Klaus-Dieter Scharf

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany

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Publications (26)128.94 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Heat shock proteins (Hsps) are molecular chaperones primarily involved in maintenance of protein homeostasis. Their function has been best characterized in heat stress (HS) response during which Hsps are transcriptionally controlled by heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs). The role of Hsfs and Hsps in HS-response in tomato was initially examined by transcriptome analysis using the Massive Analysis of cDNA Ends (MACE) method. Approximately 9.6% of all genes expressed in leaves are enhanced in response to HS, including a subset of Hsfs and Hsps. The underlying Hsp-Hsf networks with potential functions in stress responses or developmental processes were further explored by meta-analysis of existing microarray datasets. We identified clusters with differential transcript profiles with respect to abiotic stresses, plant organs and developmental stages. The composition of two clusters points toward two major chaperone networks. One cluster consisted of constitutively expressed plastidial chaperones and other genes involved in chloroplast protein homeostasis. The second cluster represents genes strongly induced by heat, drought and salinity stress, including HsfA2 and many stress-inducible chaperones, but also potential targets of HsfA2 not related to protein homeostasis. This observation attributes a central regulatory role to HsfA2 in controlling different aspects of abiotic stress response and tolerance in tomato.
    Plant Cell and Environment 08/2014; · 5.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell survival under high temperature conditions involves the activation of heat stress response (HSR), which in principle is highly conserved among different organisms, but shows remarkable complexity and unique features in plant systems. The transcriptional reprogramming at higher temperatures is controlled by the activity of the heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs). Hsfs allow the transcriptional activation of HSR genes, among which heat stress proteins (Hsps) are best characterized. Hsps belong to multigene families encoding for molecular chaperones involved in various processes including maintenance of protein homeostasis as a requisite for optimal development and survival under stress conditions. Hsfs form complex networks to activate downstream responses, but are concomitantly subjected to cell-type dependent feedback regulation through factor-specific physical and functional interactions with chaperones belonging to Hsp90, Hsp70 and small Hsp families. There is increasing evidence that the originally assumed specialized function of Hsf/chaperone networks in the HSR turns out to be a complex central stress response system which is involved in the regulation of a broad variety of other stress responses and may also have substantial impact on various developmental processes. Understanding in detail the function of such regulatory networks is prerequisite for sustained improvement of thermotolerance in important agricultural crops.
    Plant Cell and Environment 07/2014; · 5.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell survival under high temperature conditions involves the activation of heat stress response (HSR), which in principle is highly conserved among different organisms, but shows remarkable complexity and unique features in plant systems. The transcriptional reprogramming at higher temperatures is controlled by the activity of the heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs). Hsfs allow the transcriptional activation of HSR genes, among which heat stress proteins (Hsps) are best characterized. Hsps belong to multigene families encoding for molecular chaperones involved in various processes including maintenance of protein homeostasis as a requisite for optimal development and survival under stress conditions. Hsfs form complex networks to activate downstream responses, but are concomitantly subjected to cell-type dependent feedback regulation through factor-specific physical and functional interactions with chaperones belonging to Hsp90, Hsp70 and small Hsp families. There is increasing evidence that the originally assumed specialized function of Hsf/chaperone networks in the HSR turns out to be a complex central stress response system which is involved in the regulation of a broad variety of other stress responses and may also have substantial impact on various developmental processes. Understanding in detail the function of such regulatory networks is prerequisite for sustained improvement of thermotolerance in important agricultural crops.
    Plant Cell and Environment 07/2014; · 5.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vesicle transport is a central process to ensure protein and lipid distribution in eukaryotic cells. The current knowledge on the molecular components and mechanisms of this process is majorly based on studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana, which revealed 240 different proteinaceous factors either experimentally proven or predicted to be involved in vesicle transport. In here, we performed an orthologue search using two different algorithms to identify the components of the secretory pathway in yeast and 14 plant genomes by using the 'core-set' of 240 factors as bait. We identified 4021 orthologues and (co-)orthologues in the discussed plant species accounting for components of COP-II, COP-I, Clathrin Coated Vesicles, Retromers and ESCRTs, Rab GTPases, Tethering factors and SNAREs. In plants, we observed a significantly higher number of (co-)orthologues than yeast, while only 8 tethering factors from yeast seem to be absent in the analyzed plant genomes. To link the identified (co-)orthologues to vesicle transport, the domain architecture of the proteins from yeast, genetic model plant A. thaliana and agriculturally relevant crop Solanum lycopersicum has been inspected. For the orthologous groups containing (co-)orthologues from yeast, A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum, we observed the same domain architecture for 79% (416/527) of the (co-)orthologues, which documents a very high conservation of this process. Further, publically available tissue-specific expression profiles for a subset of (co-)orthologues found in A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum suggest that some (co-)orthologues are involved in tissue-specific functions. Inspection of localization of the (co-)orthologues based on available proteome data or localization predictions lead to the assignment of plastid- as well as mitochondrial localized (co-)orthologues of vesicle transport factors and the relevance of this is discussed.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(5):e97745. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: tRNA nucleotidyltransferases are required for the maturation or repair of tRNAs by ensuring that they have an intact cytidine-cytidine-adenosine sequence at their 3'-termini. Therefore, this enzymatic activity is found in all cellular compartments, namely the nucleus, cytoplasm, plastids and mitochondria, in which tRNA synthesis or translation occurs. A single gene codes for tRNA nucleotidyltransferase in plants, suggesting a complex targeting mechanism. Consistent with this, distinct signals have been proposed for plastidic, mitochondrial and nuclear targeting. Our previous research has shown that in addition to amino-terminal targeting information, the mature domain of the protein itself modifies targeting to mitochondria and plastids. This suggests the existence of an as yet unknown determinate for the distribution of dual-targeted proteins between these two organelles. Here, we explore the enzymatic and physicochemical properties of tRNA nucleotidyltransferase variants to correlate the properties of the enzyme with the intracellular distribution of the protein. We show that alteration of tRNA-NT stability influences its intracellular distribution due to variations in organelle import capacities. Hence, the fate of the protein is determined not only by the transit peptide sequence but also by the physicochemical properties of the mature protein.
    Biochemical Journal 05/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Protein translocation across membranes is a central process in all cells. In the past decades the molecular composition of the translocation systems in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts have been established based on the analysis of model organisms. Today, these results have to be transferred to other plant species. We bioinformatically determined the inventory of putative translocation factors in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) by orthologue search and domain architecture analyses. In addition, we investigated the diversity of such systems by comparing our findings to the model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana and 12 other plant species. RESULTS: The literature search end up in a total of 130 translocation components in yeast and A. thaliana, which are either experimentally confirmed or homologous to experimentally confirmed factors. From our bioinformatic analysis (PGAP and OrthoMCL), we identified (co-)orthologues in plants, which in combination yielded 148 and 143 orthologues in A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum, respectively. Interestingly, we traced 82% overlap in findings from both approaches though we did not find any orthologues for 27% of the factors by either procedure. In turn, 29% of the factors displayed the presence of more than one co-orthologue in tomato. Moreover, our analysis revealed that the genomic composition of the translocation machineries in the bryophyte Physcomitrella patens resemble more to higher plants than to single celled green algae. The monocots (Z. mays and O. sativa) follow more or less a similar conservation pattern for encoding the translocon components. In contrast, a diverse pattern was observed in the different eudicots. CONCLUSIONS: The orthologue search shows in most cases a clear conservation of components of the translocation pathways/machineries. Only the Get-dependent integration of tail-anchored proteins seems to be distinct. Further, the complexity of the translocation pathway in terms of existing orthologues seems to vary among plant species. This might be the consequence of palaeoploidisation during evolution in plants; lineage specific whole genome duplications in Arabidopsis thaliana and triplications in Solanum lycopersicum.
    BMC Genomics 03/2013; 14:189. · 4.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ten years after the first overview of a complete plant Hsf family was presented for Arabidopsis thaliana by Nover et al. [1], we compiled data for 252 Hsfs from nine plant species (five eudicots and four monocots) with complete or almost complete genome sequences. The new data set provides interesting insights into phylogenetic relationships within the Hsf family in plants and allows the refinement of their classification into distinct groups. Numerous publications over the last decade document the diversification and functional interaction of Hsfs as well as their integration into the complex stress signaling and response networks of plants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Plant gene regulation in response to abiotic stress.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 02/2012; 1819(2):104-19. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) regulate gene expression in response to environmental stress. The Hsf network in plants is controlled at the transcriptional level by cooperation of distinct Hsf members and by interaction with chaperones. We found two general mechanisms of Hsf regulation by chaperones while analyzing the three major Hsfs, A1, A2, and B1, in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). First, Hsp70 and Hsp90 regulate Hsf function by direct interactions. Hsp70 represses the activity of HsfA1, including its DNA binding, and the coactivator function of HsfB1 in the complex with HsfA2, while the DNA binding activity of HsfB1 is stimulated by Hsp90. Second, Hsp90 affects the abundance of HsfA2 and HsfB1 by modulating hsfA2 transcript degradation involved in regulation of the timing of HsfA2 synthesis. By contrast, HsfB1 binding to Hsp90 and to DNA are prerequisites for targeting this Hsf for proteasomal degradation, which also depends on a sequence element in its carboxyl-terminal domain. Thus, HsfB1 represents an Hsp90 client protein that, by interacting with the chaperone, is targeted for, rather than protected from, degradation. Based on these findings, we propose a versatile regulatory regime involving Hsp90, Hsp70, and the three Hsfs in the control of heat stress response.
    The Plant Cell 02/2011; 23(2):741-55. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high sensitivity of male reproductive cells to high temperatures may be due to an inadequate heat stress response. The results of a comprehensive expression analysis of HsfA2 and Hsp17-CII, two important members of the heat stress system, in the developing anthers of a heat-tolerant tomato genotype are reported here. A transcriptional analysis at different developmental anther/pollen stages was performed using semi-quantitative and real-time PCR. The messengers were localized using in situ RNA hybridization, and protein accumulation was monitored using immunoblot analysis. Based on the analysis of the gene and protein expression profiles, HsfA2 and Hsp17-CII are finely regulated during anther development and are further induced under both short and prolonged heat stress conditions. These data suggest that HsfA2 may be directly involved in the activation of protection mechanisms in the tomato anther during heat stress and, thereby, may contribute to tomato fruit set under adverse temperatures.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 10/2009; 61(2):453-62. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In plants, a family of more than 20 heat stress transcription factors (Hsf) controls the expression of heat stress (hs) genes. There is increasing evidence for the functional diversification between individual members of the Hsf family fulfilling distinct roles in response to various environmental stress conditions and developmental signals. In response to hs, accumulation of both heat stress proteins (Hsp) and Hsfs is induced. In tomato, the physical interaction between the constitutively expressed HsfA1 and the hs-inducible HsfA2 results in synergistic transcriptional activation (superactivation) of hs gene expression. Here, we show that the interaction is strikingly specific and not observed with other class A Hsfs. Hetero-oligomerization of the two-component Hsfs is preferred to homo-oligomerization, and each Hsf in the HsfA1/HsfA2 hetero-oligomeric complex has its characteristic contribution to its function as superactivator. Distinct regions of the oligomerization domain are responsible for specific homo- and hetero-oligomeric interactions leading to the formation of hexameric complexes. The results are summarized in a model of assembly and function of HsfA1/A2 superactivator complexes in hs gene regulation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2009; 284(31):20848-57. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Joanna Tripp, Shravan Kumar Mishra, Klaus-Dieter Scharf
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    ABSTRACT: The heat stress response is universal to all organisms. Upon elevated temperatures, heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) are activated to up-regulate the expression of molecular chaperones to protect cells against heat damages. In higher plants, the phenomenon is unusually complex both at the level of Hsfs and heat stress proteins (Hsps). Over-expression of both Hsfs and Hsps and the use of RNA interference for gene knock-down in a transient system in tomato protoplasts allowed us to dissect the in vivo chaperone functions of essential components of thermotolerance, such as the cytoplasmic sHsp, Hsp70 and Hsp100 chaperone families, and the regulation of their expression. The results point to specific functions of the different components in protection from protein denaturation and in refolding of denatured proteins.
    Plant Cell and Environment 03/2009; 32(2):123-33. · 5.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The small heat shock proteins (sHsps), which are ubiquitous stress proteins proposed to act as chaperones, are encoded by an unusually complex gene family in plants. Plant sHsps are classified into different subfamilies according to amino acid sequence similarity and localization to distinct subcellular compartments. In the whole Arabidopsis thaliana genome, 19 genes were annotated to encode sHsps, of which 14 belong to previously defined plant sHsp families. In this paper, we report studies of the five additional sHsp genes in A. thaliana, which can now be shown to represent evolutionarily distinct sHsp subfamilies also found in other plant species. While two of these five sHsps show expression patterns typical of the other 14 genes, three have unusual tissue specific and developmental profiles and do not respond to heat induction. Analysis of intracellular targeting indicates that one sHsp represents a new class of mitochondrion-targeted sHsps, while the others are cytosolic/nuclear, some of which may cooperate with other sHsps in formation of heat stress granules. Three of the five new proteins were purified and tested for chaperone activity in vitro. Altogether, these studies complete our basic understanding of the sHsp chaperone family in plants.
    Cell Stress and Chaperones 04/2008; 13(2):183-97. · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • Pascal von Koskull-Döring, Klaus-Dieter Scharf, Lutz Nover
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    ABSTRACT: Compared with other eukaryotes with one to three heat stress transcription factors (Hsf), the plant Hsf family shows a striking multiplicity, with more than 20 members. Despite many conserved features, members of the Hsf family show a strong diversification of expression pattern and function within the family. Research on Arabidopsis Hsfs opened a new era with genome-wide transcriptome profiling in combination with the availability of knockout lines. The output from these analyses provides increasing evidence that individual Hsfs have unique functions as part of different signal transduction pathways operating in response to environmental stress and during development.
    Trends in Plant Science 11/2007; 12(10):452-7. · 11.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plants have evolved a variety of responses to elevated temperatures that minimize damage and ensure protection of cellular homeostasis. New information about the structure and function of heat stress proteins and molecular chaperones has become available. At the same time, transcriptome analysis of Arabidopsis has revealed the involvement of factors other than classical heat stress responsive genes in thermotolerance. Recent reports suggest that both plant hormones and reactive oxygen species also contribute to heat stress signaling. Additionally, an increasing number of mutants that have altered thermotolerance have extended our understanding of the complexity of the heat stress response in plants.
    Current Opinion in Plant Biology 07/2007; 10(3):310-6. · 8.46 Impact Factor
  • Sanjeev K Baniwal, Kwan Yu Chan, Klaus-Dieter Scharf, Lutz Nover
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    ABSTRACT: Unlike other eukaryotes, plants possess a complex family of heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) with usually more than 20 members. Among them, Hsfs A4 and A5 form a group distinguished from other Hsfs by structural features of their oligomerization domains and by a number of conserved signature sequences. We show that A4 Hsfs are potent activators of heat stress gene expression, whereas A5 Hsfs act as specific repressors of HsfA4 activity. The oligomerization domain of HsfA5 alone is necessary and sufficient to exert this effect. Due to the high specificity of the oligomerization domains, other class A Hsfs are not affected. Pull-down assay and yeast two-hybrid interaction tests demonstrate that the tendency to form HsfA4/A5 heterooligomers is stronger than the formation of homooligomers. The specificity of interaction between Hsfs A4 and A5 was confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation experiments. The major role of the representatives of the HsfA4/A5 group, which are not involved in the conventional heat stress response, may reside in cell type-specific functions connected with the control of cell death triggered by pathogen infection and/or reactive oxygen species.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2007; 282(6):3605-13. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Compared to the overall multiplicity of more than 20 plant Hsfs, detailed analyses are mainly restricted to tomato and Arabidopsis and to three important representatives of the family (Hsfs A1, A2 and B1). The three Hsfs represent examples of striking functional diversification specialized for the three phases of the heat stress (hs) response (triggering, maintenance and recovery). This is best illustrated for the tomato Hsf system: (i) HsfA1a is the master regulator responsible for hs-induced gene expression including synthesis of HsfA2 and HsfB1. It is indispensible for the development of thermotolerance. (ii) Although functionally equivalent to HsfA1a, HsfA2 is exclusively found after hs induction and represents the dominant Hsf, the "working horse" of the hs response in plants subjected to repeated cycles of hs and recovery in a hot summer period. Tomato HsfA2 is tightly integrated into a network of interacting proteins (HsfA1a, Hsp17-CII, Hsp17-CI) influencing its activity and intracellular distribution. (iii) Because of structural peculiarities, HsfB1 acts as coregulator enhancing the activity of HsfA1a and/or HsfA2. But in addition, it cooperates with yet to be identified other transcription factors in maintaining and/or restoring housekeeping gene expression.
    Journal of Biosciences 01/2005; 29(4):471-87. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HsfA2 is a heat stress (hs)-induced Hsf in peruvian tomato (Lycopersicon peruvianum) and the cultivated form Lycopersicon esculentum. Due to the high activator potential and the continued accumulation during repeated cycles of heat stress and recovery, HsfA2 becomes a dominant Hsf in thermotolerant cells. The formation of heterooligomeric complexes with HsfA1 leads to nuclear retention and enhanced transcriptional activity of HsfA2. This effect seems to represent one part of potential molecular mechanisms involved in its activity control. As shown in this paper, the activity of HsfA2 is also controlled by a network of nucleocytoplasmic small Hsps influencing its solubility, intracellular localization and activator function. By yeast two-hybrid interaction and transient coexpression studies in tobacco (Nicotiana plumbaginifolia) mesophyll protoplasts, we found that tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) Hsp17.4-CII acts as corepressor of HsfA2. Given appropriate conditions, both proteins together formed large cytosolic aggregates which could be solubilized in presence of class CI sHsps. However, independent of the formation of aggregates or of the nucleocytoplasmic distribution of HsfA2, its transcriptional activity was specifically repressed by interaction of Hsp17.4-CII with the C-terminal activator domain. Although not identical in all aspects, the situation with the highly expressed, heat stress-inducible Arabidopsis HsfA2 was found to be principally similar. In corresponding reporter assays its activity was repressed in presence of AtHsp17.7-CII but not of AtHsp17.6-CII or LpHsp17.4-CII.
    Plant physiology 08/2004; 135(3):1457-70. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a new class of plant small heat stress proteins (sHsps) with dominant nuclear localization (Hsp17-CIII). The corresponding proteins in tomato, Arabidopsis, and rice are encoded by unique genes containing a short intron in the beta4-encoding region of the alpha-crystallin domain (ACD). The strong nuclear localization results from a cluster of basic amino acid residues in the loop between beta5 and beta6 of the ACD. Using yeast 2-hybrid tests, analyses of native complexes of the sHsps, and immunofluorescence data, we demonstrate that, in contrast to earlier observations (Kirschner et al 2000), proteins of the sHsp classes CI, CII, and CIII interact with each other, thereby influencing oligomerization state and intracellular localization.
    Cell Stress and Chaperones 02/2003; 8(4):381-94. · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using two well-characterized heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) from tomato (Lycopersicon peruvianum; LpHsfA1 and LpHsfA2), we analyzed the transcriptional activation of the Ha hsp17.6 G1 promoter in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) embryos. In this system, we observed transient promoter activation only with LpHsfA2. In contrast, both factors were able to activate mutant versions of the promoter with improved consensus Hsf-binding sites. Exclusive activation by LpHsfA2 was also observed in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) without other Hsfs and with a minimal Cyc1 promoter fused to the Ha hsp17.6 G1 heat stress cis-element. Furthermore, the same promoter mutations reproduced the loss of activation selectivity, as observed in sunflower embryos. The results of in vitro binding experiments rule out differential DNA binding of the two factors as the explanation for the observed differential activation capacity. We conclude that the specific sequence of this heat stress cis-element is crucial for Hsf promoter selectivity, and that this selectivity could involve preferential transcriptional activation following DNA binding. In sunflower embryos, we also observed synergistic transcriptional activation by co-expression of LpHsfA1 and LpHsfA2. Mutational analyses of the Ha hsp17.6 G1 promoter, combined with in vitro binding assays, suggest that mixed oligomers of the two factors may be involved in promoter activation. We discuss the relevance of our observations for mechanisms of developmental regulation of plant heat stress protein genes.
    Plant physiology 08/2002; 129(3):1207-15. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We generated transgenic tomato plants with altered expression of heat stress transcription factor HsfA1. Plants with 10-fold overexpression of HsfA1 (OE plants) were characterized by a single HsfA1 transgene cassette, whereas plants harboring a tandem inverted repeat of the cassette showed cosuppression (CS plants) by posttranscriptional silencing of the HsfA1 gene connected with formation of small interfering RNAs. Under normal growth conditions, major developmental parameters were similar for wild-type (WT), OE, and CS plants. However, CS plants and fruits were extremely sensitive to elevated temperatures, because heat stress-induced synthesis of chaperones and Hsfs was strongly reduced or lacking. Despite the complexity of the plant Hsf family with at least 17 members in tomato, HsfA1 has a unique function as master regulator for induced thermotolerance. Using transient reporter assays with mesophyll protoplasts from WT tomato, we demonstrated that plasmid-encoded HsfA1 and HsfA2 were well expressed. However, in CS protoplasts the cosuppression phenomenon was faithfully reproduced. Only transformation with HsfA2 expression plasmid led to normal expression of the transcription factor and reporter gene activation, whereas even high amounts of HsfA1 expression plasmids were silenced. Thermotolerance in CS protoplasts was restored by plasmid-borne HsfA2, resulting in expression of chaperones, thermoprotection of firefly luciferase, and assembly of heat stress granules.
    Genes & Development 07/2002; 16(12):1555-67. · 12.44 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
128.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2001–2014
    • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
      • Institute of Molecular Biosciences
      Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
  • 2009
    • Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin
      • Institute of Biochemistry
      Berlin, Land Berlin, Germany
  • 1997
    • University of Florida
      • Department of Microbiology and Cell Science
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 1987
    • Leibniz Institute for Plant Biochemistry
      Halle-on-the-Saale, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany