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An essential role for the VASt domain of the Arabidopsis VAD1 protein in the regulation of defense and cell death in response to pathogens.

ABSTRACT: Several regulators of programmed cell death (PCD) have been identified in plants which encode proteins with putative lipid-binding domains. Among them, VAD1 (Vascular Associated Death) contains a novel protein domain called VASt (VAD1 analog StAR-related lipid transfer) still uncharacterized. The Arabidopsis mutant vad1-1 has been shown to exhibit a lesion mimic phenotype with light-conditional appearance of propagative hypersensitive response-like lesions along the vascular system, associated with defense gene expression and increased resistance to Pseudomonas strains. To test the potential of ectopic expression of VAD1 to influence HR cell death and to elucidate the role of the VASt domain in this function, we performed a structure-function analysis of VAD1 by transient over-expression in Nicotiana benthamiana and by complementation of the mutant vad1-1. We found that (i) overexpression of VAD1 controls negatively the HR cell death and defense expression either transiently in Nicotiana benthamania or in Arabidopsis plants in response to avirulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae, (ii) VAD1 is expressed in multiple subcellular compartments, including the nucleus, and (iii) while the GRAM domain does not modify neither the subcellular localization of VAD1 nor its immunorepressor activity, the domain VASt plays an essential role in both processes. In conclusion, VAD1 acts as a negative regulator of cell death associated with the plant immune response and the VASt domain of this unknown protein plays an essential role in this function, opening the way for the functional analysis of VASt-containing proteins and the characterization of novel mechanisms regulating PCD.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5500287 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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