Molecular cloning and tissue-specific expression of an anionic peroxidase in zucchini. (1/164)

A calcium-pectate-binding anionic isoperoxidase (APRX) from zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) was purified and subjected to N-terminal amino acid microsequencing. The cDNA encoding this enzyme was obtained by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction from a cDNA library. It encoded a mature protein of 309 amino acids exhibiting all of the sequence characteristics of a plant peroxidase. Despite the presence of a C-terminal propeptide, APRX was found in the apoplast. APRX protein and mRNA were found in the root, hypocotyls, and cotyledons. In situ hybridization showed that the APRX-encoding gene was expressed in many different tissues. The strongest expression was observed in root epidermis and in some cells of the stele, in differentiating tracheary elements of hypocotyl, in the lower and upper epidermis, in the palisade parenchyma of cotyledons, and in lateral and adventitious root primordia. In the hypocotyl hook there was an asymmetric expression, with the inner part containing more transcripts than the outer part. Treatment with 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid reduced the expression of the APRX-encoding gene in the lower part of the hypocotyl. Our observations suggest that APRX could be involved in lignin formation and that the transcription of its gene was related to auxin level.  (+info)

Crystal structure of a ribonuclease from the seeds of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) at 1.75 A resolution. (2/164)

The ribonuclease MC1 (RNase MC1) from seeds of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) consists of 190 amino acid residues with four disulfide bridges and belongs to the RNase T(2) family, including fungal RNases typified by RNase Rh from Rhizopus niveus and RNase T(2) from Aspergillus oryzae. The crystal structure of RNase MC1 has been determined at 1.75 A resolution with an R-factor of 19.7% using the single isomorphous replacement method. RNase MC1 structurally belongs to the (alpha+beta) class of proteins, having ten helices (six alpha-helices and four 3(10)-helices) and eight beta-strands. When the structures of RNase MC1 and RNase Rh are superposed, the close agreement between the alpha-carbon positions for the total structure is obvious: the root mean square deviations calculated only for structurally related 151 alpha-carbon atoms of RNase MC1 and RNase Rh molecules was 1.76 A. Furthermore, the conformation of the catalytic residues His-46, Glu-105, and His-109 in RNase Rh can be easily superposed with that of the possible catalytic residues His-34, Glu-84, and His-88 in RNase MC1. This observation strongly indicates that RNase MC1 from a plant origin catalyzes RNA degradation in a similar manner as fungal RNases.  (+info)

Differential induction of plant volatile biosynthesis in the lima bean by early and late intermediates of the octadecanoid-signaling pathway. (3/164)

Plants are able to respond to herbivore damage with de novo biosynthesis of an herbivore-characteristic blend of volatiles. The signal transduction initiating volatile biosynthesis may involve the activation of the octadecanoid pathway, as exemplified by the transient increase of endogenous jasmonic acid (JA) in leaves of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) after treatment with the macromolecular elicitor cellulysin. Within this pathway lima bean possesses at least two different biologically active signals that trigger different biosynthetic activities. Early intermediates of the pathway, especially 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (PDA), are able to induce the biosynthesis of the diterpenoid-derived 4,8, 12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene. High concentrations of PDA result in more complex patterns of additional volatiles. JA, the last compound in the sequence, lacks the ability to induce diterpenoid-derived compounds, but is highly effective at triggering the biosynthesis of other volatiles. The phytotoxin coronatine and amino acid conjugates of linolenic acid (e.g. linolenoyl-L-glutamine) mimic the action of PDA, but coronatine does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The structural analog of coronatine, the isoleucine conjugate of 1-oxo-indanoyl-4-carboxylic acid, effectively mimics the action of JA, but does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The differential induction of volatiles resembles previous findings on signal transduction in mechanically stimulated tendrils of Bryonia dioica.  (+info)

Phloem long-distance transport of CmNACP mRNA: implications for supracellular regulation in plants. (4/164)

Direct support for the concept that RNA molecules circulate throughout the plant, via the phloem, is provided through the characterisation of mRNA from phloem sap of mature pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) leaves and stems. One of these mRNAs, CmNACP, is a member of the NAC domain gene family, some of whose members have been shown to be involved in apical meristem development. In situ RT-PCR analysis revealed the presence of CmNACP RNA in the companion cell-sieve element complex of leaf, stem and root phloem. Longitudinal and transverse sections showed continuity of transcript distribution between meristems and sieve elements of the protophloem, suggesting CmNACP mRNA transport over long distances and accumulation in vegetative, root and floral meristems. In situ hybridization studies conducted on CmNACP confirmed the results obtained using in situ RT-PCR. Phloem transport of CmNACP mRNA was proved directly by heterograft studies between pumpkin and cucumber plants, in which CmNACP transcripts were shown to accumulate in cucumber scion phloem and apical tissues. Similar experiments were conducted with 7 additional phloem-related transcripts. Collectively, these studies established the existence of a system for the delivery of specific mRNA transcripts from the body of the plant to the shoot apex. These findings provide insight into the presence of a novel mechanism likely used by higher plants to integrate developmental and physiological processes on a whole-plant basis.  (+info)

Conservative mutation Met8 --> Leu affects the folding process and structural stability of squash trypsin inhibitor CMTI-I. (5/164)

Protein molecules can accommodate a large number of mutations without noticeable effects on their stability and folding kinetics. On the other hand, some mutations can have quite strong effects on protein conformational properties. Such mutations either destabilize secondary structures, e.g., alpha-helices, are incompatible with close packing of protein hydrophobic cores, or lead to disruption of some specific interactions such as disulfide cross links, salt bridges, hydrogen bonds, or aromatic-aromatic contacts. The Met8 --> Leu mutation in CMTI-I results in significant destabilization of the protein structure. This effect could hardly be expected since the mutation is highly conservative, and the side chain of residue 8 is situated on the protein surface. We show that the protein destabilization is caused by rearrangement of a hydrophobic cluster formed by side chains of residues 8, Ile6, and Leu17 that leads to partial breaking of a hydrogen bond formed by the amide group of Leu17 with water and to a reduction of a hydrophobic surface buried within the cluster. The mutation perturbs also the protein folding. In aerobic conditions the reduced wild-type protein folds effectively into its native structure, whereas more then 75% of the mutant molecules are trapped in various misfolded species. The main conclusion of this work is that conservative mutations of hydrophobic residues can destabilize a protein structure even if these residues are situated on the protein surface and partially accessible to water. Structural rearrangement of small hydrophobic clusters formed by such residues can lead to local changes in protein hydration, and consequently, can affect considerably protein stability and folding process.  (+info)

Expression and mutational analysis of amino acid residues involved in catalytic activity in a ribonuclease MC1 from the seeds of bitter gourd. (6/164)

The ribonuclease MC1 (RNase MC1) from seeds of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) consists of 190 amino acids and belongs to the RNase T2 family, including fungal RNases typified by RNase Rh from Rhizopus niveus. We expressed RNase MC1 in Escherichia coli cells and made use of site-directed mutagenesis to identify essential amino acid residues for catalytic activity. Mutations of His34 and His88 to Ala completely abolished the enzymatic activity, and considerable decreases in the enzymatic activity were observed in cases of mutations of His83, Glu84, and Lys87, when yeast RNA was used as a substrate. Kinetic parameters for the enzymatic activity of the mutants of His83, Glu84, and Lys87 were analyzed using a dinucleoside monophosphate CpU. Km values for the mutants were approximately like that for wild-type, while k(cat) values were decreased by about 6 to 25-fold. These results suggest that His34, His83, Glu84, Lys87, and His88 in RNase MC1 may be involved in the catalytic function. These observation suggests that RNase MC1 from a plant catalyzes RNA degradation in a similar manner to that of fungal RNases.  (+info)

Purification and characterization of a novel pumpkin short-chain acyl-coenzyme A oxidase with structural similarity to acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenases. (7/164)

A novel pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) short-chain acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) oxidase (ACOX) was purified to homogeneity by hydrophobic-interaction, hydroxyapatite, affinity, and anion-exchange chromatography. The purified enzyme is a tetrameric protein, consisting of apparently identical 47-kD subunits. The protein structure of this oxidase differs from other plant and mammalian ACOXs, but is similar to the protein structure of mammalian mitochondrial acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACDH) and the recently identified plant mitochondrial ACDH. Subcellular organelle separation by sucrose density gradient centrifugation revealed that the enzyme is localized in glyoxysomes, whereas no immunoreactive bands of similar molecular weight were detected in mitochondrial fractions. The enzyme selectively catalyzes the oxidation of CoA esters of fatty acids with 4 to 10 carbon atoms, and exhibits the highest activity on C-6 fatty acids. Apparently, the enzyme has no activity on CoA esters of branched-chain or dicarboxylic fatty acids. The enzyme is slightly inhibited by high concentrations of substrate and it is not inhibited by Triton X-100 at concentrations up to 0.5% (v/v). The characteristics of this novel ACOX enzyme are discussed in relation to other ACOXs and ACDHs.  (+info)

Identification of phloem involved in assimilate loading in leaves by the activity of the galactinol synthase promoter. (8/164)

The definition of "minor" veins in leaves is arbitrary and of uncertain biological significance. Generally, the term refers to the smallest vein classes in the leaf, believed to function in phloem loading. We found that a galactinol synthase promoter, cloned from melon (Cucumis melo), directs expression of the gusA gene to the smallest veins of mature Arabidopsis and cultivated tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves. This expression pattern is consistent with the role of galactinol synthase in sugar synthesis and phloem loading in cucurbits. The expression pattern in tobacco is especially noteworthy since galactinol is not synthesized in the leaves of this plant. Also, we unexpectedly found that expression in tobacco is limited to two of three companion cells in class-V veins, which are the most extensive in the leaf. Thus, the "minor" vein system is defined and regulated at the genetic level, and there is heterogeneity of response to this system by different companion cells of the same vein.  (+info)