A thermostable ?-glucuronidase obtained by directed evolution as a reporter gene in transgenic plants.
ABSTRACT: A ?-glucuronidase variant, GUS-TR3337, that was obtained by directed evolution exhibited higher thermostability than the wild-type enzyme, GUS-WT. In this study, the utility of GUS-TR337 as an improved reporter was evaluated. The corresponding gus-tr3337 and gus-wt genes were independently cloned in a plant expression vector and introduced into Arabidopsis thaliana. With 4-MUG as a substrate, plants containing the gus-wt gene showed no detectable ?-glucuronidase activity after exposure to 60°C for 10 min, while those hosting the gus-tr3337 gene retained 70% or 50% activity after exposure to 80°C for 10 min or 30 min, respectively. Similarly, in vivo ?-glucuronidase activity could be demonstrated by using X-GLUC as a substrate in transgenic Arabidopsis plants hosting the gus-tr3337 gene that were exposed to 80°C for up to 30 min. Thus, the thermostability of GUS-TR3337 can be exploited to distinguish between endogenous and transgenic ?-glucuronidase activity, which is a welcome improvement in its use as a reporter.
Project description:The DnaE intein in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC6803 is the first and only naturally split intein that has been identified so far. It is capable of catalyzing a protein trans-splicing mechanism to assemble a mature protein from two separate precursors. Therefore, it is a powerful tool for protein modification and engineering. Inteins have not been identified, nor have intein-mediated protein splicing reactions been demonstrated, in plant cells. In this paper, we describe the use of the Ssp DnaE split intein in transgenic plants for reconstitution of a protein trans-splicing reaction. We have synthesized artificial genes that encode for N-terminal half (Int-n) and C-terminal half (Int-c) fragments of Ssp DnaE split intein and divided beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene to encode GUS-n and GUS-c parts of the enzyme as reporter. The in-frame fusions of GUSn/Intn and Intc/GUSc were constructed and transfected into Arabidopsis. We have observed in vivo reassembly of functional beta-glucuronidase when both GUSn/Intn and Intc/GUSc constructs were introduced into the same Arabidopsis genome either by cotransformation or through genetic crossing, hereby signifying an intein-mediated protein trans-splicing mechanism reconstituted in plant cells.
Project description:The use of biologically active small molecules to perturb biological functions holds enormous potential for investigating complex signaling networks. However, in contrast to animal systems, the search for and application of chemical tools for basic discovery in the plant sciences, generally referred to as "chemical genetics," has only recently gained momentum. In addition to cultured cells, the well-characterized, small-sized model plant Arabidopsis thaliana is suitable for cultivation in microplates, which allows employing diverse cell- or phenotype-based chemical screens. In such screens, a chemical's bioactivity is typically assessed either through scoring its impact on morphological traits or quantifying molecular attributes such as enzyme or reporter activities. Here, we describe a facile forward chemical screening methodology for intact Arabidopsis seedlings harboring the ?-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter by directly quantifying GUS activity in situ with 4-methylumbelliferyl-?-D-glucuronide (4-MUG) as substrate. The quantitative nature of this screening assay has an obvious advantage over the also convenient histochemical GUS staining method, as it allows application of statistical procedures and unbiased hit selection based on threshold values as well as distinction between compounds with strong or weak bioactivity. At the same time, the in situ bioassay is very convenient requiring less effort and time for sample handling in comparison to the conventional quantitative in vitro GUS assay using 4-MUG, as validated with several Arabidopsis lines harboring different GUS reporter constructs. To demonstrate that the developed assays is particularly suitable for large-scale screening projects, we performed a pilot screen for chemical activators or inhibitors of salicylic acid-mediated defense signaling using the Arabidopsis PR1p::GUS line. Importantly, the screening methodology provided here can be adopted for any inducible GUS reporter line.
Project description:Glycosyl hydrolases hydrolyze the glycosidic bond in carbohydrates or between a carbohydrate and a non-carbohydrate moiety. beta-glucuronidase (GUS) is classified under two glycosyl hydrolase families (2 and 79) and the family-2 beta-glucuronidase is reported in a wide range of organisms, but not in plants. The family-79 endo-beta-glucuronidase (heparanase) is reported in microorganisms, vertebrates and plants. The E. coli family-2 beta-glucuronidase (uidA) had been successfully devised as a reporter gene in plant transformation on the basis that plants do not have homologous GUS activity. On the contrary, histochemical staining with X-Gluc was reported in wild type (non-transgenic) plants. Data shows that, family-2 beta-glucuronidase homologous sequence is not found in plants. Further, beta-glucuronidases of family-2 and 79 lack appreciable sequence similarity. However, the catalytic site residues, glutamic acid and tyrosine of the family-2 beta-glucuronidase are found to be conserved in family-79 beta-glucuronidase of plants. This led to propose that the GUS staining reported in wild type plants is largely because of the broad substrate specificity of family-79 beta-glucuronidase on X-Gluc and not due to the family-2 beta-glucuronidase, as the latter has been found to be missing in plants.
Project description:Both ?-galactosidase (GAL) and ?-glucuronidase (GUS) are tetrameric enzymes used widely as reporter proteins. However, little is known about the folding and assembly of these enzymes. Although the refolding kinetics of GAL from a denatured enzyme have been reported, it is not known how the kinetics differ when coupled with a protein translation reaction. Elucidating the assembly kinetics of GAL and GUS when coupled with protein translation will illustrate the differences between these two reporter proteins and also the assembly process under conditions more relevant to those in vivo. In this study, we used an in vitro translation/transcription system to synthesize GAL and GUS, measured the time development of the activity and oligomerization state of these enzymes, and determined the rate constants of the monomer to tetramer assembly process. We found that at similar concentrations, GAL assembles into tetramers faster than GUS. The rate constant of monomer to dimer assembly of GAL was 50-fold faster when coupled with protein translation than that of refolding from the denatured state. Furthermore, GAL synthesis was found to lack the rate-limiting step in the assembly process, whereas GUS has two rate-limiting steps: monomer to dimer assembly and dimer to tetramer assembly. The consequence of these differences when used as reporter proteins is discussed.
Project description:Human β-glucuronidase (GUS) cleaves β-D-glucuronic acid residues from the non-reducing termini of glycosaminoglycan and its deficiency leads to mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPSVII). Here we report a high resolution crystal structure of human GUS at 1.7 Å resolution and present an extensive analysis of the structural features, unifying recent findings in the field of lysosome targeting and glycosyl hydrolases. The structure revealed several new details including a new glycan chain at Asn272, in addition to that previously observed at Asn173, and coordination of the glycan chain at Asn173 with Lys197 of the lysosomal targeting motif which is essential for phosphotransferase recognition. Analysis of the high resolution structure not only provided new insights into the structural basis for lysosomal targeting but showed significant differences between human GUS, which is medically important in its own right, and E. coli GUS, which can be selectively inhibited in the human gut to prevent prodrug activation and is also widely used as a reporter gene by plant biologists. Despite these differences, both human and E. coli GUS share a high structure homology in all three domains with most of the glycosyl hydrolases, suggesting that they all evolved from a common ancestral gene.
Project description:Rice (Oryza sativa) ClpB-C (OsClpB-C) protein is expressed upon heat stress in vegetative tissues and constitutively in seeds. We produced stably transformed Arabidopsis plants carrying ?-glucuronidase (Gus) reporter gene downstream to 1-kb OsClpB-C promoter (1kbPro plants). In the 1kbPro plants, expression of Gus transcript and protein followed the expression pattern of OsClpB-C gene in rice plants, i.e., heat induced in vegetative tissues and constitutive in seeds. Next, we produced transgenic Arabidopsis plants containing Gus downstream to 862-bp fragment of OsClpB-C promoter [lacking 138 nucleotides from 3' end of the 5'untranslated region (5'UTR); ?UTR plants). In ?UTR plants, Gus transcript was expressed in heat-inducible manner, but strikingly, Gus protein levels were negligible after heat treatment. However, Gus protein was expressed in ?UTR seedlings at levels comparable to 1kbPro seedlings when recovery treatment of 22 °C/2 h was given post heat stress (38 °C/15 min). This suggests that 5'UTR of OsClpB-C gene is involved in its post-transcriptional regulation and is an obligate requirement for protein expression during persistent heat stress. Furthermore, the Gus transcript levels were higher in the polysomal RNA fraction in heat-stressed seedlings of 1kbPro plants as compared to ?UTR plants, indicating that 5'UTR aids in assembly of ribosomes onto the Gus transcript during heat stress. Unlike the case of seedlings, Gus protein was formed constitutively in ?UTR seeds at levels comparable to 1kbPro seeds. Hence, the function of 5'UTR of OsClpB-C is dispensable for expression in seeds.
Project description:Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is commonly prescribed and has proven advantages over other immunosuppressive drugs. However, frequent gastrointestinal side effects through an unknown mechanism limit its use. We have found that consumption of MMF alters the composition of the gut microbiota, selecting for bacteria expressing the enzyme β-glucuronidase (GUS) and leading to an up-regulation of GUS activity in the gut of mice and symptomatic humans. In the mouse, vancomycin eliminated GUS-expressing bacteria and prevented MMF-induced weight loss and colonic inflammation. Our work provides a mechanism for the toxicity associated with MMF and a future direction for the development of therapeutics.
Project description:Irinotecan treats a range of solid tumors, but its effectiveness is severely limited by gastrointestinal (GI) tract toxicity caused by gut bacterial ?-glucuronidase (GUS) enzymes. Targeted bacterial GUS inhibitors have been shown to partially alleviate irinotecan-induced GI tract damage and resultant diarrhea in mice. Here, we unravel the mechanistic basis for GI protection by gut microbial GUS inhibitors using in vivo models. We use in vitro, in fimo, and in vivo models to determine whether GUS inhibition alters the anticancer efficacy of irinotecan. We demonstrate that a single dose of irinotecan increases GI bacterial GUS activity in 1 d and reduces intestinal epithelial cell proliferation in 5 d, both blocked by a single dose of a GUS inhibitor. In a tumor xenograft model, GUS inhibition prevents intestinal toxicity and maintains the antitumor efficacy of irinotecan. Remarkably, GUS inhibitor also effectively blocks the striking irinotecan-induced bloom of Enterobacteriaceae in immune-deficient mice. In a genetically engineered mouse model of cancer, GUS inhibition alleviates gut damage, improves survival, and does not alter gut microbial composition; however, by allowing dose intensification, it dramatically improves irinotecan's effectiveness, reducing tumors to a fraction of that achieved by irinotecan alone, while simultaneously promoting epithelial regeneration. These results indicate that targeted gut microbial enzyme inhibitors can improve cancer chemotherapeutic outcomes by protecting the gut epithelium from microbial dysbiosis and proliferative crypt damage.
Project description:The severity of human mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPS VII), or Sly syndrome, depends on the relative activity of the enzyme beta-glucuronidase. Loss of beta-glucuronidase activity can cause hydrops fetalis, with in utero or postnatal death of the patient. In this report, we show that beta-glucuronidase activity is not detectable by a standard fluorometric assay in C3H/HeOuJ (C3H) mice homozygous for a new mutation, gusmps2J. These gusmps2J/gusmps2J mice are born and survive much longer than the previously characterized beta-glucuronidase-null B6.C-H-2(bm1)/ByBir-gusmps (gusmps/gusmps) mice. Northern blot analysis of liver from gusmps2J/gusmps2J mice demonstrates a 750-bp reduction in size of beta-glucuronidase mRNA. A 5.4-kb insertion in the Gus-sh nucleotide sequence from these mice was localized by Southern blot analysis to intron 8. The ends of the inserted sequences were cloned by inverse PCR and revealed an intracisternal A-particle (IAP) element inserted near the 3' end of the intron. The sequence of the long terminal repeat (LTR) regions of the IAP most closely matches that of a composite LTR found in transposed IAPs previously identified in the C3H strain. The inserted IAP may contribute to diminished beta-glucuronidase activity either by interfering with transcription or by destabilizing the message. The resulting phenotype is much less severe than that previously described in the gusmps/gusmps mouse and provides an opportunity to study MPS VII on a genetic background that clearly modulates disease severity.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The beta-glucuronidase (GUS) gene reporter system is one of the most effective and employed techniques in the study of gene regulation in plant molecular biology. Improving protocols for GUS assays have rendered the original method described by Jefferson amenable to various requirements and conditions, but the serious limitation caused by inhibitors of the enzyme activity in plant tissues has thus far been underestimated. RESULTS: We report that inhibitors of GUS activity are ubiquitous in organ tissues of Arabidopsis, tobacco and rice, and significantly bias quantitative assessment of GUS activity in plant transformation experiments. Combined with previous literature reports on non-model species, our findings suggest that inhibitors may be common components of plant cells, with variable affinity towards the E. coli enzyme. The reduced inhibitory capacity towards the plant endogenous GUS discredits the hypothesis of a regulatory role of these compounds in plant cells, and their effect on the bacterial enzyme is better interpreted as a side effect due to their interaction with GUS during the assay. This is likely to have a bearing also on histochemical analyses, leading to inaccurate evaluations of GUS expression. CONCLUSIONS: In order to achieve reliable results, inhibitor activity should be routinely tested during quantitative GUS assays. Two separate methods to correct the measured activity of the transgenic and endogenous GUS are presented.