A contribution to identification of novel regulators of plant response to sulfur deficiency: characteristics of a tobacco gene UP9C, its protein product and the effects of UP9C silencing.
ABSTRACT: Extensive changes in plant transcriptome and metabolome have been observed by numerous research groups after transferring plants from optimal conditions to sulfur (S) deficiency. Despite intensive studies and recent important achievements, like identification of SLIM1/EIL3 as a major transcriptional regulator of the response to S-deficiency, many questions concerning other elements of the regulatory network remain unanswered. Investigations of genes with expression regulated by S-deficiency stress encoding proteins of unknown function might help to clarify these problems. This study is focused on the UP9C gene and the UP9-like family in tobacco. Homologs of these genes exist in other plant species, including a family of four genes of unknown function in Arabidopsis thaliana (LSU1-4), of which two were reported as strongly induced by S-deficit and to a lesser extent by salt stress and nitrate limitation. Conservation of the predicted structural features, such as coiled coil region or nuclear localization signal, suggests that these proteins might have important functions possibly mediated by interactions with other proteins. Analysis of transgenic tobacco plants with silenced expression of UP9-like genes strongly argues for their significant role in regulation of plant response to S-deficit. Although our study shows that the UP9-like proteins are important components of such response and they might be also required during other stresses, their molecular functions remain a mystery.
Project description:The plant response to sulfur deficiency includes extensive metabolic changes which can be monitored at various levels (transcriptome, proteome, metabolome) even before the first visible symptoms of sulfur starvation appear. Four members of the plant-specific LSU (response to Low SUlfur) gene family occur in Arabidopsis thaliana (LSU1-4). Variable numbers of LSU genes occur in other plant species but they were studied only in Arabidopsis and tobacco. Three out of four of the Arabidopsis LSU genes are induced by sulfur deficiency. The LSU-like genes in tobacco were characterized as UP9 (UPregulated by sulfur deficit 9). LSU-like proteins do not have characteristic domains that provide clues to their function. Despite having only moderate primary sequence conservation they share several common features including small size, a coiled-coil secondary structure and short conserved motifs in specific positions. Although the precise function of LSU-like proteins is still unknown there is some evidence that members of the LSU family are involved in plant responses to environmental challenges, such as sulfur deficiency, and possibly in plant immune responses. Various bioinformatic approaches have identified LSU-like proteins as important hubs for integration of signals from environmental stimuli. In this paper we review a variety of published data on LSU gene expression, the properties of lsu mutants and features of LSU-like proteins in the hope of shedding some light on their possible role in plant metabolism.
Project description:In natural environments, plants often experience different stresses simultaneously, and adverse abiotic conditions can weaken the plant immune system. Interactome mapping revealed that the LOW SULPHUR UPREGULATED (LSU) proteins are hubs in an Arabidopsis protein interaction network that are targeted by virulence effectors from evolutionarily diverse pathogens. Here we show that LSU proteins are up-regulated in several abiotic and biotic stress conditions, such as nutrient depletion or salt stress, by both transcriptional and post-translational mechanisms. Interference with LSU expression prevents chloroplastic reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and proper stomatal closure during sulphur stress. We demonstrate that LSU1 interacts with the chloroplastic superoxide dismutase FSD2 and stimulates its enzymatic activity in vivo and in vitro. Pseudomonas syringae virulence effectors interfere with this interaction and preclude re-localization of LSU1 to chloroplasts. We demonstrate that reduced LSU levels cause a moderately enhanced disease susceptibility in plants exposed to abiotic stresses such as nutrient deficiency, high salinity, or heavy metal toxicity, whereas LSU1 overexpression confers significant disease resistance in several of these conditions. Our data suggest that the network hub LSU1 plays an important role in co-ordinating plant immune responses across a spectrum of abiotic stress conditions.
Project description:Plants utilize soil sulfate for production of sulfur-containing amino acids that serve as essential dietary sulfur sources for animals. Despite the global nutritional significance of this fundamental metabolic process in nature, transcription factors regulating the plant sulfur assimilation pathways have never been discovered. We isolated sulfur limitation1 (slim1) mutants from Arabidopsis, showing abnormally low expression of SULTR1;2 sulfate transporter, by screening responsiveness of SULTR1;2 promoter-GFP, as an indicator, to sulfur limitation. SLIM1 encoded an EIL-family transcription factor, EIL3. To clarify the siganificance of SLIM1 function in sulfur responsive gene expression, we analyzed the transcriptome profiles in slim1-1, slim1-2 and the parental line under +S and -S conditions. Experiment Overall Design: PSULTR1;2-GFP, slim1-1 and slim1-2 were vertically grown on the +S/-S (S1500/S15) agar medium. Root tissues of 10-day-old plants were used for RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays. All conditions were duplicated.
Project description:Sulfur (S) assimilation, which is initiated by sulfate uptake, generates cysteine, the substrate for glutathione (GSH) and phytochelatin (PC) synthesis. GSH and PC contribute to cadmium (Cd) detoxification by capturing it for sequestration. Although Cd exposure is known to induce the expression of S-assimilating enzyme genes, including sulfate transporters (SULTRs), mechanisms of their transcriptional regulation are not well understood. Transcription factor SLIM1 controls transcriptional changes during S deficiency (-S) in Arabidopsis thaliana. We examined the potential involvement of SLIM1 in inducing the S assimilation pathway and PC accumulation. Cd treatment reduced the shoot fresh weight in the sulfur limitation1 (slim1) mutant but not in the parental line (1;2PGN). Cd-induced increases of sulfate uptake and SULTR1;2 expressions were diminished in the slim1 mutant, suggesting that SLIM1 is involved in inducing sulfate uptake during Cd exposure. The GSH and PC levels were lower in slim1 than in the parental line, indicating that SLIM1 was required for increasing PC during Cd treatment. Hence, SLIM1 indirectly contributes to Cd tolerance of plants by inducing -S responses in the cell caused by depleting the GSH pool, which is consumed by enhanced PC synthesis and sequestration to the vacuole.
Project description:Members of the plant-specific LSU (RESPONSE TO LOW SULFUR) family are strongly induced during sulfur starvation. The molecular functions of these proteins are unknown; however, they were identified as important stress-related hubs in several studies. In Arabidopsis thaliana, there are four members of the LSU family (LSU1-4). These proteins are small (approximately 100 amino acids), with coiled-coil structures. In this work, we investigated interactions between different monomers of LSU1-4. Differences in homo- and heterodimer formation were observed. Our structural models of LSU1-4 homo- and heterodimers were in agreement with our experimental observations and may help understand their binding properties. LSU proteins are involved in multiple protein-protein interactions, with the literature suggesting they can integrate abiotic and biotic stress responses. Previously, LSU partners were identified using the yeast two hybrid approach, therefore we sought to determine proteins co-purifying with LSU family members using protein extracts isolated from plants ectopically expressing TAP-tagged LSU1-4 constructs. These experiments revealed 46 new candidates for LSU partners. We tested four of them (and two other proteins, CAT2 and NBR1) for interaction with LSU1-4 by other methods. Binding of all six proteins with LSU1-4 was confirmed by Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation, while only three of them were interacting with LSUs in yeast-two-hybrid. Additionally, we conducted network analysis of LSU interactome and revealed novel clues for the possible cellular function of these proteins.
Project description:NAC (NAM, ATAF1-2, and CUC2) proteins constitute one of the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors and have been shown to be involved in diverse plant processes including plant growth, development, and stress-tolerance. In this study, a stress-responsive NAC gene, EcNAC1, was isolated from the subtracted stress cDNA library generated from a drought adapted crop, finger millet, and characterized for its role in stress-tolerance. The expression analysis showed that EcNAC1 was highly induced during water-deficit and salt stress. EcNAC1 shares high amino acid similarity with rice genes that have been phylogenetically classified into stress-related NAC genes. Our results demonstrated that tobacco transgenic plants expressing EcNAC1 exhibit tolerance to various abiotic stresses like simulated osmotic stress, by polyethylene glycol (PEG) and mannitol, and salinity stress. The transgenic plants also showed enhanced tolerance to methyl-viologen (MV) induced oxidative stress. Reduced levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ROS-induced damage were noticed in pot grown transgenic lines under water-deficit and natural high light conditions. Root growth under stress and recovery growth after stress alleviation was more in transgenic plants. Many stress-responsive genes were found to be up-regulated in transgenic lines expressing EcNAC1. Our results suggest that EcNAC1 overexpression confers tolerance against abiotic stress in susceptible species, tobacco.
Project description:Soybean is a major source of oil and protein in the human diet and in animal feed. However, as soybean is deficient in sulfur-containing amino acids, its nutritional value is limited. Increasing sulfate assimilation and utilization efficiency is a valuable approach to augment the concentration of sulfur-containing amino acids in soybean seeds, and sulfate transporters play important roles in both sulfate uptake and translocation within plants.In this study, we isolated and characterized a soybean sulfate transporter gene: GmSULTR1;2b. The gene was found to be specifically expressed in root tissues and induced by low-sulfur stress. In addition, GmSULTR1;2b expression in yeast could complement deficiency in the sulfate transporter genes SUL1 and SUL2. Under +S conditions, GmSULTR1;2b-overexpressing tobacco plants accumulated higher levels of organic matter and exhibited enhanced biomass and seed weight compared to control plants. Under -S conditions, acclimation of GmSULTR1;2b-overexpressing plants was much better than control plants. GmSULTR1;2b-overexpressing tobacco seedlings showed better tolerance to drought stress than the control plants, but no significant difference was observed under salt stress. Transcriptome analysis revealed 515 genes with at least a 2-fold change in expression in the leaves of tobacco plants overexpressing GmSULTR1;2b. Of these, 227 gene annotations were classified into 12 functional categories associated with 123 relevant pathways, including biosynthesis and metabolism-related proteins, stress-related proteins, and transporters.The findings reported here indicate that the increased biomass and seed yield observed in transgenic tobacco plants could have resulted from greater nutrient uptake and transport capability as well as enhanced development and accumulation of organic matter. Taken together, our results indicate that GmSULTR1;2b plays an important role in sulfur uptake and could alter the sulfur status of plants. Our study suggests that overexpressing GmSULTR1;2b may enhance plant yield under +S conditions, reduce plant production loss under -S conditions, and improve plant tolerance to sulfur deficiency stress.
Project description:To balance the flux of sulfur (S) into glucosinolates (GSL) and primary metabolites plants exploit various regulatory mechanisms particularly important upon S deficiency (-S). The role of MYB34, MYB51 and MYB122 controlling the production of indolic glucosinolates (IGs) and MYB28, MYB29, and MYB76 regulating the biosynthesis of aliphatic glucosinolates (AGs) in Arabidopsis thaliana has not been fully addressed at -S conditions yet. We show that the decline in the concentrations of GSL during S depletion does not coincide with the globally decreased transcription of R2R3-MYBs. Whereas the levels of GSL are diminished, the expression of MYB34, MYB51, MYB122, and MYB28 is hardly changed in early phase of S limitation. Furthermore, the mRNA levels of these MYBs start to raise under prolonged S starvation. In parallel, we found that SLIM1 can downregulate the MYBs in vitro as demonstrated in trans-activation assays in cultured Arabidopsis cells with SLIM1 as effector and ProMYB51:uidA as a reporter construct. However, in vivo, only the mRNA of MYB29 and MYB76 correlated with the levels of GSL at -S. We propose that the negative effect of SLIM1 on GSL regulatory genes can be overridden by a "low GSL signal" inducing the transcription of MYBs in a feedback regulatory loop. In accordance with this hypothesis, the expression of MYB34, MYB51, MYB122, and CYP83B1 was further induced in cyp79b2 cyp79b3 mutant exposed to -S conditions vs. cyp79b2 cyp79b3 plants grown on control medium. In addition, the possible role of MYBs in the regulation of essential S assimilation enzymes, in the regulation of GSL biosynthesis upon accelerated termination of life cycles, in the mobilization of auxin and lateral root formation at S deficiency is discussed.
Project description:A wide range of biotic stresses (BS) and abiotic stresses (AS) adversely affect plant growth and productivity worldwide. The study of individual genes cannot be considered as an effective approach for the understanding of tolerance mechanisms, since these stresses are frequent and often in combination with each other, and a large number of genes are involved in these mechanisms. The availability of high-throughput genomic data has enabled the discovery of the role of transcription factors (TFs) in regulatory networks. A meta-analysis of BS and AS responses was performed by analyzing a total of 391 microarray samples from 23 different experiments and 2,336 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in multiple stresses were identified. We identified 1,862 genes differentially regulated in response to BS was much greater than that regulated by AS, 835 genes, and found 15.4% or 361 DEGs with the conserved expression between AS and BS. The greatest percent of genes related to the cellular process (>76% genes), metabolic process (>76% genes) and response to stimulus (>50%). About 4.2% of genes involved in BS and AS responses belonged to the TF families. We identified several genes, which encode TFs that play an important role in AS and BS responses. These proteins included Jasmonate Ethylene Response Factor 1 (JERF1), SlGRAS6, MYB48, SlERF4, EIL2, protein LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY), SlERF1, WRKY 26, basic leucine zipper TF, inducer of CBF expression 1-like, pti6, EIL3 and WRKY 11. Six of these proteins, JERF1, MYB48, protein LHY, EIL3, EIL2 and SlGRAS6, play central roles in these mechanisms. This research promoted a new approach to clarify the expression profiles of various genes under different conditions in plants, detected common genes from differentially regulated in response to these conditions and introduced them as candidate genes for improving plant tolerance through genetic engineering approach.
Project description:Now it is well recognized that the microRNA (miRNA) expression is altered in response to internal (developmental or hormonal) or external stimuli such as biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. It is also known that several miRNAs are induced in response to deficiency of specific nutrients within the plant or in the external sources, i.e., soil/nutrient media. For instance, P-deprivation induces miR399, S-deprivation induces miR395 and Cu-deprivation induces miR398, miR397 and miR408 in several plant species. Although the transcription factors (PHR1, SLIM1 and SPB7) that regulate these nutrient-deprivation inducible miRNAs have been identified but the upstream biochemical pathway that activates them is relatively unknown. In a recent study, we demonstrated for the first time that redox signaling plays a critical role in S-deprivation-inducible miR395 expression in Arabidopsis. In this short review, we draw additional hypotheses for the involvement of redox signaling and/or reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling in inducing other nutrient or stress-responsive miRNAs in plants.