Tomato FK506 Binding Protein 12KD (FKBP12) Mediates the Interaction between Rapamycin and Target of Rapamycin (TOR).
ABSTRACT: Target of Rapamycin (TOR) signaling is an important regulator in multiple organisms including yeast, plants, and animals. However, the TOR signaling in plants is much less understood as compared to that in yeast and animals. TOR kinase can be efficiently suppressed by rapamycin in the presence of functional FK506 Binding Protein 12 KD (FKBP12) in yeast and animals. In most examined higher plants rapamycin fails to inhibit TOR kinase due to the non-functional FKBP12. Here we find that tomato plants showed obvious growth inhibition when treated with rapamycin and the inhibitory phenotype is similar to suppression of TOR causing by active-site TOR inhibitors (asTORis) such as KU63794, AZD8055, and Torin1. The chemical genetic assays using TOR inhibitors and heterologous expressing SlFKBP12 in Arabidopsis indicated that the TOR signaling is functional in tomato. The protein gel shifting and TOR inhibitors combination assays showed that SlFKBP12 can mediate the interaction between rapamycin and TOR. Furthermore, comparative expression profile analysis between treatments with rapamycin and KU63794 identified highly overlapped Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) which are involved in many anabolic and catabolic processes, such as photosynthesis, cell wall restructuring, and senescence in tomato. These observations suggest that SlFFBP12 is functional in tomato. The results provided basic information of TOR signaling in tomato, and also some new insights into how TOR controls plant growth and development through reprogramming the transcription profiles.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR), a master sensor for growth factors and nutrition availability in eukaryotic species, is a specific target protein of rapamycin. Rapamycin inhibits TOR kinase activity viaFK506 binding protein 12 kDa (FKBP12) in all examined heterotrophic eukaryotic organisms. In Arabidopsis, several independent studies have shown that AtFKBP12 is non-functional under aerobic condition, but one study suggests that AtFKBP12 is functional during anaerobic growth. However, the functions of AtFKBP12 have never been examined in parallel under aerobic and anaerobic growth conditions so far. To this end, we cloned the FKBP12 gene of humans, yeast, and Arabidopsis, respectively. Transgenic plants were generated, and pharmacological examinations were performed in parallel with Arabidopsis under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. ScFKBP12 conferred plants with the strongest sensitivity to rapamycin, followed by HsFKBP12, whereas AtFKBP12 failed to generate rapamycin sensitivity under aerobic condition. Upon submergence, yeast and human FKBP12 can significantly block cotyledon greening while Arabidopsis FKBP12 only retards plant growth in the presence of rapamycin, suggesting that hypoxia stress could partially restore the functions of AtFKBP12 to bridge the interaction between rapamycin and TOR. To further determine if communication between TOR and auxin signaling exists in plants, yeast FKBP12 was introduced into DR5::GUS homozygous plants. The transgenic plants DR5/BP12 were then treated with rapamycin or KU63794 (a new inhibitor of TOR). GUS staining showed that the auxin content of root tips decreased compared to the control. DR5/BP12 plants lost sensitivity to auxin after treatment with rapamycin. Auxin-defective phenotypes, including short primary roots, fewer lateral roots, and loss of gravitropism, occurred in DR5/BP12 plants when seedlings were treated with rapamycin+KU63794. This indicated that the combination of rapamycin and KU63794 can significantly inhibit TOR and auxin signaling in DR5/BP12 plants. These studies demonstrate that TOR is essential for auxin signaling transduction in Arabidopsis.
Project description:In the agriculture industry, adventitious root formation is a core issue of plants asexual propagation. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of adventitious root formation is far beyond understanding. In present study we found that target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling plays a key role in adventitious root formation in potato and Arabidopsis. The core components of TOR complex including TOR, RAPTOR, and LST8 are highly conserved in potato, but the seedlings of potato are insensitive to rapamycin, implying FK506 Binding Protein 12 KD (FKBP12) lost the function to bridge the interaction of rapamycin and TOR in potato. To dissect TOR signaling in potato, the rapamycin hypersensitive potato plants (BP12-OE) were engineered by introducing yeast FKBP12 (ScFKBP12) into potato. We found that rapamycin can significantly attenuate the capability of adventitious root formation in BP12-OE potatoes. KU63794 (KU, an active-site TOR inhibitor) combined with rapamycin can more significantly suppress adventitious root formation of BP12-OE potato than the single treatments, such as KU63794 or rapamycin, indicating its synergistic inhibitory effects on potato adventitious root formation. Furthermore, RNA-seq data showed that many genes associated with auxin signaling pathway were altered when BP12-OE potato seedlings were treated with rapamycin + KU, suggesting that TOR may play a major role in adventitious root formation via auxin signaling. The auxin receptor mutant tir1 was sensitive to TOR inhibitors and the double and quadruple mutants including tir1afb2, tir1afb3, and tir1afb1afb2afb3 displayed more sensitive to asTORis than single mutant tir1. Consistently, overexpression of AtTIR1 in Arabidopsis and potato can partially overcome the inhibitory effect of asTORis and promote adventitious root formation under asTORis treatments. These observations suggest that TOR signaling regulates adventitious root formation by mediating auxin signaling in Arabidopsis and potato.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The eukaryotic TOR pathway controls translation, growth and the cell cycle in response to environmental signals such as nutrients or growth-stimulating factors. The TOR protein kinase can be inactivated by the antibiotic rapamycin following the formation of a ternary complex between TOR, rapamycin and FKBP12 proteins. The TOR protein is also found in higher plants despite the fact that they are rapamycin insensitive. Previous findings using the yeast two hybrid system suggest that the FKBP12 plant homolog is unable to form a complex with rapamycin and TOR, while the FRB domain of plant TOR is still able to bind to heterologous FKBP12 in the presence of rapamycin. The resistance to rapamycin is therefore limiting the molecular dissection of the TOR pathway in higher plants. RESULTS: Here we show that none of the FKBPs from the model plant Arabidopsis (AtFKBPs) is able to form a ternary complex with the FRB domain of AtTOR in the presence of rapamycin in a two hybrid system. An antibody has been raised against the AtTOR protein and binding of recombinant yeast ScFKBP12 to native Arabidopsis TOR in the presence of rapamycin was demonstrated in pull-down experiments. Transgenic lines expressing ScFKBP12 were produced and were found to display a rapamycin-dependent reduction of the primary root growth and a lowered accumulation of high molecular weight polysomes. CONCLUSION: These results further strengthen the idea that plant resistance to rapamycin evolved as a consequence of mutations in plant FKBP proteins. The production of rapamycin-sensitive plants through the expression of the ScFKBP12 protein illustrates the conservation of the TOR pathway in eukaryotes. Since AtTOR null mutants were found to be embryo lethal 1, transgenic ScFKBP12 plants will provide an useful tool for the post-embryonic study of plant TOR functions. This work also establish for the first time a link between TOR activity and translation in plant cells.
Project description:Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungal pathogen that causes meningitis in patients immunocompromised by AIDS, chemotherapy, organ transplantation, or high-dose steroids. Current antifungal drug therapies are limited and suffer from toxic side effects and drug resistance. Here, we defined the targets and mechanisms of antifungal action of the immunosuppressant rapamycin in C. neoformans. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and in T cells, rapamycin forms complexes with the FKBP12 prolyl isomerase that block cell cycle progression by inhibiting the TOR kinases. We identified the gene encoding a C. neoformans TOR1 homolog. Using a novel two-hybrid screen for rapamycin-dependent TOR-binding proteins, we identified the C. neoformans FKBP12 homolog, encoded by the FRR1 gene. Disruption of the FKBP12 gene conferred rapamycin and FK506 resistance but had no effect on growth, differentiation, or virulence of C. neoformans. Two spontaneous mutations that confer rapamycin resistance alter conserved residues on TOR1 or FKBP12 that are required for FKBP12-rapamycin-TOR1 interactions or FKBP12 stability. Two other spontaneous mutations result from insertion of novel DNA sequences into the FKBP12 gene. Our observations reveal that the antifungal activities of rapamycin and FK506 are mediated via FKBP12 and TOR homologs and that a high proportion of spontaneous mutants in C. neoformans result from insertion of novel DNA sequences, and they suggest that nonimmunosuppressive rapamycin analogs have potential as antifungal agents.
Project description:Germination is a process of seed sprouting that facilitates embryo growth. The breakdown of reserved starch in the endosperm into simple sugars is essential for seed germination and subsequent seedling growth. At the early stage of germination, gibberellic acid (GA) activates transcription factor GAMYB to promote <i>de novo</i> synthesis of isoforms of ?-amylase in the aleurone layer and scutellar epithelium of the embryo. Here, we demonstrate that wheat germination is regulated by plant target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling. TOR is a central component of the essential-nutrient-dependent pathway controlling cell growth in all eukaryotes. It is known that rapamycin, a highly specific allosteric inhibitor of TOR, is effective in yeast and animal cells but ineffective in most of higher plants likely owing to structural differences in ubiquitous rapamycin receptor FKBP12. The action of rapamycin on wheat growth has not been studied. Our data show that rapamycin inhibits germination of wheat seeds and of their isolated embryos in a dose-dependent manner. The involvement of <i>Triticum aestivum</i> TOR (TaTOR) in wheat germination was consistent with the suppression of wheat embryo growth by specific inhibitors of the TOR kinase: pp242 or torin1. Rapamycin or torin1 interfered with GA function in germination because of a potent inhibitory effect on ?-amylase and <i>GAMYB</i> gene expression. The TOR inhibitors selectively targeted the GA-dependent gene expression, whereas expression of the abscisic acid-dependent <i>ABI5</i> gene was not affected by either rapamycin or torin1. To determine whether the TaTOR kinase activation takes place during wheat germination, we examined phosphorylation of a ribosomal protein, <i>T. aestivum</i> S6 kinase 1 (TaS6K1; a substrate of TOR). The phosphorylation of serine 467 (S467) in a hydrophobic motif on TaS6K1 was induced in a process of germination triggered by GA. Moreover, the germination-induced phosphorylation of TaS6K1 on S467 was dependent on TaTOR and was inhibited by rapamycin or torin1. Besides, a gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor (paclobutrazol; PBZ) blocked not only ?-amylase gene expression but also TaS6K1 phosphorylation in wheat embryos. Thus, a hormonal action of GA turns on the synthesis of ?-amylase in wheat germination via activation of the TaTOR-S6K1 signaling pathway.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) acts as a master regulator to control cell growth by integrating nutrient, energy, and growth factors in all eukaryotic species. TOR plays an evolutionarily conserved role in regulating the transcription of genes associated with anabolic and catabolic processes in Arabidopsis, but little is known about the functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling, which are unique features of plants. In this study, AZD8055 (AZD) was screened as the strongest active-site TOR inhibitor (asTORi) in Arabidopsis compared with TORIN1 and KU63794 (KU). Gene expression profiles were evaluated using RNA-seq after treating Arabidopsis seedlings with AZD. More than three-fold differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in AZD-treated plants relative to rapamycin-treated plants in previous studies. Most of the DEGs and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways involved in cell wall elongation, ribosome biogenesis, and cell autophagy were common to both AZD- and rapamycin-treated samples, but AZD displayed much broader and more efficient inhibition of TOR compared with rapamycin. Importantly, the suppression of TOR by AZD resulted in remodeling of the expression profile of the genes associated with photosynthesis and various phytohormones, indicating that TOR plays a crucial role in modulating photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling in Arabidopsis. These newly identified DEGs expand the understanding of TOR signaling in plants. This study elucidates the novel functions of TOR in photosynthesis and phytohormone signaling and provides a platform to study the downstream targets of TOR in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Over the past few decades advances in modern medicine have resulted in a global increase in the prevalence of fungal infections. Particularly people undergoing organ transplants or cancer treatments with a compromised immune system are at an elevated risk for lethal fungal infections such as invasive candidiasis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, etc. The emergence of drug resistance in fungal pathogens poses a serious threat to mankind and it is critical to identify new targets for the development of antifungals. Calcineurin and TOR proteins are conserved across eukaryotes including pathogenic fungi. Two small molecules FK506 and rapamycin bind to FKBP12 immunophilin and the resulting complexes (FK506-FKBP12 and rapamycin-FKBP12) target calcineurin and TOR, respectively in both humans and fungi. However, due to their immunosuppressive nature these drugs in the current form cannot be used as an antifungal. To overcome this, it is important to identify key differences between human and fungal FKBP12, calcineurin, and TOR proteins which will facilitate the development of new small molecules with higher affinity toward fungal components. The current review highlights FK506/rapamycin-FKBP12 interactions with calcineurin/TOR kinase in human and fungi, and development of non-immunosuppressive analogs of FK506, rapamycin, and novel small molecules in inhibition of fungal calcineurin and TOR kinase.
Project description:Target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase is an evolutionarily conserved master regulator that integrates energy, nutrients, growth factors, and stress signals to promote survival and growth in all eukaryotes. The reported land plant resistance to rapamycin and the embryo lethality of the Arabidopsis tor mutants have hindered functional dissection of TOR signaling in plants. We developed sensitive cellular and seedling assays to monitor endogenous Arabidopsis TOR activity based on its conserved S6 kinase (S6K) phosphorylation. Surprisingly, rapamycin effectively inhibits Arabidopsis TOR-S6K1 signaling and retards glucose-mediated root and leaf growth, mimicking estradiol-inducible tor mutants. Rapamycin inhibition is relieved in transgenic plants deficient in Arabidopsis FK506-binding protein 12 (FKP12), whereas FKP12 overexpression dramatically enhances rapamycin sensitivity. The role of Arabidopsis FKP12 is highly specific as overexpression of seven closely related FKP proteins fails to increase rapamycin sensitivity. Rapamycin exerts TOR inhibition by inducing direct interaction between the TOR-FRB (FKP-rapamycin binding) domain and FKP12 in plant cells. We suggest that variable endogenous FKP12 protein levels may underlie the molecular explanation for longstanding enigmatic observations on inconsistent rapamycin resistance in plants and in various mammalian cell lines or diverse animal cell types. Integrative analyses with rapamycin and conditional tor and fkp12 mutants also reveal a central role of glucose-TOR signaling in root hair formation. Our studies demonstrate the power of chemical genetic approaches in the discovery of previously unknown and pivotal functions of glucose-TOR signaling in governing the growth of cotyledons, true leaves, petioles, and primary and secondary roots and root hairs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Knowledge with respect to regulatory systems for cellulase production is prerequisite for exploitation of such regulatory networks to increase cellulase production, improve fermentation efficiency and reduce the relevant production cost. The target of rapamycin (TOR) signaling pathway is considered as a central signaling hub coordinating eukaryotic cell growth and metabolism with environmental inputs. However, how and to what extent the TOR signaling pathway and rapamycin are involved in cellulase production remain elusive.<h4>Result</h4>At the early fermentation stage, high-dose rapamycin (100 μM) caused a temporary inhibition effect on cellulase production, cell growth and sporulation of Trichoderma reesei RUT-C30 independently of the carbon sources, and specifically caused a tentative morphology defect in RUT-C30 grown on cellulose. On the contrary, the lipid content of T. reesei RUT-C30 was not affected by rapamycin. Accordingly, the transcriptional levels of genes involved in the cellulase production were downregulated notably with the addition of rapamycin. Although the mRNA levels of the putative rapamycin receptor trFKBP12 was upregulated significantly by rapamycin, gene trTOR (the downstream effector of the rapamycin-FKBP12 complex) and genes associated with the TOR signaling pathways were not changed markedly. With the deletion of gene trFKBP12, there is no impact of rapamycin on cellulase production, indicating that trFKBP12 mediates the observed temporary inhibition effect of rapamycin.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our study shows for the first time that only high-concentration rapamycin induced a transient impact on T. reesei RUT-C30 at its early cultivation stage, demonstrating T. reesei RUT-C30 is highly resistant to rapamycin, probably due to that trTOR and its related signaling pathways were not that sensitive to rapamycin. This temporary influence of rapamycin was facilitated by gene trFKBP12. These findings add to our knowledge on the roles of rapamycin and the TOR signaling pathways play in T. reesei.
Project description:Rapamycin-sensitive transgenic Arabidopsis lines (BP12) expressing yeast FK506 Binding Protein12 (FKBP12) were developed. Inhibition of TOR in BP12 plants by rapamycin resulted in slower overall root, leaf and shoot growth and development leading to poor nutrient uptake and light energy utilization. Genetic and physiological studies together with RNA-Seq and metabolite analysis of TOR-suppressed lines revealed that TOR regulates development and lifespan in Arabidopsis by restructuring cell growth, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, gene expression, ribosomal RNA and protein synthesis. Arabidopsis WT (Col)and BP12-2 (TOR knockdown line) seedlings at 15 DAG were treated with rapamycin for 3 days by transferring from 0.5 MS medium to 0.5 MS+10 ug/ml rapamycin. Triplicate samples of rapamycin treated WT and BP12-2 seedlings were used for RNA-Seq analysis (Illumina Hiseq 2000). Paired-end alignments were obtained through aligning short reads onto the reference Arabidopsis Genome (TAIR9) using Bowtie. More than 80% of the reads mapped onto the genome. Htseq-count was used to count the reads from the Bowtie derived output files. Differential expressed genes were identified using edgeR. The FDR-corrected P value for differential expression was set to be <=0.05.