Thiol-dependent degradation of protoporphyrin IX by plant peroxidases.
Protoporphyrin IX (PP) is the last porphyrin intermediate in common between heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis. This pigment normally does not accumulate in plants because its highly photodynamic nature makes it toxic. While the steps leading to heme and chlorophylls are well characterized, relatively little is known of the metabolic fate of excess PP in plants. We have discovered that plant peroxidases can rapidly degrade this pigment in the presence of thiol-containing substrates such as glutathione and cysteine. This thiol-dependent degradation of PP by horseradish peroxidase consumes oxygen and is inhibited by ascorbic acid. (+info)
Enhancer-like properties of an RNA element that modulates Tombusvirus RNA accumulation.
Prototypical defective interfering (DI) RNAs of the plus-strand RNA virus tomato bushy stunt virus contain four noncontiguous segments (regions I-IV) derived from the viral genome. Region I corresponds to 5'-noncoding sequence, regions II and III are derived from internal positions, and region IV represents a 3'-terminal segment. We analyzed the internally located region III in a prototypical DI RNA to understand better its role in DI RNA accumulation. Our results indicate that (1) region III is not essential for DI RNA accumulation, but molecules that lack it accumulate at significantly reduced levels ( approximately 10-fold lower), (2) region III is able to function at different positions and in opposite orientations, (3) a single copy of region III is favored over multiple copies, (4) the stimulatory effect observed on DI RNA accumulation is not due to region III-mediated RNA stabilization, (5) DI RNAs lacking region III permit the efficient accumulation of head-to-tail dimers and are less effective at suppressing helper RNA accumulation, and (6) negative-strand accumulation is also significantly depressed for DI RNAs lacking region III. Collectively, these results support a role for region III as an enhancer-like element that facilitates DI RNA replication. A scanning-type mutagenesis strategy was used to define portions of region III important for its stimulatory effect on DI RNA accumulation. Interestingly, the results revealed several differences in the requirements for activity when region III was in the forward versus the reverse orientation. In the context of the viral genome, region III was found to be essential for biological activity. This latter finding defines a critical role for this element in the reproductive cycle of the virus. (+info)
Conversion of cucumber linoleate 13-lipoxygenase to a 9-lipoxygenating species by site-directed mutagenesis.
Multiple lipoxygenase sequence alignments and structural modeling of the enzyme/substrate interaction of the cucumber lipid body lipoxygenase suggested histidine 608 as the primary determinant of positional specificity. Replacement of this amino acid by a less-space-filling valine altered the positional specificity of this linoleate 13-lipoxygenase in favor of 9-lipoxygenation. These alterations may be explained by the fact that H608V mutation may demask the positively charged guanidino group of R758, which, in turn, may force an inverse head-to-tail orientation of the fatty acid substrate. The R758L+H608V double mutant exhibited a strongly reduced reaction rate and a random positional specificity. Trilinolein, which lacks free carboxylic groups, was oxygenated to the corresponding (13S)-hydro(pero)xy derivatives by both the wild-type enzyme and the linoleate 9-lipoxygenating H608V mutant. These data indicate the complete conversion of a linoleate 13-lipoxygenase to a 9-lipoxygenating species by a single point mutation. It is hypothesized that H608V exchange may alter the orientation of the substrate at the active site and/or its steric configuration in such a way that a stereospecific dioxygen insertion at C-9 may exclusively take place. (+info)
Cucumber cotyledon lipoxygenase during postgerminative growth. Its expression and action on lipid bodies.
In cucumber (Cucumis sativus), high lipoxygenase-1 (LOX-1) activity has been detected in the soluble fraction prepared from cotyledons of germinating seeds, and the involvement of this enzyme in lipid turnover has been suggested (K. Matsui, M. Irie, T. Kajiwara, A. Hatanaka  Plant Sci 85: 23-32; I. Fuessner, C. Wasternack, H. Kindl, H. Kuhn  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 92: 11849-11853). In this study we have investigated the expression of the gene lox-1, corresponding to the LOX-1 enzyme. LOX-1 expression is highly coordinated with that of a typical glyoxysomal enzyme, isocitrate lyase, during the postgerminative stage of cotyledon development. In contrast, although icl transcripts accumulated in tissue during in vitro senescence, no accumulation of lox-1 mRNA could be observed, suggesting that lox-1 plays a specialized role in fat mobilization. LOX-1 is also known to be a major lipid body protein. The partial peptide sequences of purified LOX-1 and lipid body LOX-1 entirely coincided with that deduced from the lox-1 cDNA sequence. The data strongly suggest that LOX-1 and lipid body LOX-1 are derived from a single gene and that LOX-1 can exist both in the cytosol and on the lipid bodies. We constructed an in vitro oxygenation system to address the mechanism of this dual localization and to investigate the action of LOX-1 on lipids in the lipid bodies. LOX-1 cannot act on the lipids in intact lipid bodies, although degradation of lipid body proteins, either during seedling growth or by treatment with trypsin, allows lipid bodies to become susceptible to LOX-1. We discuss the role of LOX-1 in fat mobilization and its mechanism of action. (+info)
Both RNA rearrangement and point mutation contribute to repair of defective chimeric viral genomes to form functional hybrid viruses in plants.
The putative movement protein gene (p27) plus 5' and 3' flanking sequences of cucumber leaf spot aureusvirus (CLSV) was inserted into an infectious cucumber necrosis tombusvirus (CNV) cDNA clone containing a deletion in the cell-to-cell movement protein gene. Approximately 5% of plants inoculated with synthetic transcripts of two such defective chimeric CNV/CLSV cDNA clones developed systemic symptoms 7-19 days postinoculation. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and sequence analysis of virus obtained from systemically infected leaves indicated that both point mutation and RNA rearrangement (deletion) contributed to the formation of movement competent CNV/CLSV hybrid viruses. The hybrid viruses were found to accumulate to high levels in infected plants, to form stable virions, and to be mechanically transmissible. In addition, a hybrid virus that lacked 50 amino acids at the carboxyl-terminal region of CLSV p27 was still capable of facilitating CNV movement. These data provide experimental evidence for the role of CLSV p27 in viral cell-to-cell movement and demonstrate that p27 can enable efficient movement of the CNV genome. Moreover, the data show that RNA rearrangements known to occur during CNV RNA replication can contribute to rapid evolution of the CNV genome. (+info)
alpha-oxidation of fatty acids in higher plants. Identification of a pathogen-inducible oxygenase (piox) as an alpha-dioxygenase and biosynthesis of 2-hydroperoxylinolenic acid.
A pathogen-inducible oxygenase in tobacco leaves and a homologous enzyme from Arabidopsis were recently characterized (Sanz, A., Moreno, J. I., and Castresana, C. (1998) Plant Cell 10, 1523-1537). Linolenic acid incubated at 23 degrees C with preparations containing the recombinant enzymes underwent alpha-oxidation with the formation of a chain-shortened aldehyde, i.e., 8(Z),11(Z), 14(Z)-heptadecatrienal (83%), an alpha-hydroxy acid, 2(R)-hydroxy-9(Z),12(Z),15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid (15%), and a chain-shortened fatty acid, 8(Z),11(Z),14(Z)-heptadecatrienoic acid (2%). When incubations were performed at 0 degrees C, 2(R)-hydroperoxy-9(Z),12(Z),15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid was obtained as the main product. An intermediary role of 2(R)-hydroperoxy-9(Z), 12(Z),15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid in alpha-oxidation was demonstrated by re-incubation experiments, in which the hydroperoxide was converted into the same alpha-oxidation products as those formed from linolenic acid. 2(R)-Hydroperoxy-9(Z),12(Z), 15(Z)-octadecatrienoic acid was chemically unstable and had a half-life time in buffer of about 30 min at 23 degrees C. Extracts of cells expressing the recombinant oxygenases accelerated breakdown of the hydroperoxide (half-life time, about 3 min at 23 degrees C), however, this was not attributable to the recombinant enzymes since the same rate of hydroperoxide degradation was observed in the presence of control cells not expressing the enzymes. No significant discrimination between enantiomers was observed in the degradation of 2(R,S)-hydroperoxy-9(Z)-octadecenoic acid in the presence of recombinant oxygenases. A previously studied system for alpha-oxidation in cucumber was re-examined using the newly developed techniques and was found to catalyze the same conversions as those observed with the recombinant enzymes, i.e. enzymatic alpha-dioxygenation of fatty acids into 2(R)-hydroperoxides and a first order, non-stereoselective degradation of hydroperoxides into alpha-oxidation products. It was concluded that the recombinant enzymes from tobacco and Arabidopsis were both alpha-dioxygenases, and that members of this new class of enzymes catalyze the first step of alpha-oxidation in plant tissue. (+info)
Spider mite-induced (3S)-(E)-nerolidol synthase activity in cucumber and lima bean. The first dedicated step in acyclic C11-homoterpene biosynthesis.
Many plant species respond to herbivory with de novo production of a mixture of volatiles that attracts carnivorous enemies of the herbivores. One of the major components in the blend of volatiles produced by many different plant species in response to herbivory by insects and spider mites is the homoterpene 4,8-dimethyl-1,3(E), 7-nonatriene. One study (J. Donath, W. Boland  Phytochemistry 39: 785-790) demonstrated that a number of plant species can convert the acyclic sesquiterpene alcohol (3S)-(E)-nerolidol to this homoterpene. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus L.) both produce 4,8-dimethyl-1,3(E),7-nonatriene in response to herbivory. We report the presence in cucumber and lima bean of a sesquiterpene synthase catalyzing the formation of (3S)-(E)-nerolidol from farnesyl diphosphate. The enzyme is inactive in uninfested cucumber leaves, slightly active in uninfested lima bean leaves, and strongly induced by feeding of the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae Koch) on both plant species, but not by mechanical wounding. The activities of the (3S)-(E)-nerolidol synthase correlated well with the levels of release of 4, 8-dimethyl-1,3(E),7-nonatriene from the leaves of the different treatments. Thus, (3S)-(E)-nerolidol synthase is a good candidate for a regulatory role in the release of the important signaling molecule 4,8-dimethyl-1,3(E),7-nonatriene. (+info)
Phloem long-distance transport of CmNACP mRNA: implications for supracellular regulation in plants.
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)