Harry Van Onckelen

University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (60)221.89 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: When transferred to the plant genome, the rolA gene of Agro- bacterium rhizogenes induces numerous changes in plant phenotype, including prominent leaf wrinkling and dwarfism. Cytological, physiological and molecular studies were carried out on tobacco plants expressing rolA, with the goal of explaining these developmental modifications.
    Acta Botanica Gallica. 04/2013; 140(6):685-691.
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    ABSTRACT: Cell proliferation is the main driving force for plant growth. Although genome sequence analysis revealed a high number of cell cycle genes in plants, little is known about the molecular complexes steering cell division. In a targeted proteomics approach, we mapped the core complex machinery at the heart of the Arabidopsis thaliana cell cycle control. Besides a central regulatory network of core complexes, we distinguished a peripheral network that links the core machinery to up- and downstream pathways. Over 100 new candidate cell cycle proteins were predicted and an in-depth biological interpretation demonstrated the hypothesis-generating power of the interaction data. The data set provided a comprehensive view on heterodimeric cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-cyclin complexes in plants. For the first time, inhibitory proteins of plant-specific B-type CDKs were discovered and the anaphase-promoting complex was characterized and extended. Important conclusions were that mitotic A- and B-type cyclins form complexes with the plant-specific B-type CDKs and not with CDKA;1, and that D-type cyclins and S-phase-specific A-type cyclins seem to be associated exclusively with CDKA;1. Furthermore, we could show that plants have evolved a combinatorial toolkit consisting of at least 92 different CDK-cyclin complex variants, which strongly underscores the functional diversification among the large family of cyclins and reflects the pivotal role of cell cycle regulation in the developmental plasticity of plants.
    Molecular Systems Biology 08/2010; 6:397. · 11.34 Impact Factor
  • Luc Roef, Harry Van Onckelen
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    ABSTRACT: Contrary to the situation in animal systems, plant shape and size are predominantly determined by developmental programs that govern the timely initiation and outgrowth of meristems. In plants, meristematic zones almost exclusively constitute the regions of dividing cells. The role of mitotic cell division in morphogenetic and developmental processes has been the subject of intense debate, but the present view seems to acknowledge the importance of proper cell division regulation for the correct elaboration and execution of developmental programs (29)
    12/2009: pages 241-261;
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    Proteomics 03/2009; 9(5):1416. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase (ecto-NPPase; EC 3.6.1.9) on the ATP- and ADP-mediated receptor activation was studied in rat C6 glioma cells. The P2-purinoceptor antagonists pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2′,4′-disulphonic acid (PPADS) and reactive blue (RB2) are potent inhibitors (IC50=12±3 μM) of the latter enzyme. 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′ disulfonic acid (DIDS), 5′-phosphoadenosine 3′-phosphate (PAP) and suramin were less potent inhibitors with an IC50 of 22±4, 36±7 and 72±11 μM respectively.P1-purinoceptor antagonists CGS 15943, cyclo-pentyl theophylline (CTP) and theophylline did not affect the activity of the ecto-NPPase.ATP- and ADP-mediated P2Y1-like receptor activation inhibited the (−)-isoproterenol-induced increase of intracellular cyclic AMP concentration. PPADS, an ineffective P2Y-antagonist in C6, potentiated the ATP and ADP effect approximately 3 fold due to inhibition of nucleotide hydrolysis by the ecto-NPPase.We conclude that ecto-NPPase has a modulatory effect on purinoceptor-mediated signalling in C6 glioma cell cultures.British Journal of Pharmacology (2000) 130, 139–145; doi:10.1038/sj.bjp.0703289
    British Journal of Pharmacology 01/2009; 130(1):139 - 145. · 5.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase gene 1 (AT-ACS1) was found to be developmentally regulated with pronounced activity in immature tissues. The effect of different hormones on this expression pattern was studied by using a transgenic line carrying the β-glucuronidase (GUS) gene under control of the AT-ACS1 promoter. In addition, the level of mRNA for AT-ACS1 was assayed in different ethylene and auxin-insensitive backgrounds, as well as in an auxin homeostasis mutant by using competitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results support the existence of a hormonal cross-talk involving auxin, cytokinin, and ethylene in the regulation of AT-ACS1. These hormonal controls act in a developmental and tissue-dependent manner.
    Physiologia Plantarum 09/2008; 105(2):312 - 320. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    Phytochemistry 01/2008; 69(10):2095-2095. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Defining protein complexes is critical to virtually all aspects of cell biology because many cellular processes are regulated by stable protein complexes, and their identification often provides insights into their function. We describe the development and application of a high throughput tandem affinity purification/mass spectrometry platform for cell suspension cultures to analyze cell cycle-related protein complexes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Elucidation of this protein-protein interaction network is essential to fully understand the functional differences between the highly redundant cyclin-dependent kinase/cyclin modules, which are generally accepted to play a central role in cell cycle control, in all eukaryotes. Cell suspension cultures were chosen because they provide an unlimited supply of protein extracts of actively dividing and undifferentiated cells, which is crucial for a systematic study of the cell cycle interactome in the absence of plant development. Here we report the mapping of a protein interaction network around six known core cell cycle proteins by an integrated approach comprising generic Gateway-based vectors with high cloning flexibility, the fast generation of transgenic suspension cultures, tandem affinity purification adapted for plant cells, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem mass spectrometry, data analysis, and functional assays. We identified 28 new molecular associations and confirmed 14 previously described interactions. This systemic approach provides new insights into the basic cell cycle control mechanisms and is generally applicable to other pathways in plants.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 07/2007; 6(7):1226-38. · 7.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction of the Agrobacterium ipt gene, coding for isopentenyl transferase, under control of a tetracycline (Tc)-inducible promoter results in a very specific system in which cytokinin levels can be changed. Because Tc belongs to the group of antibiotics that affect 70S ribosomes, it is important to study the effects of Tc on untransformed plants. Although 1 mg l−1 Tc was previously reported to have no physiological effects, this study revealed several changes in hydroponically grown wild-type Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Wisconsin. Therefore, lower Tc concentrations (0.1 and 0.2 mg l−1 Tc) were used to induce ipt-transgenic (tr) plants. Upon induction, real-time PCR analysis showed that the ipt gene was expressed several times higher in roots of tr plants, but not in leaves. Consequently, cytokinin levels were also elevated to a large extent in roots. This resulted in a disturbance of the cytokinin to auxin ratio, leading to an obstructed root growth. In leaves, no significant increase in cytokinins was observed. However, phenotypic and physiological effects, which could be attributed to cytokinin, were apparent in leaves of ipt-induced trs: chlorophyll and carotenoid content were elevated and grana stacking increased. Our study demonstrates that caution has to be taken to determine the ‘safe’ concentration of inducers when using inducible gene-expression systems.
    Physiologia Plantarum 05/2007; 130(2):290 - 300. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Banana (Musa spp.) multiple shoot meristems are an excellent model to study the meristem proteome. Using a 2-DE protocol developed for small amounts of tissue and MS-based cross species polypeptide identification, we have revealed the meristem proteome and investigated the influence of sucrose-mediated osmotic stress in a dehydration-tolerant variety. Proteins that were significantly up- or down-regulated due to the high-sucrose treatment were classified using non-parametric univariate statistics. Our results suggest that the maintenance of an osmoprotective intracellular sucrose concentration, the enhanced expression of particular genes of the energy-conserving glycolysis and the conservation of the cell wall integrity are essential to maintain homeostasis, to acclimate and to survive dehydration. By comparing the dehydration-tolerant variety with a dehydration-sensitive variety, we were able to distinguish several genotype-specific proteins (isoforms), and could associate the dehydration-tolerant variety with proteins involved in energy metabolism (e.g., phosphoglycerate kinase, phosphoglucomutase, UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase) and proteins that are associated with stress adaptation (e.g., OSR40-like protein, abscisic stress ripening protein-like protein). This work shows that proteome analysis can be used successfully to perform quantitative difference analysis and to characterize genetic variations in a recalcitrant crop.
    PROTEOMICS 02/2007; 7(1):92-105. · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although secondary metabolism in Nicotiana tabacum (L.) (tobacco) is rather well studied, many molecular aspects of the biosynthetic pathways and their regulation remain to be disclosed, even for prominent compounds such as nicotine and other pyridine alkaloids. To identify players in tobacco pyridine alkaloid biosynthesis a functional screen was performed, starting from a tobacco gene collection established previously by means of combined transcript profiling and metabolite analysis. First, full-length cDNA clones were isolated for 34 genes, corresponding to tobacco transcript tag sequences putatively associated with pyridine alkaloid metabolism. Full-length open reading frames were transferred to pCaMV35S-steered overexpression vectors. The effects of plant transformation with these expression cassettes on the accumulation of nicotine and other pyridine alkaloids were assessed in transgenic tobacco Bright-Yellow 2 (BY-2) cell suspensions and hairy root cultures. This screen identified potential catalysers of tobacco pyridine metabolism, amongst which a lysine decarboxylase-like gene and a GH3-like enzyme. Overexpression of the GH3-like enzyme, presumably involved in auxin homeostasis and designated NtNEG1 (Nicotiana tabacum Nicotine-Enhancing GH3 enzyme 1), increased nicotine levels in BY-2 hairy roots significantly. This study shows how functional genomics-based identification of genes potentially involved in biosynthetic pathways followed by systematic functional assays in plant cells can be used at large-scale to decipher plant metabolic networks at the molecular level.
    Phytochemistry 01/2007; 68(22-24):2773-85. · 3.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report on the early response of Arabidopsis thaliana to the obligate biotrophic pathogen Plasmodiophora brassicae at the hormone and proteome level. Using a CYCB1;1::GUS construct, the re-initiation of infection-related cell division is shown from 4 days after inoculation on. Sensitivity to cytokinins and auxins as well as the endogenous hormone levels are evaluated. Both an enhanced cytokinin gene response and an accumulation of isopentenyl adenine and adenosine precede this re-initiation of cell division, whereas an enhanced auxin gene response is observed from 6 days after inoculation on. The alhl mutant, impaired in the cross talk between ethylene and auxins, is resistant to P. brassicae. A differential protein analysis of infected versus noninfected roots and hypocotyls was performed using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and quantitative image analysis, coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time of flight-time of flight mass spectrometry-based protein identification. Of the visualized proteins, 12% show altered abundance compared with the noninfected plants, including proteins involved in metabolism, cell defense, cell differentiation, and detoxification. Combining the hormone and proteome data, we postulate that, at the very first stages of Plasmodiophora infection, plasmodial-produced cytokinins trigger a local re-initiation of cell division in the root cortex. Consequently, a de novo meristematic area is established that acts as a sink for host-derived indole-3-acetic acid, carbohydrates, nitrogen, and energy to maintain the pathogen and to trigger gall development.
    Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 01/2007; 19(12):1431-43. · 4.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A transgenic approach to manipulation of endosperm development has been investigated. Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi, an endosperm-containing dicotyledon, has been used as a model plant and the 2.6kb wheat high molecular weight (HMW) glutenin subunit 12 promoter has been used fused either to the gus reporter gene (HMWgus construct)—to study promoter characteristics—or to the Agrobacterium ipt gene—to study the effect of cytokinin (CK) over-expression on assimilate accumulation in the seed. In transgenic tobacco the promoter:gus fusion showed that HMW is an endosperm-specific promoter with maximum expression 20days after anthesis (DAA), corresponding to the mid to late stages of seed development. Transgenic plants containing the HMWipt construct showed no morphological abnormalities but they had an average increase in seed weight and total ethanol-insoluble carbohydrates and protein content of 8.1%, 7.0% and 8.3%, respectively. SDS PAGE analysis demonstrated that the effect on protein accumulation was non-specific. The highest values of the parameters analysed correlated with moderate increases in the levels of biologically active CKs. These results suggest that ectopic expression of small amounts of CKs can be used to increase storage assimilate accumulation without a detrimental effect on development.
    Plant Growth Regulation 01/2007; 51(3):217-229. · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: pProRep is a web application integrating electrophoretic and mass spectral data from proteome analyses into a relational database. The graphical web-interface allows users to upload, analyse and share experimental proteome data. It offers researchers the possibility to query all previously analysed datasets and can visualize selected features, such as the presence of a certain set of ions in a peptide mass spectrum, on the level of the two-dimensional gel. AVAILABILITY: The pProRep package and instructions for its use can be downloaded from http://www.ptools.ua.ac.be/pProRep. The application requires a web server that runs PHP 5 (http://www.php.net) and MySQL. Some (non-essential) extensions need additional freely available libraries: details are described in the installation instructions.
    Bioinformatics 12/2006; 22(22):2838-40. · 5.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Effects of auxin as plant hormones are widespread; in fact in almost all aspects of plant growth and development auxin plays a pivotal role. Although auxin is required for propagating cell division in plant cells, its effect upon cell division is least understood. If auxin is depleted from the culture medium, cultured cells cease to divide. It has been demonstrated in this context that the addition of auxin to auxin-starved nondividing tobacco BY-2 cells induced semisynchronous cell division. On the other hand, there are some cell lines, named habituated cells, that can grow without auxin. The cause and reason for the habituated cells have not been clarified. A habituated cell line named 2B-13 is derived from the tobacco BY-2 cell line, which has been most intensively studied among plant cell lines. When we tried to find the difference between two cell lines of BY-2 and 2B-13 cells, we found that the addition of culture filtrated from the auxin-habituated 2B-13 cells induced semisynchronous cell division in auxin-starved BY-2 cells. The cell division factor (CDF) that is responsible for inducing cell division in auxin-starved BY-2 cells was purified to near-homogeneity by sequential passage through a hydroxyapatite column, a ConA Sepharose column and a Sephadex gel filtration column. The resulting purified fraction appeared as a single band of high molecular weight on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis gels by silver staining and was able to induce cell division in auxin-starved BY-2 cells. Identification of the protein by MALD-TOF-MS/MS revealed that it is structurally related to P-glycoprotein from Gossypioides kirkii, which belongs to ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-transporters. The significance of CDF as a possible ABC-transporter is discussed in relationship to auxin-autotrophic growth and auxin-signaling pathway.
    Naturwissenschaften 07/2006; 93(6):278-85. · 2.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epiphylly, occurring in a somaclonal variant (EMB-2) of the interspecific hybrid Helianthus annuus x H. tuberosus, was used to investigate molecular and cyto-physiological mechanisms that underlie cellular fate change. EMB-2 plants are characterized by profuse proliferation of shoot- and embryo-like structures on some leaves. We addressed the putative relationship between cytokinins and knox genes in EMB-2 plants. A class I knox gene, HtKNOT1, was isolated from H. tuberosus. A high level of HtKNOT1 transcripts was detected in EMB-2 epiphyllous leaves compared to non-epiphyllous (NEP) ones. In addition, epiphylly was related to a localized increases in zeatin and N-glycosylated cytokinins. As ectopic morphogenesis proceeded, HtKNOT1 transcripts and zeatin co-localized and showed different patterns in ectopic shoot compared with embryo-like structures, consistent with the differential role of both cytokinin and knox genes in the two morphogenetic events. Notably, a massive shoot/embryo regeneration was induced in EMB-2 NEP leaves by in vitro zeatin treatment. These results clearly indicate that localized cytokinin accumulation and ectopic expression of HtKNOT1 are closely linked in the epiphylly of EMB-2 plants.
    Planta 05/2006; 223(5):917-31. · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    Erwin Witters, Roland Valcke, Harry van Onckelen
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    ABSTRACT: In this study a combination of cytoenzymological and immunocytochemical techniques was used in order to demonstrate the presence of cyclic nucleotide metabolism in chloroplasts of higher plants. Catalytic cytochemistry was used to localize adenylyl cyclase activity by means of electron microscope investigation on Nicotiana tabacum cv. Petit Havana leaf fragments. Various immunocytochemical techniques were explored to visualize the presence of the second messenger adenosine 3':5'-cyclic monophosphate. Making use of adenylyl imidodiphosphate as a substrate, the enzyme activity was predominantly located at the intermembrane space of the chloroplast envelope. In order to provide further topographical information, intact, isolated chloroplasts were submitted to the same cytoenzymological procedure and revealed stromal adenylyl cyclase activity. Using high-pressure freezing as a physical fixative to obtain an instantaneous metabolic arrest the cellular vitrified water phase was sublimed under ultra-high vacuum by means of molecular distillation drying, avoiding recrystallization and hence redistribution of small highly diffusible molecules. This sequential combination preserved 3':5'-cAMP epitope retention in chloroplasts as was demonstrated by immunogold labelling. These results further substantiate in a unique way the growing evidence of the presence of an organelle-specific cAMP metabolism in higher plants. Furthermore the data presented support the status of chloroplasts as an excellent model to further investigate cAMP metabolism and to correlate it with a variety of physiological functions.
    New Phytologist 11/2005; 168(1):99-108. · 6.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The changes in root system architecture (RSA) triggered by phosphate (P) deprivation were studied in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants grown for 14 d on 1 mM or 3 microM P. Two different temporal phases were observed in the response of RSA to low P. First, lateral root (LR) development was promoted between days 7 and 11 after germination, but, after day 11, all root growth parameters were negatively affected, leading to a general reduction of primary root (PR) and LR lengths and of LR density. Low P availability had contrasting effects on various stages of LR development, with a marked inhibition of primordia initiation but a strong stimulation of activation of the initiated primordia. The involvement of auxin signaling in these morphological changes was investigated in wild-type plants treated with indole-3-acetic acid or 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid and in axr4-1, aux1-7, and eir1-1 mutants. Most effects of low P on RSA were dramatically modified in the mutants or hormone-treated wild-type plants. This shows that auxin plays a major role in the P starvation-induced changes of root development. From these data, we hypothesize that several aspects of the RSA response to low P are triggered by local modifications of auxin concentration. A model is proposed that postulates that P starvation results in (1) an overaccumulation of auxin in the apex of the PR and in young LRs, (2) an overaccumulation of auxin or a change in sensitivity to auxin in the lateral primordia, and (3) a decrease in auxin concentration in the lateral primordia initiation zone of the PR and in old laterals. Measurements of local changes in auxin concentrations induced by low P, either by direct quantification or by biosensor expression pattern (DR5::beta-glucuronidase reporter gene), are in line with these hypotheses. Furthermore, the observation that low P availability mimicked the action of auxin in promoting LR development in the alf3 mutant confirmed that P starvation stimulates primordia emergence through increased accumulation of auxin or change in sensitivity to auxin in the primordia. Both the strong effect of 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid and the phenotype of the auxin-transport mutants (aux1, eir1) suggest that low P availability modifies local auxin concentrations within the root system through changes in auxin transport rather than auxin synthesis.
    Plant physiology 09/2005; 138(4):2061-74. · 6.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
221.89 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1996–2013
    • University of Antwerp
      • Department of Biology
      Antwerpen, Flanders, Belgium
  • 2010
    • Ghent University
      • VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology
      Gent, VLG, Belgium
  • 2007
    • Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie
      • Department of Plant Systems Biology, UGent
      Gent, VLG, Belgium
  • 2005
    • Cardiff University
      • School of Biosciences
      Cardiff, WLS, United Kingdom
  • 2004
    • University of New Hampshire
      • Department of Plant Biology
      Durham, NH, United States
  • 2002
    • Swansea University
      Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
  • 2000
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom