Keiichiro Hiratsu

National Defense Academy of Japan, Йокосука, Kanagawa, Japan

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Publications (15)79.88 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The factors maintaining genomic integrity, which have been studied in detail in other species, have yet to be investigated in plants. Recent progress in gene-silencing technology has made it possible to produce transgenic plants with loss-of-function phenotypes for the effective analysis of these factors, even with the high redundancy of genes in plants. Therefore, a mutation-detection system for plants is necessary to estimate the biological function of a target gene for mutation frequencies and spectra. Here, we reported the development of a novel system to analyze mutations in the chromosomal DNA of plants. The supF gene of E. coli was used as a target for the mutation because it was possible to detect all mutational base changes. Based on the plasmid pTN30, which carries supF, we constructed a binary Ti vector for its introduction to Arabidopsis genomes. The system was validated by measuring mutations in both non-treated and mutagen-treated transgenic plants. DNA fragments including pTN30 were rescued from the plants, and introduced into E. coli KS40/pOF105 to isolate the supF mutant clones conferring both nalidixic acid and streptomycin resistance on transformants. We found that the mutation frequency was approximately three times higher with the ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) treatment than without it and G:C to A:T transitions dominated, which was the most reasonable mutation induced by EMS. These results show that this system allowed for the rapid analysis of mutations in plants, and may be useful for analyzing plant genes related to the functions of genomic stability and monitoring environmental genotoxic substances.
    MGG Molecular & General Genetics 10/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We generated transgenic rice plants overexpressing OsHAP3E which encodes a subunit of a CCAAT-motif binding HAP complex. The OsHAP3E-overexpressing plants showed various abnormal morphologies both in their vegetative and reproductive phases. The OsHAP3E-overexpressing plants were dwarf with erected leaves and similar to brassinosteroid mutants in the vegetative phase. In the reproductive phase, dense panicle was developed, and occasionally successive generation of lateral rachises and formation of double flowers were observed. These phenotypes indicate association of OsHAP3E with determination of floral meristem identity. On the other hand, repression of OsHAP3E by RNAi or by overexpressing chimeric repressor fusion constructs brought about lethality to transformed cells, and almost no transformant was obtained. This suggests that the OsHAP3E function is essential for rice cells. Altogether, our loss-of-function and gain-of-function analyses suggest that OsHAP3E plays important pleiotropic roles in vegetative and reproductive development or basic cellular processes in rice.
    Plant Science 08/2011; 181(2):105-10. · 2.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many multicellular organisms have remarkable capability to regenerate new organs after wounding. As a first step of organ regeneration, adult somatic cells often dedifferentiate to reacquire cell proliferation potential, but mechanisms underlying this process remain unknown in plants. Here we show that an AP2/ERF transcription factor, WOUND INDUCED DEDIFFERENTIATION 1 (WIND1), is involved in the control of cell dedifferentiation in Arabidopsis. WIND1 is rapidly induced at the wound site, and it promotes cell dedifferentiation and subsequent cell proliferation to form a mass of pluripotent cells termed callus. We further demonstrate that ectopic overexpression of WIND1 is sufficient to establish and maintain the dedifferentiated status of somatic cells without exogenous auxin and cytokinin, two plant hormones that are normally required for cell dedifferentiation. In vivo imaging of a synthetic cytokinin reporter reveals that wounding upregulates the B-type ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR (ARR)-mediated cytokinin response and that WIND1 acts via the ARR-dependent signaling pathway to promote cell dedifferentiation. This study provides novel molecular insights into how plants control cell dedifferentiation in response to wounding.
    Current biology: CB 03/2011; 21(6):508-14. · 10.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gain of function approaches that have been published by our laboratory determined that HSFA9 (Heat Shock Factor A9) activates a genetic program contributing to seed longevity and to desiccation tolerance in plant embryos. We now evaluate the role(s) of HSFA9 by loss of function using different modified forms of HaHSFA9 (sunflower HSFA9), which were specifically overexpressed in seeds of transgenic tobacco. We used two inactive forms (M1, M2) with deletion or mutation of the transcription activation domain of HaHSFA9, and a third form (M3) with HaHSFA9 converted to a potent active repressor by fusion of the SRDX motif. The three forms showed similar protein accumulation in transgenic seeds; however, only HaHSFA9-SRDX showed a highly significant reduction of seed longevity, as determined by controlled deterioration tests, a rapid seed ageing procedure. HaHSFA9-SRDX impaired the genetic program controlled by the tobacco HSFA9, with a drastic reduction in the accumulation of seed heat shock proteins (HSPs) including seed-specific small HSP (sHSP) belonging to cytosolic (CI, CII) classes. Despite such effects, the HaHSFA9-SRDX seeds could survive developmental desiccation during embryogenesis and their subsequent germination was not reduced. We infer that the HSFA9 genetic program contributes only partially to seed-desiccation tolerance and longevity.
    Plant Cell and Environment 04/2010; 33(8):1408-17. · 5.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The establishment and maintenance of auxin maxima in vascular plants is regulated by auxin biosynthesis and polar intercellular auxin flow. The disruption of normal auxin biosynthesis in mouse-ear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) leads to severe abnormalities, suggesting that spatiotemporal regulation of auxin biosynthesis is fundamental for normal growth and development. We have shown previously that the induction of the SHORT-INTERNODES/STYLISH (SHI/STY) family member STY1 results in increased transcript levels of the YUCCA (YUC) family member YUC4 and also higher auxin levels and auxin biosynthesis rates in Arabidopsis seedlings. We have also shown previously that SHI/STY family members redundantly affect development of flowers and leaves. Here, we further examine the function of STY1 by analyzing its DNA and protein binding properties. Our results suggest that STY1, and most likely other SHI/STY members, are DNA binding transcriptional activators that target genes encoding proteins mediating auxin biosynthesis. This suggests that the SHI/STY family members are essential regulators of auxin-mediated leaf and flower development. Furthermore, the lack of a shoot apical meristem in seedlings carrying a fusion construct between STY1 and a repressor domain, SRDX, suggests that STY1, and other SHI/STY members, has a role in the formation and/or maintenance of the shoot apical meristem, possibly by regulating auxin levels in the embryo.
    The Plant Cell 02/2010; 22(2):349-63. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    Plant Biotechnology 03/2008; 25:45-53. · 0.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Male and female sterile plants are particularly useful for the effective production of commercial hybrid plants and for preventing the diffusion of seeds or pollen grains of genetically modified plants in the open field. In an attempt to create several types of sterile plant by genetic manipulation, we applied our Chimeric REpressor Gene-Silencing Technology (CRES-T) to four transcription factors, namely APETALA3, AGAMOUS, LEAFY and AtMYB26, involved in the regulation of petal and stamen identity, stamen and carpel identity, floral meristem identity and anther dehiscence, respectively, in Arabidopsis. Transgenic plants expressing each chimeric repressor exhibited, at high frequency, a sterile phenotype that resembled the loss-of-function phenotype of each corresponding gene. Furthermore, in the monocotyledonous crop plant 'rice', expression of the chimeric repressor derived from SUPERWOMAN1, the rice orthologue of APETALA3, resulted in the male sterile phenotype with high efficiency. Our results indicate that CRES-T provides a powerful tool for controlling the fertility of both monocots and dicots by exploiting transcription factors that are strongly conserved amongst plants.
    Plant Biotechnology Journal 06/2006; 4(3):325-32. · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ABSCISIC ACID-RESPONSIVE ELEMENT BINDING PROTEIN1 (AREB1) (i.e., ABF2) is a basic domain/leucine zipper transcription factor that binds to the abscisic acid (ABA)-responsive element (ABRE) motif in the promoter region of ABA-inducible genes. Here, we show that expression of the intact AREB1 gene on its own is insufficient to lead to expression of downstream genes under normal growth conditions. To overcome the masked transactivation activity of AREB1, we created an activated form of AREB1 (AREB1DeltaQT). AREB1DeltaQT-overexpressing plants showed ABA hypersensitivity and enhanced drought tolerance, and eight genes with two or more ABRE motifs in the promoter regions in two groups were greatly upregulated: late embryogenesis abundant class genes and ABA- and drought stress-inducible regulatory genes. By contrast, an areb1 null mutant and a dominant loss-of-function mutant of AREB1 (AREB1:RD) with a repression domain exhibited ABA insensitivity. Furthermore, AREB1:RD plants displayed reduced survival under dehydration, and three of the eight greatly upregulated genes were downregulated, including genes for linker histone H1 and AAA ATPase, which govern gene expression and multiple cellular activities through protein folding, respectively. Thus, these data suggest that AREB1 regulates novel ABRE-dependent ABA signaling that enhances drought tolerance in vegetative tissues.
    The Plant Cell 01/2006; 17(12):3470-88. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BIOCHEM BIOPHYS RES COMMUN. 01/2006; 347(2):540-540.
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that a chimeric repressor, in which a transcription factor was fused to the EAR motif repression domain, acted as a dominant repressor and suppressed the expression of target genes, such that resultant phenotypes were similar to those associated with loss-of-function alleles. We report here that expression of the chimeric AtMYB23 repressor induced a variety of morphological changes, namely the ectopic formation of root hairs, a short primary root, elongation of leaves and of inflorescence stems, and absence of the accumulation of mucilage on seed coats, in addition to disruption of the development of trichomes. The short primary root and the elongation of leaves and stems appeared to be due to the reduced and enhanced lengthwise expansion, respectively, of epidermal cells. Expression of the GL2 gene, which is involved in the formation of root hairs and the accumulation of mucilage, was suppressed in both the roots and siliques of the transgenic plants. In contrast, the expression of genes related to cell elongation, such as DWF1, SAUR, AQP, AGP15, DET3 and XET-1, was enhanced in leaves of the transgenic plants. Results suggest that the AtMYB23 transcription factor has the molecular function of regulating the development of epidermal cells not only in leaves but also in stems, roots and seeds. We describe that this type of chimeric repressor can be exploited as a useful tool for the functional analysis of redundant transcription factors.
    Plant and Cell Physiology 02/2005; 46(1):147-55. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana RD26 cDNA, isolated from dehydrated plants, encodes a NAC protein. Expression of the RD26 gene was induced not only by drought but also by abscisic acid (ABA) and high salinity. The RD26 protein is localized in the nucleus and its C terminal has transcriptional activity. Transgenic plants overexpressing RD26 were highly sensitive to ABA, while RD26-repressed plants were insensitive. The results of microarray analysis showed that ABA- and stress-inducible genes are upregulated in the RD26-overexpressed plants and repressed in the RD26-repressed plants. Furthermore, RD26 activated a promoter of its target gene in Arabidopsis protoplasts. These results indicate that RD26 functions as a transcriptional activator in ABA-inducible gene expression under abiotic stress in plants.
    The Plant Journal 10/2004; 39(6):863-76. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that the carboxy-terminal 30 amino acids of SUPERMAN (SUPRD) function as a repression domain in Arabidopsis. In this study, we identified the peptide sequences in SUPRD that is both necessary and sufficient for repression of transcription. To our surprise, the hexapeptide DLELRL was sufficient, by itself, to confer the ability to repress transcription on a DNA-binding domain. A database search revealed that there are 32 TFIIIA-type zinc finger proteins in the Arabidopsis genome that contain a hexapeptide sequence similar or identical to that of DLELRL. These peptides acted as repression domains, suggesting that these zinc finger proteins might function as active repressors. Further mutational analysis within DLELRL revealed that an amphiphilic motif composed of six amino acids (XLxLXL) with preferences at the first and fifth positions is necessary and sufficient for strong repression. An assay of positional effects suggested that GAL4DB-DLELRL might function as a short-range repressor. A possible mechanism of the DLELRL-mediated repression is discussed.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 09/2004; 321(1):172-8. · 2.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The redundancy of genes for plant transcription factors often interferes with efforts to identify the biologic functions of such factors. We show here that four different transcription factors fused to the EAR motif, a repression domain of only 12 amino acids, act as dominant repressors in transgenic Arabidopsis and suppress the expression of specific target genes, even in the presence of the redundant transcription factors, with resultant dominant loss-of-function phenotypes. Chimeric EIN3, CUC1, PAP1, and AtMYB23 repressors that included the EAR motif dominantly suppressed the expression of their target genes and caused insensitivity to ethylene, cup-shaped cotyledons, reduction in the accumulation of anthocyanin, and absence of trichomes, respectively. This chimeric repressor silencing technology (CRES-T), exploiting the EAR-motif repression domain, is simple and effective and can overcome genetic redundancy. Thus, it should be useful not only for the rapid analysis of the functions of redundant plant transcription factors but also for the manipulation of plant traits via the suppression of gene expression that is regulated by specific transcription factors.
    The Plant Journal 07/2003; 34(5):733-9. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SUPERMAN was identified as a putative regulator of transcription that acts in floral development, but its function remains to be clarified. We demonstrate here that SUPERMAN is an active repressor whose repression domain is located in the carboxy-terminal region. Ectopic expression of SUPERMAN that lacked the repression domain resulted in a phenotype similar to that of superman mutants, demonstrating that the repression activity of SUPERMAN is essential for the development of normal flowers. Constitutive expression of SUPERMAN resulted in a severe dwarfism but did not affect cell size, indicating that SUPERMAN might regulate genes that are involved in cell division.
    FEBS Letters 04/2002; 514(2-3):351-4. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reported previously that three ERF transcription factors, tobacco ERF3 (NtERF3) and Arabidopsis AtERF3 and AtERF4, which are categorized as class II ERFs, are active repressors of transcription. To clarify the roles of these repressors in transcriptional regulation in plants, we attempted to identify the functional domains of the ERF repressor that mediates the repression of transcription. Analysis of the results of a series of deletions revealed that the C-terminal 35 amino acids of NtERF3 are sufficient to confer the capacity for repression of transcription on a heterologous DNA binding domain. This repression domain suppressed the intermolecular activities of other transcriptional activators. In addition, fusion of this repression domain to the VP16 activation domain completely inhibited the transactivation function of VP16. Comparison of amino acid sequences of class II ERF repressors revealed the conservation of the sequence motif (L)/(F)DLN(L)/(F)(x)P. This motif was essential for repression because mutations within the motif eliminated the capacity for repression. We designated this motif the ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif, and we identified this motif in a number of zinc-finger proteins from wheat, Arabidopsis, and petunia plants. These zinc finger proteins functioned as repressors, and their repression domains were identified as regions that contained an EAR motif.
    The Plant Cell 09/2001; 13(8):1959-68. · 9.25 Impact Factor