The chloroplast psbA gene from the green unicellular alga Chlamydomonas reinhardii has been localized, cloned and sequenced. This gene codes for the rapidly-labeled 32-kd protein of photosystem II, also identified as as herbicide-binding protein. Unlike psbA in higher plants which is found in the large single copy region of the chloroplast genome and is uninterrupted, psbA in C. reinhardii is located entirely within the inverted repeat, hence present in two identical copies per circular chloroplast genome, and contains four large introns. These introns range from 1.1 to 1.8 kb in size and fall into the category of Group I introns. Two of the introns contain open reading frames which are in-frame with the preceding exon sequences. We present the nucleotide sequence for the C. reinhardii psbA 5'-and 3' -flanking sequences, the coding region contained in five exons and the deduced amino acid sequence. The algal gene codes for a protein of 352 amino acid residues which is 95% homologous, excluding the last eight amino acid residues, with the higher plant protein.
We have investigated the interaction of VAI RNA with the interferon-induced, double-stranded (ds) RNA-activated protein kinase, P68, both of which regulate protein synthesis in adenovirus-infected cells. Previous work has shown that during infection by the VAI RNA-negative mutant, dl331, both viral and cellular protein synthesis are inhibited due to phosphorylation of the alpha-subunit of the eukaryotic initiation factor, eIF-2, by the P68 protein kinase. Utilizing monoclonal antibodies specific for P68, we demonstrated that the physical levels of P68 in dl331-infected, wild-type Ad2-infected and uninfected cells were all comparable suggesting that the elevated kinase activity detected during mutant infection was not due to increased P68 synthesis. To examine the basis of the increased activity of P68, the protein kinase was purified from infected-cell extracts using the monoclonal antibody. We found that P68 was heavily autophosphorylated during dl331 infection but not during wild-type or mock infection. The extent of autophosphorylation correlated with elevated P68 activity and the loss of the dsRNA requirements to phosphorylate the exogenous substrates, eIF-1 alpha and histones. We also analyzed VAI RNA function in vitro and present evidence that purified VAI RNA can block the autophosphorylation of P68 in the ribosomal salt wash fraction of interferon-treated cells. Finally we suggest VAI RNA functions through a direct interaction with the P68 protein kinase, since we demonstrated that VAI RNA forms a complex with P68 both in vitro and in vivo.
Isolated desmosomes from bovine epidermis contain two major polypeptides of mol. wts. 75 000 (D6) and 83 000 (D5) which, like the desmoplakins of mol. wt. greater than 200 000, are associated with the insoluble desmosomal plaque structure. We have characterized these two polypeptides and examined their significance by peptide map comparisons and translation of bovine epidermal mRNA in vitro. Polypeptide D5 is different from polypeptide D6 by its apparent mol. wt., its isoelectric pH (approximately 6.35, whereas D6 is a basic polypeptide isoelectric at pH approximately 8.5) and its peptide map. By all these criteria desmosomal polypeptides D5 and D6 are also different from cytokeratins, desmoplakins and the glycosylated desmosomal proteins. Both polypeptides are synthesized from different mRNAs separable by gel electrophoresis on agarose: mRNA coding for polypeptide D5 is approximately 3500 nucleotides long, that for D6 is significantly shorter (estimated to 3050 nucleotides), and both contain relatively large proportions of non-coding sequences. The translational products of these mRNAs co-migrate, on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, with the specific polypeptides from bovine epidermis, indicating that they are genuine polypeptides and are not the result of considerable post-translational processing or modification of precursor molecules. The cell and tissue distribution of these two cytoskeletal proteins and possible functions are discussed.
A protein with an apparent mol. wt of 18,000 daltons (synaptobrevin) was identified in synaptic vesicles from rat brain. Some of its properties were studied using monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. Synaptobrevin is an integral membrane protein with an isoelectric point of approximately 6.6. During subcellular fractionation, synaptobrevin followed the distribution of small synaptic vesicles, with the highest enrichment in the purified vesicle fraction. Immunogold electron microscopy of subcellular particles revealed that synaptobrevin is localized in nerve endings where it is concentrated in the membranes of virtually all small synaptic vesicles. No significant labeling was observed on the membranes of peptide-containing large dense core vesicles. In agreement with these results, synaptobrevin immunoreactivity has a widespread distribution in nerve terminal-containing regions of the central and peripheral nervous system as shown by light microscopy immunocytochemistry. Outside the nervous system, synaptobrevin immunoreactivity was found in endocrine cells and cell lines (endocrine pancreas, adrenal medulla, PC12 cells, insulinoma cells) but not in other cell types, for example smooth muscle, skeletal muscle and exocrine pancreas. Thus, the distribution of synaptobrevin is similar to that of synaptophysin, a well-characterized membrane protein of small vesicles in neurons and endocrine cells.
Presequence protease PreP is a novel protease that degrades targeting peptides as well as other unstructured peptides in both mitochondria and chloroplasts. The first structure of PreP from Arabidopsis thaliana refined at 2.1 Angstroms resolution shows how the 995-residue polypeptide forms a unique proteolytic chamber of more than 10,000 Angstroms(3) in which the active site resides. Although there is no visible opening to the chamber, a peptide is bound to the active site. The closed conformation places previously unidentified residues from the C-terminal domain at the active site, separated by almost 800 residues in sequence to active site residues located in the N-terminal domain. Based on the structure, a novel mechanism for proteolysis is proposed involving hinge-bending motions that cause the protease to open and close in response to substrate binding. In support of this model, cysteine double mutants designed to keep the chamber covalently locked show no activity under oxidizing conditions. The manner in which substrates are processed inside the chamber is reminiscent of the proteasome; therefore, we refer to this protein as a peptidasome.
Components of the ubiquitin conjugating system were purified from human placenta by covalent affinity chromatography on ubiquitin sepharose. In contrast to E2 preparations obtained from rabbit reticulocytes and erythrocytes or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the placental E2 preparation lacks E2(Mr = 14,000) and E2(Mr = 20,000) which are both unique in catalysing the ligase-independent transfer of ubiquitin to histones. A novel technique was employed to detect ubiquitin carrier function of the E2 proteins after SDS-electrophoresis and blotting to nitrocellulose. A cDNA of E2(Mr = 17,000) was isolated from a human cDNA library by screening with a degenerate oligonucleotide whose sequence was based on a partial amino acid sequence obtained from an E2(Mr = 17,000) peptide. Sequence analysis demonstrated an identity of 69% in the primary sequence of human E2(Mr = 17,000) and the protein encoded by the yeast DNA repair gene RAD6, which was recently shown to be an E2 species in yeast. Such a high degree of similarity between the human E2(Mr = 17,000) and the yeast DNA repair enzyme is suggestive of important common structural constraints or roles in addition to ubiquitin carrier activity, since in yeast this function itself is not necessarily dependent on high conservation of primary structure.
The rotational diffusion of the acetylcholine (ACh) receptor in subsynaptic membrane fragments from Torpedo marmorata electric organ was investigated with a spin-labelled alpha-bungarotoxin. A toxin with two spin labels was first synthesized; the conventional electron spin resonance spectrum (e.s.r.) of this toxin bound to the receptor indicated: (1) a complete immobilization of the probes; and (2) a strong spin-spin interaction that was not, or barely, seen in solution. The modification of the degree of spin-spin interaction is taken as an indication of a toxin conformational change accompanying its binding to the ACh-receptor. To avoid spin-spin interaction a single-labelled toxin was made and used to follow the rotational diffusion of the receptor by saturation transfer e.s.r. (ST-e.s.r.). With native membranes a high immobilization of the ACh-receptor was noticed. Reduction of the membranes by dithiothreitol had little effect on this motion. Only extraction of the 43 000 protein(s) by pH 11 treatment was able to enhance the rotational diffusion of the ACh-receptor protein (rotational correlation time by ST-e.s.r. in the 0.5 - 1 X 10(-4) s range) and to allow its lateral diffusion in the plane of the membrane fragments (observed by electron microscopy after freeze-etching or negative staining).
The DNA sequence of a clone from a cDNA library made from Xenopus laevis skin is described. This sequence represents the 3'-terminal end of an mRNA which codes for an epidermal cytokeratin polypeptide of mol. wt. 51 000 of the acidic (type I) subfamily as identified by hybridization-selection of mRNAs, followed by gel electrophoretic identification of the polypeptides synthesized by translation in vitro. The partial amino acid sequence of the amphibian cytokeratin shows strong similarity to type I cytoskeletal keratins from human (mol. wt. 50 000) and murine (mol. wt. 59 000) epidermis. In the non alpha-helical tail region the human and the non-mammalian (Xenopus) keratins are more similar to each other than to the murine protein, indicating that the former are equivalent cytokeratin polypeptides and belonging to a special subclass of type I keratin polypeptides devoid of glycine-rich regions in the carboxy-terminal portion. The evolutionary conservativity of the genes coding for cytokeratins is discussed.
Double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) induces the transfer of phosphate from ATP to several proteins in extracts of widely divergent eukaryotic cells. Extracts of HeLa cells, rabbit reticulocytes, Xenopus eggs and Arbacia eggs all show dsDNA-dependent protein phosphorylation. The mechanism is specific for dsDNA and will not respond to either RNA or single-stranded DNA. One of the proteins which is phosphorylated in response to dsDNA has a subunit mol. wt. of 90 000 and has been identified as a heat-shock protein (hsp90). Although mouse cell extracts were shown to contain hsp90, they failed to show a dsDNA-dependent protein phosphorylation. The observation that dsDNA can modulate the phosphorylation of a set of proteins raises the possibility that dsDNA may play a role as a cellular regulatory signal.
Activation of the endogenous Ca2+-activated phospholipid-dependent protein kinase (protein kinase C) by Ca2+, phosphatidylserine (PS) and phorbol dibutyrate (PBt2) in detergent-solubilized extracts of Swiss 3T3 cells resulted in a very rapid increase (detectable within seconds) in the phosphorylation of an 80 000 mol. wt. protein (termed 80 K). Neither cyclic AMP nor Ca2+ had any effect on 80 K phosphorylation. The 80 K phosphoproteins generated after activation of protein kinase C, both in cell-free conditions and in intact fibroblasts, are identical as judged by one and two-dimensional polyacrylamide slab gel electrophoresis and peptide mapping. Prolonged treatment of cells with phorbol esters causes a selective decrease in protein kinase C activity and prevents the stimulation of 80 K phosphorylation in intact fibroblasts. We now show that extracts from PBt2-treated cultures fail to stimulate 80 K phosphorylation after the addition of the protein kinase C activators. This effect was due to the lack of protein kinase C activity since the addition of exogenous protein kinase C from mouse brain stimulated 80 K phosphorylation in both control and PBt2-treated preparations. The 80 K phosphoprotein generated by activation of endogenous and exogenous protein kinase C yielded similar phosphopeptide fragments after peptide mapping by limited proteolysis. We conclude that the detection of changes in the phosphorylation of 80 K provides a useful approach to ascertain which extracellular ligands activate protein kinase C in intact cells.
Lysosomal enzymes containing mannose 6-phosphate recognition markers are sorted to lysosomes by mannose 6-phosphate receptors (MPRs). The physiological importance of this targeting mechanism is illustrated by I-cell disease, a fatal lysosomal storage disorder caused by the absence of mannose 6-phosphate residues in lysosomal enzymes. Most mammalian cells express two MPRs. Although the binding specificities, subcellular distribution and expression pattern of the two receptors can be differentiated, their coexpression is not understood. The larger of the two receptors with an M(r) of approximately 300,000 (MPR300), which also binds IGFII, appears to have a dominant role in lysosomal enzyme targeting, while the function of the smaller receptor with an M(r) of 46,000 (MPR46) is less clear. To investigate the in vivo function of the MPR46, we generated MPR46-deficient mice using gene targeting in embryonic stem cells. Reduced intracellular retention of newly synthesized lysosomal proteins in cells from MPR46 -/- mice demonstrated an essential sorting function of MPR46. The phenotype of MPR46 -/- mice was normal, indicating mechanisms that compensate the MPR46 deficiency in vivo.
The Alzheimer's disease beta-amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a member of a larger gene family that includes the amyloid precursor-like proteins, termed APLP1 and APLP2. We previously documented that APLP2-/-APLP1-/- and APLP2-/-APP-/- mice die postnatally, while APLP1-/-APP-/- mice and single mutants were viable. We now report that mice lacking all three APP/APLP family members survive through embryonic development, and die shortly after birth. In contrast to double-mutant animals with perinatal lethality, 81% of triple mutants showed cranial abnormalities. In 68% of triple mutants, we observed cortical dysplasias characterized by focal ectopic neuroblasts that had migrated through the basal lamina and pial membrane, a phenotype that resembles human type II lissencephaly. Moreover, at E18.5 triple mutants showed a partial loss of cortical Cajal Retzius (CR) cells, suggesting that APP/APLPs play a crucial role in the survival of CR cells and neuronal adhesion. Collectively, our data reveal an essential role for APP family members in normal brain development and early postnatal survival.
The nucleotide sequence of the Penicillium chrysogenum Oli13 acvA gene encoding delta-(L-alpha-aminoadipyl)-L-cysteinyl-D-valine synthetase, which performs the first step in penicillin biosynthesis, has been determined. The acvA gene contains an open reading frame of 11,238 bp encoding a protein of 3746 amino acids with a predicted mol. wt of 421,073 dalton. Three domains within the protein of approximately 570 amino acids have between 38% and 43% identity with each other and share similarity with two antibiotic peptide synthetases from Bacillus brevis as well as two other enzymes capable of performing ATP-pyrophosphate exchange reactions. The acvA gene is located close to the pcbC gene encoding isopenicillin N synthetase, the enzyme for the second step of beta-lactam biosynthesis, and is transcribed in the opposite orientation to it. The intergenic region of 1107 bp from which the acvA and pcbC genes are divergently transcribed has also been sequenced.
Epoxide hydrolases are essential for the processing of epoxide-containing compounds in detoxification or metabolism. The classic epoxide hydrolases have an alpha/beta hydrolase fold and act via a two-step reaction mechanism including an enzyme-substrate intermediate. We report here the structure of the limonene-1,2-epoxide hydrolase from Rhodococcus erythropolis, solved using single-wavelength anomalous dispersion from a selenomethionine-substituted protein and refined at 1.2 A resolution. This enzyme represents a completely different structure and a novel one-step mechanism. The fold features a highly curved six-stranded mixed beta-sheet, with four alpha-helices packed onto it to create a deep pocket. Although most residues lining this pocket are hydrophobic, a cluster of polar groups, including an Asp-Arg-Asp triad, interact at its deepest point. Site-directed mutagenesis supports the conclusion that this is the active site. Further, a 1.7 A resolution structure shows the inhibitor valpromide bound at this position, with its polar atoms interacting directly with the residues of the triad. We suggest that several bacterial proteins of currently unknown function will share this structure and, in some cases, catalytic properties.
Three of the ten acidic ;pathogenesis-related' (PR) proteins known to accumulate in Nicotiana tabacum cv Samsun NN reacting hypersensitively to tobacco mosaic virus, namely -O, -N and -2, have been shown to have 1,3-beta-glucanase (EC 18.104.22.168) activity. By using sera raised against each protein purified to homogeneity close serological relationships have been demonstrated between the three proteins. The same specific sera cross-reacted with a basic protein which is also a 1,3-beta-glucanase induced by virus infection and which can be considered as a new basic pathogenesis-related protein of tobacco. Protein PR-O and the basic 1,3-beta-glucanase display about the same specific enzymatic activity, i.e. 50-fold and 250-fold higher than specific activities of proteins PR-N and -2 respectively.
We describe the isolation of a cDNA clone of beta1,3-glucanase mRNA from Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. ;Havana 425' and its use to measure the kinetics of mRNA accumulation in cultured tobacco tissues treated with the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin. Northern blot analysis showed that the tissues contain a single 1.6 kb-sized beta1,3-glucanase mRNA. The levels of beta1,3-glucanase and beta1,3-glucanase mRNA increase by up to seven- and 20-fold, respectively, over a 7-day period in tissues subcultured on hormone-free medium and medium containing auxin or cytokinin added separately. Over the same interval of time, the content of both the enzyme and its mRNA remains at a constant low level in tissues subcultured on medium containing both auxin and cytokinin. The results show that auxin and cytokinin block beta1,3-glucanase production at the level of the mRNA.
Post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is characterized by the accumulation of short interfering RNAs that are proposed to mediate sequence-specific degradation of cognate and secondary target mRNAs. In plants, it is unclear to what extent endogenous genes contribute to this process. Here, we address the role of the endogenous target genes in transgene-mediated PTGS of beta-1,3-glucanases in tobacco. We found that mRNA sequences of the endogenous glucanase glb gene with varying degrees of homology to the Nicotiana plumbaginifolia gn1 transgene are targeted by the silencing machinery, although less efficiently than corresponding transgene regions. Importantly, we show that endogene-specific nucleotides in the glb sequence provide specificity to the silencing process. Consistent with this finding, small sense and antisense 21- to 23-nucleotide RNAs homologous to the endogenous glb gene were detected. Combined, these data demonstrate that a co-suppressed endogenous glucan ase gene is involved in signal amplification and selection of homologous targets, and show that endogenous genes can actively participate in PTGS in plants. The findings are introduced as a further sophistication of the post-transciptional silencing model.
A chimeric construct containing the Nicotiana plumbaginifolia beta-1,3-glucanase gn1 gene was introduced into Nicotiana tabacum SR1 to produce high levels of the enzyme constitutively. We determined that the GN1 protein represents a basic beta-1,3-glucanase isoform which accumulates into the vacuoles of the transgenic plants. Analysis of the progeny of the transgenic plant with the highest levels of gn1 expression revealed an unexpected phenomenon of gene suppression. Plants hemizygous for the T-DNA locus contained high levels of gn1 mRNA and exhibited a 14-fold higher beta-1,3-glucanase activity than untransformed plants. However, the expression of gn1 was completely suppressed in the homozygous plants: no corresponding mRNA or protein could be detected. This suppression mechanism occurs at a post-transcriptional level and is under developmental control. In addition, by generating haploid plants we found that this silencing phenomenon is not dependent on allelic interaction between T-DNA copies present at the same locus of homologous chromosomes, but rather is correlated with the transgene dose in the plant genome. We postulate that high doses of GN1 protein relative to the level(s) of other still unknown plant products could trigger the cellular processes directed to suppress gn1 expression.
Lysed mouse thymocytes release [3H]inositol 1,4,5 trisphosphate from [3H]inositol-labelled phosphatidyl inositol 4,5-bisphosphate in response to GTP gamma S, and rapidly phosphorylate [3H]inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate to [3H]inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate. The rate of phosphorylation is increased approximately 7-fold when the free [Ca2+] in the lysate is increased from 0.1 to 1 microM, the range in which the cytosolic free [Ca2+] increases in intact thymocytes in response to the mitogen concanavalin A. Stimulation of the intact cells with concanavalin A also results in a rapid and sustained increase in the amount of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate, and a much smaller transient increase in 1,4,5-trisphosphate. Lowering [Ca2+] in the medium from 0.4 mM to 0.1 microM before addition of concanavalin A reduces accumulation of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate by at least 3-fold whereas the increase in inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate is sustained rather than transient. The data imply that in normal medium the activity of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate kinase increases substantially in response to the rise in cytosolic free [Ca2+] generated by concanavalin A, accounting for both the transient accumulation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate and the sustained high levels of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate. Inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate is a strong candidate for the second messenger for Ca2+ entry across the plasma membrane. This would imply that the inositol polyphosphates regulate both Ca2+ entry and intracellular Ca2+ release, with feedback control of the inositol polyphosphate levels by Ca2+.
Carbohydrate chains on a glycoprotein are important not only for protein conformation, transport and stability, but also for cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. UDP-Gal:N-acetylglucosamine beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase (GalT) (EC 22.214.171.124) is the enzyme which transfers galactose (Gal) to the terminal N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) of complex-type N-glycans in the Golgi apparatus. In addition, it has also been suggested that this enzyme is involved directly in cell-cell interactions during fertilization and early embryogenesis through a subpopulation of this enzyme distributed on the cell surface. In this study, GalT-deficient mice were produced by gene targeting in order to examine the pathological effects of the deficiency. GalT-deficient mice were born normally and were fertile, but they exhibited growth retardation and semi-lethality. Epithelial cell proliferation of the skin and small intestine was enhanced, and cell differentiation in intestinal villi was abnormal. These observations suggest that GalT plays critical roles in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells after birth, although this enzyme is dispensable during embryonic development.
CEACAM1 is a member of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) family. Isoforms of murine CEACAM1 serve as receptors for mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), a murine coronavirus. Here we report the crystal structure of soluble murine sCEACAM1a[1,4], which is composed of two Ig-like domains and has MHV neutralizing activity. Its N-terminal domain has a uniquely folded CC' loop that encompasses key virus-binding residues. This is the first atomic structure of any member of the CEA family, and provides a prototypic architecture for functional exploration of CEA family members. We discuss the structural basis of virus receptor activities of murine CEACAM1 proteins, binding of Neisseria to human CEACAM1, and other homophilic and heterophilic interactions of CEA family members.
The arylazide 1,4-dihydropyridine, [3H]azidopine, binds with high affinity to calcium channels in partially purified guinea-pig skeletal muscle transverse tubule membranes. Upon brief exposure to u.v. light, [3H]azidopine incorporates covalently into transverse tubule membrane proteins, as judged by SDS-PAGE. After alkylation of sulfhydryl groups with N-ethylmaleimide three specifically labelled bands of mol wts. 240 kd, 158 kd and 99 kd are always observed with fluorography after one-dimensional SDS-PAGE. Two other specific bands with mol. wts. of 52 kd and 55 kd, respectively, were sometimes observed. Two-dimensional SDS-PAGE (non-reduced but alkylated in the first dimension and reduced in the second dimension) revealed that the 240-kd band after reduction migrates with a mol. wt. of 99 kd. The 158-kd and 99-kd bands do not change in mobility. It is suggested that [3H]azidopine binds in such a way that the arylazide moiety of the ligand comes into contact with at least three calcium channel components: the A component of mol. wt. 240 kd, the B component of mol. wt. 158 kd and a C component of mol. wt. 99 kd. B and C are non-covalently bonded subunits of the channel, whereas A could be a heterodimer consisting of B and C, linked by disulfide bonds. Subunits of smaller mol. wt. may be also part of the ionic pore. Photolabelling of transverse tubule membranes after high energy irradiation with 10 MeV electrons supports this interpretation.
Chimeric cDNAs were constructed so as to generate hybrid proteins in which different parts of the N-terminal domain of the human invariant chain were replaced by equivalent sequences from the trans Golgi resident enzyme, beta-1,4-galactosyltransferase. The cytoplasmic and membrane spanning domains of galactosyltransferase were found to be sufficient to retain all of the hybrid invariant chain in trans Golgi cisternae as judged by indirect immunofluorescence, treatment with brefeldin A and immuno-electron microscopy. As few as ten amino acids corresponding to the lumenal half of the membrane spanning domain of the Golgi enzyme sufficed to localize most of the hybrid invariant chain to the trans cisternae. A cytoplasmic domain was necessary for complete retention as assessed by flow cytofluorometry but could be provided either by galactosyltransferase or by invariant chain. This suggests that the cytoplasmic domain plays a role accessory to the membrane spanning domain, the latter mediating compartmental specificity.
Endo-1,4-beta-D-glucanases (EGases) form a large family of hydrolytic enzymes in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In higher plants, potential substrates in vivo are xyloglucan and non-crystalline cellulose in the cell wall. Gene expression patterns suggest a role for EGases in various developmental processes such as leaf abscission, fruit ripening and cell expansion. Using Arabidopsis thaliana genetics, we demonstrate the requirement of a specialized member of the EGase family for the correct assembly of the walls of elongating cells. KORRIGAN (KOR) is identified by an extreme dwarf mutant with pronounced architectural alterations in the primary cell wall. The KOR gene was isolated and encodes a membrane-anchored member of the EGase family, which is highly conserved between mono- and dicotyledonous plants. KOR is located primarily in the plasma membrane and presumably acts at the plasma membrane-cell wall interface. KOR mRNA was found in all organs examined, and in the developing dark-grown hypocotyl, mRNA levels were correlated with rapid cell elongation. Among plant growth factors involved in the control of hypocotyl elongation (auxin, gibberellins and ethylene) none significantly influenced KOR-mRNA levels. However, reduced KOR-mRNA levels were observed in det2, a mutant deficient for brassinosteroids. Although the in vivo substrate remains to be determined, the mutant phenotype is consistent with a central role for KOR in the assembly of the cellulose-hemicellulose network in the expanding cell wall.
The three-dimensional structure of endo-1,4-beta-xylanase II (XYNII) from Trichoderma reesei has been determined by X-ray diffraction techniques and refined to a conventional R-factor of 18.3% at 1.8 A resolution. The 190 amino acid length protein was found to exist as a single domain where the main chain folds to form two mostly antiparallel beta-sheets, which are packed against each other in parallel. The beta-sheet structure is twisted, forming a large cleft on one side of the molecule. The structure of XYNII resembles that of Bacillus 1,3-1,4-beta-glucanase. The cleft is an obvious suggestion for an active site, which has putative binding sites for at least four xylose residues. The catalytic residues are apparently the two glutamic acid residues (Glu86 and Glu177) in the middle of the cleft. One structure was determined at pH 5.0, corresponding to the pH optimum of XYNII. The second structure was determined at pH 6.5, where enzyme activity is reduced considerably. A clear structural change was observed, especially in the position of the side chain of Glu177. The observed conformational change is probably important for the mechanism of catalysis in XYNII.