A leucine-rich repeat protein of carrot that exhibits antifreeze activity.
A gene encoding an antifreeze protein (AFP) was isolated from carrot (Daucus carota) using sequence information derived from the purified protein. The carrot AFP is highly similar to the polygalacturonase inhibitor protein (PGIP) family of apoplastic plant leucine-rich repeat (LRR) proteins. Expression of the AFP gene is rapidly induced by low temperatures. Furthermore, expression of the AFP gene in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants leads to an accumulation of antifreeze activity. Our findings suggest that a new type of plant antifreeze protein has recently evolved from PGIPs. (+info)
Apoptosis of mouse liver nuclei induced in the cytosol of carrot cells.
We report here the apoptosis of mouse liver nuclei induced in the cytosol of carrot cells by cytochrome c. Several typical characteristics of apoptosis, such as chromatin condensation, margination and apoptotic bodies, were detected. The result of DNA gel electrophoresis showed that DNA was degraded into nucleosomal fragments. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin nick end labelling procedure was also performed to detect the breakage of 3'-OH ends of a DNA strand. Furthermore, we found that nuclear lamins were degraded from 88 kDa and 66 kDa to 37 kDa and 47 kDa fragments. The DNA fragmentation could be inhibited by AC-DEVD-CHO and AC-YVAD-CHO. The results indicate that the apoptosis in plant cells may share some similar pathways to apoptosis in animal cells. (+info)
Activation and repression of transcription by auxin-response factors.
Auxin-response factors (ARFs) bind with specificity to TGTCTC auxin-response elements (AuxREs), which are found in promoters of primary/early auxin-response genes. Nine different ARFs have been analyzed for their capacity to activate or repress transcription in transient expression assays employing auxin-responsive GUS reporter genes. One ARF appears to act as a repressor. Four ARFs function as activators and contain glutamine-rich activation domains. To achieve transcriptional activation on TGTCTC AuxREs in transient expression assays, ARFs require a conserved dimerization domain found in both ARF and Aux/IAA proteins, but they do not absolutely require their DNA-binding domains. Our results suggest that ARFs can activate or repress transcription by binding to AuxREs directly and that selected ARFs, when overexpressed, may potentiate activation further by associating with an endogenous transcription factor(s) (e.g., an ARF) that is bound to AuxREs. Transfection experiments suggest that TGTCTC AuxREs are occupied regardless of the auxin status in cells and that these occupied AuxREs are activated when exogenous auxin is applied to cells or when ARF activators are overexpressed. The results provide new insight into mechanisms involved with auxin regulation of primary/early-response genes. (+info)
Isolation and characterization of a novel antifreeze protein from carrot (Daucus carota).
A modified assay for inhibition of ice recrystallization which allows unequivocal identification of activity in plant extracts is described. Using this assay a novel, cold-induced, 36 kDa antifreeze protein has been isolated from the tap root of cold-acclimated carrot (Daucus carota) plants. This protein inhibits the recrystallization of ice and exhibits thermal-hysteresis activity. The polypeptide behaves as monomer in solution and is N-glycosylated. The corresponding gene is unique in the carrot genome and induced by cold. The antifreeze protein appears to be localized within the apoplast. (+info)
Induction of apoptosis in purified animal and plant nuclei by Xenopus egg extracts.
We have developed a cell-free system that can trigger the nuclei purified from mouse liver and suspension-cultured carrot cells to undergo apoptosis as defined by the formation of apoptotic bodies and nucleosomal DNA fragments. The effects of different divalent cations and cycloheximide on DNA cleavage in this system were assessed. The fact that nuclei of plant cells can be induced to undergo apoptosis in a cell-free animal system suggests that animals and plants share a common signal transduction pathway triggering in the initiation stage of apoptosis. (+info)
Isolation of additional bacteriophages with genomes of segmented double-stranded RNA.
Eight different bacteriophages were isolated from leaves of Pisum sativum, Phaseolus vulgaris, Lycopersicon esculentum, Daucus carota sativum, Raphanus sativum, and Ocimum basilicum. All contain three segments of double-stranded RNA and have genomic-segment sizes that are similar but not identical to those of previously described bacteriophage phi6. All appear to have lipid-containing membranes. The base sequences of some of the viruses are very similar but not identical to those of phi6. Three of the viruses have little or no base sequence identity to phi6. Two of the viruses, phi8 and phi12, contain proteins with a size distribution very different from that of phi6 and do not package genomic segments of phi6. Whereas phi6 attaches to host cells by means of a pilus, several of the new isolates attach directly to the outer membrane. Although the normal hosts of these viruses seem to be pseudomonads, those viruses that attach directly to the outer membrane can establish carrier states in Escherichia coli or Salmonella typhimurium. One of the isolates, phi8, can form plaques on heptoseless strains of S. typhimurium. (+info)
An outbreak of Salmonella serogroup Saphra due to cantaloupes from Mexico.
An outbreak of Salmonella serogroup Saphra (S. saphra) infections was studied by laboratory-based surveillance, case-control and trace-back studies, and a survey of cantaloupe preparation practices. Twenty-four patients with S. saphra infections had illness onsets between 23 February and 15 May 1997; 75% were +info)
Identification and characterization of the functional elements within the tobacco etch virus 5' leader required for cap-independent translation.
Translation in plants is highly cap dependent, and the only plant mRNAs known to naturally lack a cap structure (m(7)GpppN) are viral in origin. The genomic RNA of tobacco etch virus (TEV), a potyvirus that belongs to the picornavirus superfamily, is a polyadenylated mRNA that is naturally uncapped and yet is a highly competitive mRNA during translation. The 143-nucleotide 5' leader is responsible for conferring cap-independent translation even on reporter mRNAs. We have carried out a deletion analysis of the TEV 5' leader to identify the elements responsible for its regulatory function and have identified two centrally located cap-independent regulatory elements (CIREs) that promote cap-independent translation. The introduction of a stable stem-loop structure upstream of each element demonstrated that CIRE-1 is less 5' end dependent in function than CIRE-2. In a dicistronic mRNA, the presence of the TEV 5' leader sequence in the intercistronic region increased expression of the second cistron, suggesting that the viral sequence can function in a 5'-distal position. Interestingly, the introduction of a stable stem-loop upstream of the TEV leader sequence or upstream of either CIRE in dicistronic constructs markedly increased their regulatory function. These data suggest that the TEV 5' leader contains two elements that together promote internal initiation but that the function of one element, in particular, is facilitated by proximity to the 5' end. (+info)