Roles of Arabidopsis ATP/ADP isopentenyltransferases and tRNA isopentenyltransferases in cytokinin biosynthesis.
ABSTRACT: Cytokinins, which are central regulators of cell division and differentiation in plants, are adenine derivatives carrying an isopentenyl side chain that may be hydroxylated. Plants have two classes of isopentenyltransferases (IPTs) acting on the adenine moiety: ATP/ADP isopentenyltransferases (in Arabidopsis thaliana, AtIPT1, 3, 4-8) and tRNA IPTs (in Arabidopsis, AtIPT2 and 9). ATP/ADP IPTs are likely to be responsible for the bulk of cytokinin synthesis, whereas it is thought that cis-zeatin (cZ)-type cytokinins are produced possibly by degradation of cis-hydroxy isopentenyl tRNAs, which are formed by tRNA IPTs. However, these routes are largely hypothetical because of lack of in vivo evidence, because the critical experiment necessary to verify these routes, namely the production and analysis of mutants lacking AtIPTs, has not yet been described. We isolated null mutants for all members of the ATP/ADP IPT and tRNA IPT gene families in Arabidopsis. Notably, our work demonstrates that the atipt1 3 5 7 quadruple mutant possesses severely decreased levels of isopentenyladenine and trans-zeatin (tZ), and their corresponding ribosides, ribotides, and glucosides, and is retarded in its growth. In contrast, these mutants possessed increased levels of cZ-type cytokinins. The atipt2 9 double mutant, on the other hand, lacked isopentenyl- and cis-hydroxy isopentenyl-tRNA, and cZ-type cytokinins. These results indicate that whereas ATP/ADP IPTs are responsible for the bulk of isopentenyladenine- and tZ-type cytokinin synthesis, tRNA IPTs are required for cZ-type cytokinin production. This work clarifies the long-standing questions of the biosynthetic routes for isopentenyladenine-, tZ-, and cZ-type cytokinin production.
Project description:The moss Physcomitrella patens is part of an early divergent clade of land plants utilizing the plant hormone cytokinin for growth control. The rate-limiting step of cytokinin biosynthesis is mediated by isopentenyltransferases (IPTs), found in land plants either as adenylate-IPTs or as tRNA-IPTs. Although a dominant part of cytokinins in flowering plants are synthesized by adenylate-IPTs, the Physcomitrella genome only encodes homologues of tRNA-IPTs. This study therefore looked into the question of whether cytokinins in moss derive from tRNA exclusively. Targeted gene knockout of ipt1 (d|ipt1) along with localization studies revealed that the chloroplast-bound IPT1 was almost exclusively responsible for the A37 prenylation of tRNA in Physcomitrella. Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS)-based cytokinin profiling demonstrated that the total amount of all free cytokinins in tissue was almost unaffected. However, the knockout plants showed increased levels of the N (6) -isopentenyladenine (iP)- and trans-zeatin (tZ)-type cytokinins, considered to provide active forms, while cis-zeatin (cZ)-type cytokinins were reduced. The data provide evidence for an additional and unexpected tRNA-independent cytokinin biosynthetic pathway in moss. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis indicates a diversification of tRNA-IPT-like genes in bryophytes probably related to additional functions.
Project description:The roots and stems of dicotyledonous plants thicken by the cell proliferation in the cambium. Cambial proliferation changes in response to environmental factors; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate cambial activity are largely unknown. The quadruple Arabidopsis thaliana mutant atipt1;3;5;7, in which 4 genes encoding cytokinin biosynthetic isopentenyltransferases are disrupted by T-DNA insertion, was unable to form cambium and showed reduced thickening of the root and stem. The atipt3 single mutant, which has moderately decreased levels of cytokinins, exhibited decreased root thickening without any other recognizable morphological changes. Addition of exogenously supplied cytokinins to atipt1;3;5;7 reactivated the cambium in a dose-dependent manner. When an atipt1;3;5;7 shoot scion was grafted onto WT root stock, both the root and shoot grew normally and trans-zeatin-type (tZ-type) cytokinins in the shoot were restored to WT levels, but isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins in the shoot remained unchanged. Conversely, when a WT shoot was grafted onto an atipt1;3;5;7 root, both the root and shoot grew normally and isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins in the root were restored to WT levels, but tZ-type cytokinins were only partially restored. Collectively, it can be concluded that cytokinins are important regulators of cambium development and that production of cytokinins in either the root or shoot is sufficient for normal development of both the root and shoot.
Project description:Cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX) is a key enzyme responsible for the degradation of endogenous cytokinins. However, the origins and roles of CKX genes in angiosperm evolution remain unclear. Based on comprehensive bioinformatic and transgenic plant analyses, we demonstrate that the CKXs of land plants most likely originated from an ancient chlamydial endosymbiont during primary endosymbiosis. We refer to the CKXs retaining evolutionarily ancient characteristics as "ancient CKXs" and those that have expanded and functionally diverged in angiosperms as "non-ancient CKXs". We show that the expression of some non-ancient CKXs is rapidly inducible within 15?min upon the dehydration of Arabidopsis, while the ancient CKX (AtCKX7) is not drought responsive. Tobacco plants overexpressing a non-ancient CKX display improved oxidative and drought tolerance and root growth. Previous mutant studies have shown that non-ancient CKXs regulate organ development, particularly that of flowers. Furthermore, ancient CKXs preferentially degrade cis-zeatin (cZ)-type cytokinins, while non-ancient CKXs preferentially target N 6-(?2-isopentenyl) adenines (iPs) and trans-zeatins (tZs). Based on the results of this work, an accompanying study (Wang et al. 10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x) and previous studies, we hypothesize that non-ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of iP/tZ-type cytokinins regulate angiosperm organ development and environmental stress responses, while ancient CKXs and their preferred substrates of cZs play a housekeeping role, which echoes the conclusions and hypothesis described in the accompanying report (Wang, X. et al. Evolution and roles of cytokinin genes in angiosperms 1: Doancient IPTs play housekeeping while non-ancient IPTs play regulatory roles? Hortic Res 7, (2020). 10.1038/s41438-019-0211-x).
Project description:The ligand-binding properties of the maize (Zea mays L.) cytokinin receptors ZmHK1, ZmHK2, and ZmHK3a have been characterized using cytokinin binding assays with living cells or membrane fractions. According to affinity measurements, ZmHK1 preferred N(6)-(?(2)-isopentenyl)adenine (iP) and had nearly equal affinities to trans-zeatin (tZ) and cis-zeatin (cZ). ZmHK2 preferred tZ and iP to cZ, while ZmHK3a preferred iP. Only ZmHK2 had a high affinity to dihydrozeatin (DZ). Analysis of subcellular fractions from leaves and roots of maize seedlings revealed specific binding of tZ in the microsome fraction but not in chloroplasts or mitochondria. In competitive binding assays with microsomes, tZ and iP were potent competitors of [(3)H]tZ while cZ demonstrated significantly lower affinity; adenine was almost ineffective. The binding specificities of microsomes from leaf and root cells for cytokinins were consistent with the expression pattern of the ZmHKs and our results on individual receptor properties. Aqueous two-phase partitioning and sucrose density-gradient centrifugation followed by immunological detection with monoclonal antibody showed that ZmHK1 was associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This was corroborated by observations of the subcellular localization of ZmHK1 fusions with green fluorescent protein in maize protoplasts. All these data strongly suggest that at least a part of cytokinin perception occurs in the ER.
Project description:Auxin acts synergistically with cytokinin to control the shoot stem-cell niche, while both hormones act antagonistically to maintain the root meristem. In aluminum (Al) stress-induced root growth inhibition, auxin plays an important role. However, the role of cytokinin in this process is not well understood. In this study, we show that cytokinin enhances root growth inhibition under stress by mediating Al-induced auxin signaling. Al stress triggers a local cytokinin response in the root-apex transition zone (TZ) that depends on IPTs, which encode adenosine phosphate isopentenyltransferases and regulate cytokinin biosynthesis. IPTs are up-regulated specifically in the root-apex TZ in response to Al stress and promote local cytokinin biosynthesis and inhibition of root growth. The process of root growth inhibition is also controlled by ethylene signaling which acts upstream of auxin. In summary, different from the situation in the root meristem, auxin acts with cytokinin in a synergistic way to mediate aluminum-induced root growth inhibition in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Cytokinins are important plant hormones, and their biosynthesis most begins with the transfer of isopentenyl group from dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) to the N6-amino group of adenine by either adenylate isopentenyltransferase (AIPT) or tRNA-IPT. Plant AIPTs use ATP/ADP as an isopentenyl acceptor and bacterial AIPTs prefer AMP, whereas tRNA-IPTs act on specific sites of tRNA. Here, we present the crystal structure of an AIPT-ATP complex from Humulus lupulus (HlAIPT), which is similar to the previous structures of Agrobacterium AIPT and yeast tRNA-IPT. The enzyme is structurally homologous to the NTP-binding kinase family of proteins but forms a solvent-accessible channel that binds to the donor substrate DMAPP, which is directed toward the acceptor substrate ATP/ADP. When measured with isothermal titration calorimetry, some nucleotides displayed different binding affinities to HlAIPT with an order of ATP > dATP approximately ADP > GTP > CTP > UTP. Two basic residues Lys275 and Lys220 in HlAIPT interact with the beta and gamma-phosphate of ATP. By contrast, the interactions are absent in Agrobacterium AIPT because they are replaced by the acidic residues Asp221 and Asp171. Despite its structural similarity to the yeast tRNA-IPT, HlAIPT has evolved with a different binding strategy for adenylate.
Project description:Virulent strains of Rhodococcus fascians cause a range of disease symptoms, many of which can be mimicked by application of cytokinin. Both virulent and avirulent strains produce a complex of cytokinins, most of which can be derived from tRNA degradation. To test the three current hypotheses regarding the involvement of cytokinins as virulence determinants, we used PCR to detect specific genes, previously associated with a linear virulence plasmid, including two methyl transferase genes (mt1 and mt2) and fas4 (dimethyl transferase), of multiple strains of R. fascians. We inoculated Pisum sativum (pea) seeds with virulent and avirulent strains of R. fascians, monitored the plants over time and compared these to mock-inoculated controls. We used RT-qPCR to monitor the expression of mt1, mt2, and fas4 in inoculated tissues and LC-MS/MS to obtain a comprehensive picture of the cytokinin complement of inoculated cotyledons, roots and shoots over time. The presence and expression of mt1 and mt2 was associated with those strains of R. fascians classed as virulent, and not those classed as avirulent. Expression of mt1, mt2, and fas4 peaked at 9 days post-inoculation (dpi) in cotyledons and at 15 dpi in shoots and roots developed from seeds inoculated with virulent strain 602. Pea plants inoculated with virulent and avirulent strains of R. fascians both contained cytokinins likely to have been derived from tRNA turnover including the 2-methylthio cytokinins and cis-zeatin-derivatives. Along with the isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins, the levels of these compounds did not correlate with virulence. Only the novel 1- and 2-methylated isopentenyladenine cytokinins were uniquely associated with infection by the virulent strains and are, therefore, the likely causative factors of the disease symptoms.
Project description:CKX (cytokinin dehydrogenase) is a flavoprotein that cleaves cytokinins to adenine and the corresponding side-chain aldehyde using a quinone-type electron acceptor. In the present study, reactions of maize (Zea mays) CKX with five different substrates (N6-isopentenyladenine, trans-zeatin, kinetin, p-topolin and N-methyl-isopentenyladenine) were studied. By using stopped-flow analysis of the reductive half-reaction, spectral intermediates were observed indicative of the transient formation of a binary enzyme-product complex between the cytokinin imine and the reduced enzyme. The reduction rate was high for isoprenoid cytokinins that showed formation of a charge-transfer complex of reduced enzyme with bound cytokinin imine. For the other cytokinins, flavin reduction was slow and no charge-transfer intermediates were observed. The binary complex of reduced enzyme and imine product intermediate decays relatively slowly to form an unbound product, cytokinin imine, which accumulates in the reaction mixture. The imine product only very slowly hydrolyses to adenine and an aldehyde derived from the cytokinin N6 side-chain. Mixing of the substrate-reduced enzyme with Cu2+/imidazole as an electron acceptor to monitor the oxidative half-reaction revealed a high rate of electron transfer for this type of electron acceptor when using N6-isopentenyladenine. The stability of the cytokinin imine products allowed their fragmentation analysis and structure assessment by Q-TOF (quadrupole-time-of-flight) MS/MS. Correlations of the kinetic data with the known crystal structure are discussed for reactions with different cytokinins.
Project description:The seed oil of Jatropha curcas is considered a potential bioenergy source that could replace fossil fuels. However, the seed yield of Jatropha is low and has yet to be improved. We previously reported that exogenous cytokinin treatment increased the seed yield of Jatropha. Cytokinin levels are directly regulated by isopentenyl transferase (IPT), cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, family 735, subfamily A (CYP735A), and cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX). In this study, we cloned six IPT genes, one JcCYP735A gene, and seven JcCKX genes. The expression patterns of these 14 genes in various organs were determined using real-time quantitative PCR. JcIPT1 was primarily expressed in roots and seeds, JcIPT2 was expressed in roots, apical meristems, and mature leaves, JcIPT3 was expressed in stems and mature leaves, JcIPT5 was expressed in roots and mature leaves, JcIPT6 was expressed in seeds at 10 days after pollination, and JcIPT9 was expressed in mature leaves. JcCYP735A was mainly expressed in roots, flower buds, and seeds. The seven JcCKX genes also showed different expression patterns in different organs of Jatropha. In addition, CK levels were detected in flower buds and seeds at different stages of development. The concentration of N6-(?2-isopentenyl)-adenine (iP), iP-riboside, and trans-zeatin (tZ) increased with flower development, and the concentration of iP decreased with seed development, while that of tZ increased. We further analyzed the function of JcCYP735A using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, and found that the concentrations of tZ and tZ-riboside decreased significantly in the Jccyp735a mutants, which showed severely retarded growth. These findings will be helpful for further studies of the functions of cytokinin metabolic genes and understanding the roles of cytokinins in Jatropha growth and development.
Project description:The catalytic reaction of cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206) was studied in detail using the recombinant flavoenzyme from maize. Determination of the redox potential of the covalently linked flavin cofactor revealed a relatively high potential dictating the type of electron acceptor that can be used by the enzyme. Using 2,6-dichlorophenol indophenol, 2,3-dimethoxy-5-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone or 1,4-naphthoquinone as electron acceptor, turnover rates with N6-(2-isopentenyl)adenine of approx. 150 s(-1) could be obtained. This suggests that the natural electron acceptor of the enzyme is quite probably a p-quinone or similar compound. By using the stopped-flow technique, it was found that the enzyme is rapidly reduced by N6-(2-isopentenyl)adenine (k(red)=950 s(-1)). Re-oxidation of the reduced enzyme by molecular oxygen is too slow to be of physiological relevance, confirming its classification as a dehydrogenase. Furthermore, it was established for the first time that the enzyme is capable of degrading aromatic cytokinins, although at low reaction rates. As a result, the enzyme displays a dual catalytic mode for oxidative degradation of cytokinins: a low-rate and low-substrate specificity reaction with oxygen as the electron acceptor, and high activity and strict specificity for isopentenyladenine and analogous cytokinins with some specific electron acceptors.