressor, and decreased expression of its target, the floral promoter FD. Vernalization rescued delayed flowering of atvoz1-1 atvoz2-1 and reversed elevated FLC levels. Accumulation of FLC transcripts in atvoz1-1 atvoz2-1 correlated with increased expression of several FLC activators, including components of the PAF1 and SWR1 chromatin-modifying complexes. Additionally, AtVOZs were shown to bind the promoter of MOS3/SAR3 and directly regulate expression of this nuclear pore protein, which is known to participate in the regulation of flowering time, suggesting that AtVOZs exert at least some of their flowering regulation by influencing the nuclear pore function. Complementation of atvoz1-1 atvoz2-1 with AtVOZ2 reversed all double mutant phenotypes, confirming that the observed morphological and molecular changes arise from the absence of functional AtVOZ proteins, and validating the functional redundancy between AtVOZ1 and AtVOZ2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis Ca(2+)/calmodulin-binding transcription factor SIGNAL RESPONSIVE1 (AtSR1/CAMTA3) was previously identified as a key negative regulator of plant immune responses (Galon et al., 2008, Du et al., 2009). Here, we report a new role for AtSR1 as a critical component of plant defense against insect herbivory. Loss of AtSR1 function impairs tolerance to feeding by the generalist herbivore Trichoplusia ni as well as wound-induced jasmonate (JA) accumulation. The susceptibility of the atsr1 mutant is associated with decreased total glucosinolate (GS) levels. The two key herbivory deterrents, indol-3-ylmethyl (I3M) and 4-methylsulfinylbutyl (4MSOB), showed the most significant reductions in atsr1 plants. Further, changes in AtSR1 transcript levels led to altered expression of several genes involved in GS metabolism including IQD1, MYB51, and AtST5a. Overall, our results establish AtSR1 as an important component of plant resistance to insect herbivory as well as one of only three described proteins involved in Ca(2+)/calmodulin(CaM)-dependent signaling to function in the regulation of GS metabolism, providing a novel avenue for future investigations of plant-insect interactions.
Plant and Cell Physiology 10/2012; · 4.13 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SR45 is a serine/arginine-rich (SR)-like protein with two arginine/serine-rich (RS) domains. We have previously shown that SR45 regulates alternative splicing (AS) by differential selection of 5' and 3' splice sites. However, it is unknown how SR45 regulates AS. To gain mechanistic insights into the roles of SR45 in splicing, we screened a yeast two-hybrid library with SR45. This screening resulted in the isolation of two spliceosomal proteins, U1-70K and U2AF(35) b that are known to function in 5' and 3' splice site selection, respectively. This screen not only confirmed our prior observation that U1-70K and SR45 interact, but also helped to identify an additional interacting partner (U2AF(35) ). In vitro and in vivo analyses revealed an interaction of SR45 with both paralogs of U2AF(35) . Furthermore, we show that the RS1 and RS2 domains of SR45, and not the RNA recognition motif (RRM) domain, associate independently with both U2AF(35) proteins. Interaction studies among U2AF(35) paralogs and between U2AF(35) and U1-70K revealed that U2AF(35) can form homo- or heterodimers and that U2AF(35) proteins can associate with U1-70K. Using RNA probes from SR30 intron 10, whose splicing is altered in the sr45 mutant, we show that SR45 and U2AF(35) b bind to different parts of the intron, with a binding site for SR45 in the 5' region and two binding regions, each ending with a known 3' splice site, for U2AF(35) b. These results suggest that SR45 recruits U1snRNP and U2AF to 5' and 3' splice sites, respectively, by interacting with pre-mRNA, U1-70K and U2AF(35) and modulates AS.
The Plant Journal 05/2012; 71(6):936-47. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive alternative splicing (AS) of precursor mRNAs (pre-mRNAs) in multicellular eukaryotes increases the protein-coding capacity of a genome and allows novel ways to regulate gene expression. In flowering plants, up to 48% of intron-containing genes exhibit AS. However, the full extent of AS in plants is not yet known, as only a few high-throughput RNA-Seq studies have been performed. As the cost of obtaining RNA-Seq reads continues to fall, it is anticipated that huge amounts of plant sequence data will accumulate and help in obtaining a more complete picture of AS in plants. Although it is not an onerous task to obtain hundreds of millions of reads using high-throughput sequencing technologies, computational tools to accurately predict and visualize AS are still being developed and refined. This review will discuss the tools to predict and visualize transcriptome-wide AS in plants using short-reads and highlight their limitations. Comparative studies of AS events between plants and animals have revealed that there are major differences in the most prevalent types of AS events, suggesting that plants and animals differ in the way they recognize exons and introns. Extensive studies have been performed in animals to identify cis-elements involved in regulating AS, especially in exon skipping. However, few such studies have been carried out in plants. Here, we review the current state of research on splicing regulatory elements (SREs) and briefly discuss emerging experimental and computational tools to identify cis-elements involved in regulation of AS in plants. The availability of curated alternative splice forms in plants makes it possible to use computational tools to predict SREs involved in AS regulation, which can then be verified experimentally. Such studies will permit identification of plant-specific features involved in AS regulation and contribute to deciphering the splicing code in plants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Global analyses of splicing of precursor messenger RNAs (pre-mRNAs) have revealed that alternative splicing (AS) is highly pervasive in plants. Despite the widespread occurrence of AS in plants, the mechanisms that control splicing and the roles of splice variants generated from a gene are poorly understood. Studies on plant serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins, a family of highly conserved proteins, suggest their role in both constitutive splicing and AS of pre-mRNAs. SR proteins have a characteristic domain structure consisting of one or two RNA recognition motifs at the N-terminus and a C-terminal RS domain rich in arginine/serine dipeptides. Plants have many more SR proteins compared to animals including several plant-specific subfamilies. Pre-mRNAs of plant SR proteins are extensively alternatively spliced to increase the transcript complexity by about six-fold. Some of this AS is controlled in a tissue- and development-specific manner. Furthermore, AS of SR pre-mRNAs is altered by various stresses, raising the possibility of rapid reprogramming of the whole transcriptome by external signals through regulation of the splicing of these master regulators of splicing. Most SR splice variants contain a premature termination codon and are degraded by up-frameshift 3 (UPF3)-mediated nonsense-mediated decay (NMD), suggesting a link between NMD and regulation of expression of the functional transcripts of SR proteins. Limited functional studies with plant SRs suggest key roles in growth and development and plant responses to the environment. Here, we discuss the current status of research on plant SRs and some promising approaches to address many unanswered questions about plant SRs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abiotic and biotic stresses are major limiting factors of crop yields and cause billions of dollars of losses annually around the world. It is hoped that understanding at the molecular level how plants respond to adverse conditions and adapt to a changing environment will help in developing plants that can better cope with stresses. Acquisition of stress tolerance requires orchestration of a multitude of biochemical and physiological changes, and most of these depend on changes in gene expression. Research during the last two decades has established that different stresses cause signal-specific changes in cellular Ca(2+) level, which functions as a messenger in modulating diverse physiological processes that are important for stress adaptation. In recent years, many Ca(2+) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM) binding transcription factors (TFs) have been identified in plants. Functional analyses of some of these TFs indicate that they play key roles in stress signaling pathways. Here, we review recent progress in this area with emphasis on the roles of Ca(2+)- and Ca(2+)/CaM-regulated transcription in stress responses. We will discuss emerging paradigms in the field, highlight the areas that need further investigation, and present some promising novel high-throughput tools to address Ca(2+)-regulated transcriptional networks.
The Plant Cell 06/2011; 23(6):2010-32. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calcium signaling depends on proteins at three nodes: generation of Ca2+ signature, sensing of changes in cellular Ca2+ level, and transduction of a Ca2+ signal. Plant cells have multiple mechanisms for generating increases in [Ca2+]cyt suggesting the capacity to produce complex spatiotemporal patterns of [Ca2+] cyt elevation. A large number of Ca2+ sensors have been identified experimentally or have been predicted on the basis of sequence similarity to known Ca2+-binding proteins or the presence of Ca2+-binding domains. The number of target proteins is expected to be large, as a given sensor can interact with multiple proteins.
Proteins involved in Ca2+signaling in plants have been identified using Ca2+-binding, protein–protein interaction, yeast two-hybrid, and coprecipitation screens. With the completion of genomic sequencing
of several plants, researchers have identified many Ca2+ sensors and target proteins on a global scale. In Arabidopsis, about 3–4% of the proteome appears to participate in Ca2+ signaling. The challenge now is the elucidation of the function of each verified/predicted protein involved in Ca2+ signaling on a local and global scale.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ca(2+), a universal messenger in eukaryotes, plays a major role in signaling pathways that control many growth and developmental processes in plants as well as their responses to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Cellular changes in Ca(2+) in response to diverse signals are recognized by protein sensors that either have their activity modulated or that interact with other proteins and modulate their activity. Calmodulins (CaMs) and CaM-like proteins (CMLs) are Ca(2+) sensors that have no enzymatic activity of their own but upon binding Ca(2+) interact and modulate the activity of other proteins involved in a large number of plant processes. Protein-protein interactions play a key role in Ca(2+)/CaM-mediated in signaling pathways. In this review, using CaM as an example, we discuss various experimental approaches and computational tools to identify protein-protein interactions. During the last two decades hundreds of CaM-binding proteins in plants have been identified using a variety of approaches ranging from simple screening of expression libraries with labeled CaM to high-throughput screens using protein chips. However, the high-throughput methods have not been applied to the entire proteome of any plant system. Nevertheless, the data provided by these screens allows the development of computational tools to predict CaM-interacting proteins. Using all known binding sites of CaM, we developed a computational method that predicted over 700 high confidence CaM interactors in the Arabidopsis proteome. Most (>600) of these are not known to bind calmodulin, suggesting that there are likely many more CaM targets than previously known. Functional analyses of some of the experimentally identified Ca(2+) sensor target proteins have uncovered their precise role in Ca(2+)-mediated processes. Further studies on identifying novel targets of CaM and CMLs and generating their interaction network - "calcium sensor interactome" - will help us in understanding how Ca(2+) regulates a myriad of cellular and physiological processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alternative splicing (AS) of pre-mRNA is a fundamental molecular process that generates diversity in the transcriptome and proteome of eukaryotic organisms. SR proteins, a family of splicing regulators with one or two RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) at the N-terminus and an arg/ser-rich domain at the C-terminus, function in both constitutive and alternative splicing. We identified SR proteins in 27 eukaryotic species, which include plants, animals, fungi and "basal" eukaryotes that lie outside of these lineages. Using RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) as a phylogenetic marker, we classified 272 SR genes into robust sub-families. The SR gene family can be split into five major groupings, which can be further separated into 11 distinct sub-families. Most flowering plants have double or nearly double the number of SR genes found in vertebrates. The majority of plant SR genes are under purifying selection. Moreover, in all paralogous SR genes in Arabidopsis, rice, soybean and maize, one of the two paralogs is preferentially expressed throughout plant development. We also assessed the extent of AS in SR genes based on a splice graph approach (http://combi.cs.colostate.edu/as/gmap_SRgenes). AS of SR genes is a widespread phenomenon throughout multiple lineages, with alternative 3' or 5' splicing events being the most prominent type of event. However, plant-enriched sub-families have 57%-88% of their SR genes experiencing some type of AS compared to the 40%-54% seen in other sub-families. The SR gene family is pervasive throughout multiple eukaryotic lineages, conserved in sequence and domain organization, but differs in gene number across lineages with an abundance of SR genes in flowering plants. The higher number of alternatively spliced SR genes in plants emphasizes the importance of AS in generating splice variants in these organisms.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24542. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Calmodulin (CaM) is a calcium-binding protein that is involved in a variety of cellular processes, interacting with many proteins. Since many CaM interactions are calcium-dependent, they are difficult to detect using high-throughput methods like yeast-two-hybrid. Furthermore, detection of CaM binding sites requires a significant experimental effort. Using a collection of CaM binding sites extracted from the Calmodulin Target Database we trained SVM-based classifiers to detect CaM binding sites using a variety of sequence features; our best classifier achieved an area under the ROC curve of 0.89 for detecting binding site locations at the amino acid level. We apply our classifiers to the problem of detecting CaM binding proteins in Arabidopsis; at a false-positive level of 0.05 we detected 638 novel putative CaM binding proteins. These proteins share overrepresented Gene Ontology terms associated with the functions of known CaM binders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinesins and dyneins are two superfamilies of microtubule motor proteins that regulate many diverse fundamental cellular and
developmental processes including cell shape, cell division and intracellular transport as well as spatial and temporal organization
of molecules and organelles within the eukaryotic cells. These motor proteins use chemical energy from ATP to move unidirectionally
using microtubules as roadways or to regulate microtubule dynamics. This review focuses on a comparative analysis of kinesins
in eukaryotes, especially in the green lineage and their roles in plants. Comprehensive comparative analysis of kinesins among
completed genome sequences of animal and several photosynthetic eukaryotes ranging from algae to monocots revealed considerable
expansion of kinesins in flowering plants. Much of this expansion is due to an increase in members of two families (Kinesin-7
and Kinesin-14). Of the fourteen recognized families of kinesins in eukaryotes, members of four families are not found in
flowering plants. However, a group of plant-specific kinesins does not fall into any of the recognized families, and some
plant kinesins form plant-specific clades inside of their respective families. Some known domains are found exclusively either
in plant and animal lineages, suggesting their functional specialization. Arabidopsis has the highest number of kinesins of
any known multicellular eukaryotes, including humans, with a total of 61 kinesins. Although the processes regulated by many
plant kinesins are yet to be discovered, functions of some kinesins have been elucidated in recent years using cell biological,
molecular and genetic approaches and these are discussed briefly here. In addition, insights into regulatory mechanisms of
a unique plant Ca2+/CaM-interacting motor called kinesin-like calmodulin-binding protein (KCBP) obtained through biochemical assays and crystal
structure studies of its motor domain alone and as a complex with a calcium-binding protein are presented.