Effect of soybean ureases on seed germination and plant development.
ABSTRACT: Urease catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. The ammonia (nitrogen (N) product of urease activity) is incorporated into organic compounds. Thus, urease is involved in N remobilization, as well as in primary N assimilation. Two urease isoforms have been described for soybean: the embryo-specific, encoded by the Eu1 gene, and the ubiquitous urease, encoded by Eu4. A third urease-encoding gene was recently identified, designated Eu5, which encodes the putative protein product SBU-III. The present study aimed to evaluate the contribution of soybean ureases to seed germination and plant development. Analyses were performed using Eu1/Eu4/Eu5-co-suppressed transgenic plants and mutants of the Eu1 and Eu4 urease structural genes, as well as a urease-null mutant (eu3-a) that activates neither the ubiquitous nor embryo-specific ureases. The co-suppressed plants presented a developmental delay during the first month after germination; shoots and roots were significantly smaller and lighter. Slower development was observed for the double eu1-a/eu4-a mutant and the eu3-a single mutant. The N content in transgenic plants was significantly lower than in non-transgenic plants. Among the mutants, eu3-a presented the lowest and eu1-a the highest N content. Altogether, these results indicate that increased ureolytic activity plays an important role in plant development.
Project description:The soybean ubiquitous urease (encoded by GmEu4) is responsible for recycling metabolically derived urea. Additional biological roles have been demonstrated for plant ureases, notably in toxicity to other organisms. However, urease enzymatic activity is not related to its toxicity. The role of GmEu4 in soybean susceptibility to fungi was investigated in this study. A differential expression pattern of GmEu4 was observed in susceptible and resistant genotypes of soybeans over the course of a Phakopsora pachyrhizi infection, especially 24 h after infection. Twenty-nine adult, transgenic soybean plants, representing six independently transformed lines, were obtained. Although the initial aim of this study was to overexpress GmEu4, the transgenic plants exhibited GmEu4 co-suppression and decreased ureolytic activity. The growth of Rhizoctonia solani, Phomopsis sp., and Penicillium herguei in media containing a crude protein extract from either transgenic or non-transgenic leaves was evaluated. The fungal growth was higher in the protein extracts from transgenic urease-deprived plants than in extracts from non-transgenic controls. When infected by P. pachyrhizi uredospores, detached leaves of urease-deprived plants developed a significantly higher number of lesions, pustules and erupted pustules than leaves of non-transgenic plants containing normal levels of the enzyme. The results of the present work show that the soybean plants were more susceptible to fungi in the absence of urease. It was not possible to overexpress active GmEu4. For future work, overexpression of urease fungitoxic peptides could be attempted as an alternative approach.
Project description:Urease (urea amidohydrolase, EC 184.108.40.206) is a nickel-containing enzyme produced by plants, fungi, and bacteria that catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea into ammonia and carbamate. Urease is of historical importance in Biochemistry as it was the first enzyme ever to be crystallized (1926). Finding nickel in urease's active site (1975) was the first indication of a biological role for this metal. In this review, historical and structural features, kinetics aspects, activation of the metallocenter and inhibitors of the urea hydrolyzing activity of ureases are discussed. The review also deals with the non-enzymatic biological properties, whose discovery 40?years ago started a new chapter in the study of ureases. Well recognized as virulence factors due to the production of ammonia and alkalinization in diseases by urease-positive microorganisms, ureases have pro-inflammatory, endocytosis-inducing and neurotoxic activities that do not require ureolysis. Particularly relevant in plants, ureases exert insecticidal and fungitoxic effects. Data on the jack bean urease and on jaburetox, a recombinant urease-derived peptide, have indicated that interactions with cell membrane lipids may be the basis of the non-enzymatic biological properties of ureases. Altogether, with this review we wanted to invite the readers to take a second look at ureases, very versatile proteins that happen also to catalyze the breakdown of urea into ammonia and carbamate.
Project description:Most terrestrial carnivorous plants are specialized on insect prey digestion to obtain additional nutrients. Few species of the genus Nepenthes developed mutualistic relationships with mammals for nitrogen supplementation. Whether dietary changes require certain enzymatic composition to utilize new sources of nutrients has rarely been tested. Here, we investigated the role of urease for Nepenthes hemsleyana that gains nitrogen from the bat Kerivoula hardwickii while it roosts inside the pitchers. We hypothesized that N. hemsleyana is able to use urea from the bats' excrements. In fact, we demonstrate that 15N-enriched urea provided to Nepenthes pitchers is metabolized and its nitrogen is distributed within the plant. As ureases are necessary to degrade urea, these hydrolytic enzymes should be involved. We proved the presence and enzymatic activity of a urease for Nepenthes plant tissues. The corresponding urease cDNA from N. hemsleyana was isolated and functionally expressed. A comprehensive phylogenetic analysis for eukaryotic ureases, including Nepenthes and five other carnivorous plants' taxa, identified them as canonical ureases and reflects the plant phylogeny. Hence, this study reveals ureases as an emblematic example for an efficient, low-cost but high adaptive plasticity in plants while developing a further specialized lifestyle from carnivory to coprophagy.
Project description:Urease converts urea into ammonia and carbon dioxide and makes urea available as a nitrogen source for all forms of life except animals. In human bacterial pathogens, ureases also aid in the invasion of acidic environments such as the stomach by raising the surrounding pH. Here, we report the structure of urease from the pathogen Yersinia enterocolitica at 2?Å resolution from cryo-electron microscopy. Y. enterocolitica urease is a dodecameric assembly of a trimer of three protein chains, ureA, ureB and ureC. The high data quality enables detailed visualization of the urease bimetal active site and of the impact of radiation damage. The obtained structure is of sufficient quality to support drug development efforts.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In prokaryotes, the ureases are multi-subunit, nickel-containing enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of urea to carbon dioxide and ammonia. The Brucella genomes contain two urease operons designated as ure1 and ure2. We investigated the role of the two Brucella suis urease operons on the infection, intracellular persistence, growth, and resistance to low-pH killing. RESULTS: The deduced amino acid sequence of urease-alpha subunits of operons-1 and -2 exhibited substantial identity with the structural ureases of alpha- and beta-proteobacteria, Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, fungi, and higher plants. Four ure deficient strains were generated by deleting one or more of the genes encoding urease subunits of B. suis strain 1330 by allelic exchange: strain 1330Deltaure1K (generated by deleting ureD and ureA in ure1 operon), strain 1330Deltaure2K (ureB and ureC in ure2 operon), strain 1330Deltaure2C (ureA, ureB, and ureC in ure2 operon), and strain 1330Deltaure1KDeltaure2C (ureD and ureA in ure1 operon and ureA, ureB, and ureC in ure2 operon). When grown in urease test broth, strains 1330, 1330Deltaure2K and 1330Deltaure2C displayed maximal urease enzyme activity within 24 hours, whereas, strains 1330Deltaure1K and 1330Deltaure1KDeltaure2C exhibited zero urease activity even 96 h after inoculation. Strains 1330Deltaure1K and 1330Deltaure1KDeltaure2C exhibited slower growth rates in tryptic soy broth relative to the wild type strain 1330. When the BALB/c mice were infected intraperitoneally with the strains, six weeks after inoculation, the splenic recovery of the ure deficient strains did not differ from the wild type. In contrast, when the mice were inoculated by gavage, one week after inoculation, strain 1330Deltaure1KDeltaure2C was cleared from livers and spleens while the wild type strain 1330 was still present. All B. suis strains were killed when they were incubated in-vitro at pH 2.0. When the strains were incubated at pH 2.0 supplemented with 10 mM urea, strain 1330Deltaure1K was completely killed, strain 1330Deltaure2C was partially killed, but strains 1330 and 1330Deltaure2K were not killed. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the ure1 operon is necessary for optimal growth in culture, urease activity, resistance against low-pH killing, and in vivo persistence of B. suis when inoculated by gavage. The ure2 operon apparently enhances the resistance to low-pH killing in-vitro.
Project description:Urease, the first enzyme to be crystallized, contains a dinuclear nickel metallocenter that catalyzes the decomposition of urea to produce ammonia, a reaction of great agricultural and medical importance. Several mechanisms of urease catalysis have been proposed on the basis of enzyme crystal structures, model complexes, and computational efforts, but the precise steps in catalysis and the requirement of nickel versus other metals remain unclear. Purified bacterial urease is partially activated via incubation with carbon dioxide plus nickel ions; however, in vitro activation also has been achieved with manganese and cobalt. In vivo activation of most ureases requires accessory proteins that function as nickel metallochaperones and GTP-dependent molecular chaperones or play other roles in the maturation process. In addition, some microorganisms control their levels of urease by metal ion-dependent regulatory mechanisms.
Project description:The bacterium Helicobacter pylori causes peptic ulcers and gastric cancer in human beings by mechanisms yet not fully understood. H. pylori produces urease which neutralizes the acidic medium permitting its survival in the stomach. We have previously shown that ureases from jackbean, soybean or Bacillus pasteurii induce blood platelet aggregation independently of their enzyme activity by a pathway requiring platelet secretion, activation of calcium channels and lipoxygenase-derived eicosanoids. We investigated whether H. pylori urease displays platelet-activating properties and defined biochemical pathways involved in this phenomenon. For that the effects of purified recombinant H. pylori urease (HPU) added to rabbit platelets were assessed turbidimetrically. ATP secretion and production of lipoxygenase metabolites by activated platelets were measured. Fluorescein-labelled HPU bound to platelets but not to erythrocytes. HPU induced aggregation of rabbit platelets (ED(50) 0.28 microM) accompanied by ATP secretion. No correlation was found between platelet activation and ureolytic activity of HPU. Platelet aggregation was blocked by esculetin (12-lipoxygenase inhibitor) and enhanced approximately 3-fold by indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor). A metabolite of 12-lipoxygenase was produced by platelets exposed to HPU. Platelet responses to HPU did not involve platelet-activating factor, but required activation of verapamil-inhibitable calcium channels. Our data show that purified H. pylori urease activates blood platelets at submicromolar concentrations. This property seems to be common to ureases regardless of their source (plant or bacteria) or quaternary structure (single, di- or tri-chain proteins). These properties of HPU could play an important role in pathogenesis of gastrointestinal and associated cardiovascular diseases caused by H. pylori.
Project description:Nitrospira are a diverse group of nitrite-oxidizing bacteria and among the environmentally most widespread nitrifiers. However, they remain scarcely studied and mostly uncultured. Based on genomic and experimental data from Nitrospira moscoviensis representing the ubiquitous Nitrospira lineage II, we identified ecophysiological traits that contribute to the ecological success of Nitrospira. Unexpectedly, N. moscoviensis possesses genes coding for a urease and cleaves urea to ammonia and CO2. Ureolysis was not observed yet in nitrite oxidizers and enables N. moscoviensis to supply ammonia oxidizers lacking urease with ammonia from urea, which is fully nitrified by this consortium through reciprocal feeding. The presence of highly similar urease genes in Nitrospira lenta from activated sludge, in metagenomes from soils and freshwater habitats, and of other ureases in marine nitrite oxidizers, suggests a wide distribution of this extended interaction between ammonia and nitrite oxidizers, which enables nitrite-oxidizing bacteria to indirectly use urea as a source of energy. A soluble formate dehydrogenase lends additional ecophysiological flexibility and allows N. moscoviensis to use formate, with or without concomitant nitrite oxidation, using oxygen, nitrate, or both compounds as terminal electron acceptors. Compared with Nitrospira defluvii from lineage I, N. moscoviensis shares the Nitrospira core metabolism but shows substantial genomic dissimilarity including genes for adaptations to elevated oxygen concentrations. Reciprocal feeding and metabolic versatility, including the participation in different nitrogen cycling processes, likely are key factors for the niche partitioning, the ubiquity, and the high diversity of Nitrospira in natural and engineered ecosystems.
Project description:Phytophthora root and stem rot of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] caused by Phytophthora sojae is a destructive disease worldwide. Phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) is one of the most extensively studied enzymes related to plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. However, the molecular mechanism of PAL in soybean in response to P. sojae is largely unclear. Here, we characterize a novel member of the soybean PAL gene family, GmPAL2.1, which is significantly induced by P. sojae. Overexpression and RNA interference analysis demonstrates that GmPAL2.1 enhances resistance to P. sojae in transgenic soybean plants. In addition, the PAL activity in GmPAL2.1-OX transgenic soybean is significantly higher than that of non-transgenic plants after infection with P. sojae, while that in GmPAL2.1-RNAi soybean plants is lower. Further analyses show that the daidzein, genistein and salicylic acid (SA) levels and the relative content of glyceollins are markedly increased in GmPAL2.1-OX transgenic soybean. Taken together, these results suggest the important role of GmPAL2.1 functioning as a positive regulator in the soybean response to P. sojae infection, possibly by enhancing the content of glyceollins, daidzein, genistein and SA.
Project description:In the rumen of cattle, urease produced by ureolytic bacteria catalyzes the hydrolysis of urea to ammonia, which plays an important role in nitrogen metabolism and animal production. A high diversity of rumen bacterial urease genes was observed in our previous study; however, information on urease protein diversity could not be determined due to technical limitations. Here, we developed a targeted meta-proteomic pipeline to analyze rumen urease protein diversity. Protein extraction (duration of cryomilling in liquid nitrogen), protein digestion state (in-solution or in-gel), and the digestion enzyme used (trypsin or Glu-C/Lys-C) were optimized, and the digested peptides were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Four minutes was the best duration for cryomilling and yielded the highest urease activity. Trypsin digestion of in-gel proteins outperformed other digestion methods and yielded the greatest number of identifications and superior peptide performance in regards to the digestion efficiency and high-score peptide. The annotation of peptides by PEAKS software revealed diversity among urease proteins, with the predominant proteins being from Prochlorococcus, Helicobacter, and uncultured bacteria. In conclusion, trypsin digestion of in-gel proteins was the optimal method for the meta-proteomic pipeline analyzing rumen microbial ureases. This pipeline provides a guide for targeted meta-proteomic analyses in other ecosystems.