William J Simon

Durham University, Durham, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (29)131.43 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Up-regulated expression of lamin A has been implicated in increased cell invasiveness and mortality in colorectal cancer. Here we use quantitative proteomics to investigate lamin A regulated changes in the cytoskeleton that might underpin increased cell motility. Using siRNA knockdown of lamin A in a model cell line (SW480/lamA) we confirm that the presence of lamin A promotes cell motility. Using an enhanced technique to prepare cytoskeleton fractions in combination with 2D DiGE we were able to accurately and reproducibly detect changes in the representation of protein species within the cytoskeleton as low as 20%. In total 64 protein spots displayed either increased or decreased representation within the cytoskeleton of SW480/lamA cells compared to controls. Of these the identities of 29 spots were determined by mass spectrometry. A majority were multiple forms of three classes of proteins, including components of the actin and IF cytoskeletons, protein chaperones and translation initiation and elongation factors. In particular our data reveal that the representation of tissue transglutaminase 2, which is known to modify elements of the cytoskeleton and is associated with cancer progression, was highly over-represented in the cytoskeleton fraction of SW480/lamA cells. Overall, our data are consistent with changed protein cross-linking and folding that favours the formation of dynamic actin filaments over stress fibres accounting for the altered cell motility properties in SW480/lamA cells.
    Nucleus (Austin, Texas) 09/2011; 2(5):434-43.
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    ABSTRACT: One of the earliest and largest transcriptional responses that occur during exposure of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 to cold is the induction of the crhR RNA helicase transcript. We show that crhR deletion results in failure to cold acclimate: there is reduced growth at 24 °C and marked impairment of growth at 20 °C. 2D-DIGE, using five biological replicates, was used to analyze the proteomic differences between the wild-type and ΔcrhR strains grown at (1) 34 °C and (2) following transfer from 34 to 24 °C (cold-acclimation). Sixteen significantly differentially expressed proteins were identified between the two strains grown at 34 °C. Forty-three distinct proteins were identified that responded to cold-acclimation of the wild-type and 34 proteins for the mutant, with only 26 proteins common to both. A large proportion of the proteomic responses (76.5%) could not be predicted from published transcriptomic data. Only modest similarity is observed between proteomic and transcriptomic responses (r = 0.54-0.70). We propose functions for three previously hypothetical proteins. We suggest molecular targets for CrhR action and identify downstream regulated events in metabolism.
    Journal of Proteome Research 06/2011; 10(8):3674-89. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ricinoleic acid is a feedstock for nylon-11 (N11) synthesis which is currently obtained from castor (Ricinus communis) oil. Production of this fatty acid in a temperate oilseed crop is of great commercial interest, but the highest reported level in transgenic plant oils is 30%, below the 90% observed in castor and insufficient for commercial exploitation. To identify castor oil-biosynthetic enzymes and inform strategies to improve ricinoleic acid yields, we performed MudPIT analysis on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) purified from developing castor bean endosperm. Candidate enzymes for all steps of triacylglycerol synthesis were identified among 72 proteins in the data set related to complex-lipid metabolism. Previous reported proteomic data from oilseeds had not included any membrane-bound enzyme that might incorporate ricinoleic acid into oil. Analysis of enriched ER enabled determination of which protein isoforms for these enzymes were in developing castor seed. To complement this data, quantitative RT-PCR experiments with castor seed and leaf RNA were performed for orthologues of Arabidopsis oil-synthetic enzymes, determining which were highly expressed in the seed. These data provide important information for further manipulation of ricinoleic acid content in oilseeds and peptide data for future quantification strategies.
    Journal of Proteome Research 06/2011; 10(8):3565-77. · 5.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Growth temperature has a marked influence on the thermotolerance of photosystem II (PSII), which is the most heat-sensitive component of photosynthesis. Using Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 we have established that thylakoids isolated from cells grown at 38 degrees C have a greater degree of thermotolerance than those isolated from cells grown at 25 degrees C. Reconstitution experiments using Triton X-100 protein extracts of these thylakoids added to Triton-treated thylakoid membranes further indicated that the 38 degrees C Triton extract contains proteins that are directly capable of enhancing PSII thermotolerance. We have used 4-plex iTRAQ, extensive off-line fractionation and sample re-injection to comprehensively identify the differences between these two preparations that may be responsible for the observed effects on PSII thermotolerance. This has resulted in the reproducible identification of 168 proteins out of a total of 385 distinct proteins. Our results have identified 15 proteins whose levels are increased in extracts that result in increased thermotolerance of PSII and 33 proteins whose levels decrease. Notably, components of the cytochrome b(6)/f and NADH dehydrogenase complexes, crucial components in electron transport, are approximately twofold more abundant in 38 degrees C thylakoid extracts. The possible biological importance of these changes is discussed.
    Proteomics 03/2010; 10(10):1917-29. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photosystem II (PSII) is the most thermally sensitive component of photosynthesis. Thermal acclimation of this complex activity is likely to be critically important to the ability of photosynthetic organisms to tolerate temperature changes in the environment. We have analysed gene expression using whole-genome microarrays and monitored alterations in physiology during acclimation of PSII to elevated growth temperature in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. PSII acclimation is complete within 480 minutes of exposure to elevated temperature and is associated with a highly dynamic transcriptional response. 176 genes were identified and classified into seven distinct response profile groups. Response profiles suggest the existence of an early transient phase and a sustained phase to the acclimation response. The early phase was characterised by induction of general stress response genes, including heat shock proteins, which are likely to influence PSII thermal stability. The sustained phase consisted of acclimation-specific alterations that are involved in other cellular processes. Sustained responses included genes involved in phycobillisome structure and modification, photosynthesis, respiration, lipid metabolism and motility. Approximately 60% of genes with sustained altered expression levels have no known function. The potential role of differentially expressed genes in thermotolerance and acclimation is discussed. We have characterised the acclimation physiology of selected gene 'knockouts' to elucidate possible gene function in the response. All mutants show lower PSII rates under normal growth conditions. Basal PSII thermotolerance was affected by mutations in clpB1, cpcC2, hspA, htpG and slr1674. Final PSII thermotolerance was affected by mutations in cpcC2, hik34, hspA and hypA1, suggesting that these gene products play roles in long-term thermal acclimation of PSII.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10511. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (eATP) is emerging as an important plant signalling compound capable of mobilising intracellular second messengers such as Ca(2+), nitric oxide, and reactive oxygen species. However, the downstream molecular targets and the spectrum of physiological processes that eATP regulates are largely unknown. We used exogenous ATP and a non-hydrolysable analogue as probes to identify the molecular and physiological effects of eATP-mediated signalling in tobacco. 2-DE coupled with MS/MS analysis revealed differential protein expression in response to perturbation of eATP signalling. These proteins are in several functional classes that included photosynthesis, mitochondrial ATP synthesis, and defence against oxidative stress, but the biggest response was in the pathogen defence-related proteins. Consistent with this, impairment of eATP signalling induced resistance against the bacterial pathogen Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora. In addition, disease resistance activated by a fungal pathogen elicitor (xylanase from Trichoderma viride) was concomitant with eATP depletion. These results reveal several previously unknown putative molecular targets of eATP signalling, which pinpoint eATP as an important hub at which regulatory signals of some major primary metabolic pathways and defence responses are integrated.
    Proteomics 11/2009; 10(2):235-44. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    William J Simon, Daniel J Maltman, Antoni R Slabas
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the preparation and isolation of highly purified endoplasmic reticulum (ER) from the endosperm of developing and germinating castor bean (Ricinus communis) seeds to provide a purified organelle fraction for differential proteomic analyses. The method uses a two-step ultracentrifugation protocol first described by Coughlan (1) and uses sucrose density gradients and a sucrose flotation step to yield purified ER devoid of other contaminating endomembrane material. Using a combination of one dimensional (1D) and two dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis the complexity and reproducibility of the protein profile of the purified organelle is evaluated prior to detailed proteomic analyses using mass spectrometry based techniques.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 02/2008; 425:203-15. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The endoplasmic reticulum is a major compartment of storage protein and lipid biosynthesis. Maximal synthesis of these storage compounds occurs during seed development with breakdown occurring during germination. In this study, we have isolated four independent preparations of ER from both developing and germinating seeds of castor bean (Ricinus communis) and used 2-D DIGE, and a combination of PMF and MS/MS sequencing, to quantify and identify differences in protein complement at both stages. Ninety protein spots in the developing seeds are up-regulated and 19 individual proteins were identified, the majority of these are intermediates of seed storage synthesis and protein folding. The detection of these transitory storage proteins in the ER is discussed in terms of protein trafficking and processing. In germinating seed ER 15 spots are elevated, 5 of which were identified, amongst them was malate synthetase which is a component of the glyoxysome which is believed to originate from the ER. Notably no proteins involved in complex lipid biosynthesis were identified in the urea soluble ER fraction indicating that they are probably all integral membrane proteins.
    PROTEOMICS 05/2007; 7(9):1513-28. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins responsive to androgen and anti-androgen may be involved in the development and progression of prostate cancer and the ultimate failure of androgen-ablation therapy. These proteins represent potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets for improved management of prostate cancer. We have investigated the effect of androgen (R1881) and anti-androgen (bicalutamide) on the androgen-responsive prostate cancer LNCaP cell line using a quantitative gel-based proteomic approach. Prior to analysis, the in vitro system was evaluated for reproducibility and validated by appropriate molecular responses to treatment. Six replicate samples were independently generated and analysed by 2-D DIGE. According to strict statistical criteria, 197 spots were differentially expressed, of which we have successfully identified 165 spots corresponding to 125 distinct proteins. Following androgen supplementation, 108 spots (68 proteins) were increased and 57 spots (39 proteins) were decreased. Essentially no difference was observed between control and anti-androgen-treated samples, confirming the absence of "off-target" effects of bicalutamide. Identified proteins were involved in diverse processes including the stress response and intracellular signalling. The potential contribution to disease of these processes and identified constituent proteins are discussed. This rigorous, statistically supported study of androgen responses has provided a number of potential candidates for development as diagnostic/prognostic markers and drug targets.
    PROTEOMICS 02/2007; 7(1):47-63. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A knowledge of the structures of acyl chain loaded species of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) as used in fatty acid biosynthesis and a range of other metabolic events, is essential for a full understanding of the molecular recognition at the heart of these processes. To date the only crystal structure of an acylated species of ACP is that of a butyryl derivative of Escherichia coli ACP. We have now determined the structures of a family of acylated E. coli ACPs of varying acyl chain length. The acyl moiety is attached via a thioester bond to a phosphopantetheine linker that is in turn bound to a serine residue in ACP. The growing acyl chain can be accommodated within a central cavity in the ACP for transport during the elongation stages of lipid synthesis through changes in the conformation of a four alpha-helix bundle. The results not only clarify the means by which a substrate of varying size and complexity is transported in the cell but also suggest a mechanism by which interacting enzymes can recognize the loaded ACP through recognition of surface features including the conformation of the phosphopantetheine linker.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 02/2007; 365(1):135-45. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seed oil from castor bean (Ricinus communis) contains high amounts of hydroxy fatty acid rich triacylglycerols (TAGs) that can serve as raw material for production of bio-based products such as nylon, cosmetics, lubricants, foams, and surfactants. Diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) catalyses the terminal reaction in the acyl-CoA dependent Kennedy pathway of triglyceride biosynthesis. There is still some debate whether there are three or four enzymes in yeast that have DGAT activity and catalyse the synthesis of TAG but of these the DGAT2 homologue Dga1 contributes in a major way to TAG biosynthesis. Here we report on the cloning of a cDNA for DGAT2 from castor bean and prove its biological activity following expression in yeast and enzymatic assays using diricinolein as the acceptor and ricinoleoyl-CoA as the donor. Previous reports of DGAT in castor have focussed on DGAT1 which has little amino acid sequence homology to DGAT2. Expressional studies demonstrate that DGAT2 is 18-fold more highly expressed in seeds than in leaves and shows temporal specific expression during seed development. In contrast, DGAT1 shows little difference in expression in seeds versus leaves. We conclude that in castor bean DGAT2 is more likely to play a major role in seed TAG biosynthesis than DGAT1.
    Phytochemistry 01/2007; 67(23):2541-9. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteomic analysis of the heat shock response of wild type and a mutant of the histidine kinase 34 gene (Deltahik34), which shows increased thermal tolerance, has been performed in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. In vivo radioactive labelling demonstrates that major proteomic changes occur within 1 h of heat shock. 2-D DIGE and MS have been used to quantify changes in specific proteins following heat shock in the wild type and the mutant. Over 100 spots, corresponding to 65 different proteins alter following heat shock. Changes occur not only in the classical heat shock proteins but also in the protein biosynthetic machinery, amino acid biosynthetic enzymes, components of the light and dark acts of photosynthesis and energy metabolism. The Deltahik34 cells have elevated levels of heat shock proteins under both non-heat shock and heat shock conditions, in comparison to the wild type, consistent with Hik34, or a down stream component, being a negative regulator of heat shock-responsive genes.
    PROTEOMICS 03/2006; 6(3):845-64. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Slow progress has been made in discovering plant genes governing the interaction of plant pathogens and their hosts using classical genetic approaches. Extensive studies employing DNA microarray techniques to identify global changes in gene expression during pathogen-host interaction have greatly enhanced discovery of genetic components regulating the plant defence response to pathogen attack. In this study, a complementary approach was used to identify changes in protein abundance during interaction of Arabidopsis cell cultures with a pathogen-derived elicitor. The soluble protein fractions were analysed by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis and proteins differentially expressed in response to treatment with fungal elicitor were identified via matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. Elicitor responsive proteins included molecular chaperones, oxidative stress defence proteins, mitochondrial proteins, and enzymes of a diverse number of metabolic pathways. The findings, in combination with currently available microarray data, will form the basis of a filter to identify pivotal genes whose role in pathogen defence systems will require confirmation using gene knockout mutants.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2006; 57(7):1553-62. · 5.79 Impact Factor
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    Iwane Suzuki, William J Simon, Antoni R Slabas
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    ABSTRACT: When cells of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are exposed to high temperature they perceive changes in the growth conditions and regulate the expression of genes and synthesize heat-inducible proteins as a response to the heat stress. DNA microarray analysis revealed that genes for chaperonins and proteases, such as groESL1, groEL2, htpG, hspA, and clpB1 were transiently induced after incubation of the cells at 44 degrees C for 20 min. Quantitative two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed that the levels of these chaperonins and proteases were elevated after incubation of cells at 44 degrees C for 60 min. These findings indicated that levels of the mRNAs and proteins of chaperonins were well correlated in the cells of Synechocystis. However, the level of elongation factors are mainly regulated at the protein level. These results indicated that acclimation to the heat-shock conditions might be governed by transcriptional and translational regulation in Synechocystis.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2006; 57(7):1573-8. · 5.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extracellular matrix is a vital compartment in plants with a prominent role in defence against pathogen attack. Using a maize cell suspension culture system and pathogen elicitors, responses to pathogen attack that are localised to the extracellular matrix were examined by a proteomic approach. Elicitor treatment of cell cultures induced a rapid change in the phosphorylation status of extracellular peroxidases, the apparent disappearance of a putative extracellular beta-N-acetylglucosamonidase, and accumulation of a secreted putative xylanase inhibitor protein. Onset of the defence response was attended by an accumulation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and a fragment of a putative heat shock protein. Several distinct spots of both proteins, which preferentially accumulated in cell wall protein fractions, were identified. These three novel observations, viz. (i) secretion of a new class of putative enzyme inhibitor, (ii) the apparent recruitment of classical cytosolic proteins into the cell wall and (ii) the change in phosphorylation status of extracellular matrix proteins, suggest that the extracellular matrix plays a complex role in defence. We discuss the role of the extracellular matrix in signal modulation during pathogen-induced defence responses.
    PROTEOMICS 01/2006; 5(18):4894-904. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana cell suspension cultures have been used to investigate the effects of salinity and hyperosmotic stress on plant cellular proteins. We show that 200 mM NaCl and 400 mM sorbitol treatments induce extracellular medium acidification in Arabidopsis cell cultures, a typical response of plant cells to salt and hyperosmotic stress. Using (35)S-labelled amino acids, we demonstrated that NaCl causes a transient suppression of de novo protein synthesis, from which the cells recover within 4 h. Changes in the abundance of cellular proteins 6 h post NaCl and sorbitol treatments were analysed by 2-DE. Of a total of 2,949 protein spots detected on the gels, 266 showed significant changes in abundance across five independent experiments. Using MALDI-TOF MS, we identified 75 salt and sorbitol responsive spots. These fall into 10 functional categories that include H(+) transporting ATPases, signal transduction related proteins, transcription/translation related proteins, detoxifying enzymes, amino acid and purine biosynthesis related proteins, proteolytic enzymes, heat-shock proteins, carbohydrate metabolism-associated proteins and proteins with no known biological functions.
    PROTEOMICS 12/2005; 5(16):4185-96. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ATP is a vital molecule used by living organisms as a universal source of energy required to drive the cogwheels of intracellular biochemical reactions necessary for growth and development. Animal cells release ATP to the extracellular milieu, where it functions as the primary signaling cue at the epicenter of a diverse range of physiological processes. Although recent findings revealed that intact plant tissues release ATP as well, there is no clearly defined physiological function of extracellular ATP in plants. Here, we show that extracellular ATP is essential for maintaining plant cell viability. Its removal by the cell-impermeant traps glucose-hexokinase and apyrase triggered death in both cell cultures and whole plants. Competitive exclusion of extracellular ATP from its binding sites by treatment with beta,gamma-methyleneadenosine 5'-triphosphate, a nonhydrolyzable analog of ATP, also resulted in death. The death response was observed in Arabidopsis thaliana, maize (Zea mays), bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Significantly, we discovered that fumonisin B1 (FB1) treatment of Arabidopsis triggered the depletion of extracellular ATP that preceded cell death and that exogenous ATP rescues Arabidopsis from FB1-induced death. These observations suggest that extracellular ATP suppresses a default death pathway in plants and that some forms of pathogen-induced cell death are mediated by the depletion of extracellular ATP.
    The Plant Cell 12/2005; 17(11):3019-34. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histidine kinases (Hiks) in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are involved in the transduction of signals associated with various kinds of environmental stress. To examine the potential role in thermotolerance of Hiks, we used genome microarray analysis to screen a Hik knockout library for mutations that affected the expression of genes for heat shock proteins. Mutation of the hik34 gene enhanced the levels of transcripts of a number of heat shock genes, including htpG and groESL1. Overexpression of the hik34 gene repressed the expression of these heat shock genes. In addition, the cells with a mutant gene for Hik34 (DeltaHik34 cells) survived incubation at 48 degrees C for 3 h, while wild-type cells and cells with mutations in other Hiks were killed. However, mutation of the hik34 gene had only an insignificant effect on the global expression of genes upon incubation of the mutant cells at 44 degrees C for 20 min. Quantitative two-dimensional gel electrophoresis revealed that levels of GroES and HspA were elevated in DeltaHik34 cells after incubation of cells at 42 degrees C for 60 min. We overexpressed recombinant Hik34 protein in Escherichia coli and purified it. We found that the protein was autophosphorylated in vitro at physiological temperatures, but not at elevated temperatures, such as 44 degrees C. These results suggest that Hik34 might negatively regulate the expression of certain heat shock genes that might be related to thermotolerance in Synechocystis.
    Plant physiology 08/2005; 138(3):1409-21. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The apoplast of plant cells is a dynamic compartment involved in many processes, including maintenance of tissue shape, development, nutrition, signalling, detoxification and defence. In this work we used Nicotiana tabacum plants as a model to investigate changes in the soluble apoplast composition induced in response to salt stress. Apoplastic fluid was extracted from leaves of control plants and plants exposed to salt stress, using a vacuum infiltration procedure. Two-dimension electrophoretic analyses revealed about 150 polypeptide spots in the pH range of 3.0 to 10.0, in independent protein extracts, with a high level of reproducibility between the two sample sets. Quantitative evaluation and statistical analyses of the resolved spots in treated and untreated samples revealed 20 polypeptides whose abundance changed in response to salt stress. Mass spectroscopic peptide separation and sequencing was used to identify polypeptides affected by salt stress. While the levels of some proteins were reduced by salt-treatment, an enhanced accumulation of protein species known to be induced by biotic and abiotic stresses was observed. In particular, two chitinases and a germin-like protein increased significantly and two lipid transfer proteins were expressed entirely de novo. Some apoplastic polypeptides, involved in cell wall modifications during plant development, remained largely unchanged. The significance of these components is discussed in the context of stress responses in plants.
    PROTEOMICS 03/2005; 5(3):737-45. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We initiated a proteomic study as part of a programme aimed at discovering novel functions of the plant cell wall. Cell-wall fragments isolated from cell-suspension cultures of Arabidopsis thaliana were stripped of protein sequentially using CaCl2 and a urea-based buffer. The protein fractions were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and individual proteins were identified by MS. We identified a number of proteins considered to be resident in other organelles but not the cell wall on the basis of their classical biological function. These included citrate synthase, which is known to be targeted to mitochondria, peroxisomes and glyoxysomes, and luminal binding protein, which is an ER (endoplasmic reticulum)-resident protein. Searches of the Arabidopsis database revealed that there are several genes encoding putative citrate synthase and luminal binding protein. We have also performed detailed analyses of the protein sequences and this paper shows how each one contains encrypted targeting information that results in the export of the protein to the extracellular matrix. We discuss the presence of alternative non-classical secretory pathways in plants.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 07/2004; 32(Pt3):524-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
131.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–2011
    • Durham University
      • School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
      Durham, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Newcastle University
      • Northern Institute for Cancer Research
      Newcastle upon Tyne, ENG, United Kingdom
    • The University of Sheffield
      • Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
      Sheffield, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • University of Tsukuba
      Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 2005
    • University of the Western Cape
      • Department of Biotechnology
      Cape Town, Province of the Western Cape, South Africa