The chloroplast-localized small heat shock protein Hsp21 associates with the thylakoid membranes in heat-stressed plants.
ABSTRACT: The small heat shock protein (sHsp) chaperones are crucial for cell survival and can prevent aggregation of client proteins that partially unfold under destabilizing conditions. Most investigations on the chaperone activity of sHsps are based on a limited set of thermosensitive model substrate client proteins since the endogenous targets are often not known. There is a high diversity among sHsps with a single conserved ?-sandwich fold domain defining the family, the ?-crystallin domain, whereas the N-terminal and C-terminal regions are highly variable in length and sequence among various sHsps and conserved only within orthologues. The endogenous targets are probably also varying among various sHsps, cellular compartments, cell type and organism. Here we have investigated Hsp21, a non-metazoan sHsp expressed in the chloroplasts in green plants which experience huge environmental fluctuations not least in temperature. We describe how Hsp21 can also interact with the chloroplast thylakoid membranes, both when isolated thylakoid membranes are incubated with Hsp21 protein and when plants are heat-stressed. The amount of Hsp21 associated with the thylakoid membranes was precisely determined by quantitative mass spectrometry after metabolic 15 N-isotope labeling of either recombinantly expressed and purified Hsp21 protein or intact Arabidopsis thaliana plants. We found that Hsp21 is among few proteins that become associated with the thylakoid membranes in heat-stressed plants, and that approximately two thirds of the pool of chloroplast Hsp21 is affected. We conclude that for a complete picture of the role of sHsps in plant stress resistance also their association with the membranes should be considered.
Project description:The small heat shock protein (sHsp) chaperones are crucial for cell survival and can prevent aggregation of client proteins that partially unfold under destabilizing conditions. Most investigations on the chaperone activity sHsps are based on a limited set of thermosensitive model substrate client proteins since the endogenous targets are often not known. There is a high diversity among sHsps, with a single conserved -sandwich fold domain defining the family, the α-crystallin domain, whereas the N-terminal and C-terminal regions are highly variable in length and sequence among various sHsps and conserved only within orthologues. The endogenous targets are probably also varying among various sHsps, cellular compartments, cell type and organism. Here we have investigated Hsp21, a non-metazoan sHsp expressed in the chloroplasts in green plants, which experience huge environmental fluctuations not least in temperature. We describe how Hsp21 can also interact with the chloroplast thylakoid membranes, both when isolated thylakoid membranes are incubated with Hsp21 protein and when plants are heat-stressed. The amount of Hsp21 associated with the thylakoid membranes was precisely determined by quantitative mass spectrometry after metabolic 15N-isotope labelling, of either recombinantly expressed and purified Hsp21 protein or intact Arabidopsis thaliana plants. We found that Hsp21 is among few proteins that become associated with the thylakoid membranes in heat-stressed plants, and that approximately two thirds of the pool of chloroplast Hsp21 is affected. We conclude that for a complete picture of the role of sHsps in plant stress resistance also their association with the membranes should be considered
Project description:Unfolding proteins are prevented from irreversible aggregation by small heat shock proteins (sHsps) through interactions that depend on a dynamic equilibrium between sHsp subunits and sHsp oligomers. A chloroplast-localized sHsp, Hsp21, provides protection to client proteins to increase plant stress resistance. Structural information is lacking concerning the oligomeric conformation of this sHsp. We here present a structure model of Arabidopsis thaliana Hsp21, obtained by homology modeling, single-particle electron microscopy, and lysine-specific chemical crosslinking. The model shows that the Hsp21 subunits are arranged in two hexameric discs, similar to a cytosolic plant sHsp homolog that has been structurally determined after crystallization. However, the two hexameric discs of Hsp21 are rotated by 25° in relation to each other, suggesting a role for global dynamics in dodecamer function.
Project description:Small heat-shock proteins (sHsps) prevent aggregation of thermosensitive client proteins in a first line of defense against cellular stress. The mechanisms by which they perform this function have been hard to define due to limited structural information; currently, there is only one high-resolution structure of a plant sHsp published, that of the cytosolic Hsp16.9. We took interest in Hsp21, a chloroplast-localized sHsp crucial for plant stress resistance, which has even longer N-terminal arms than Hsp16.9, with a functionally important and conserved methionine-rich motif. To provide a framework for investigating structure-function relationships of Hsp21 and understanding these sequence variations, we developed a structural model of Hsp21 based on homology modeling, cryo-EM, cross-linking mass spectrometry, NMR, and small-angle X-ray scattering. Our data suggest a dodecameric arrangement of two trimer-of-dimer discs stabilized by the C-terminal tails, possibly through tail-to-tail interactions between the discs, mediated through extended IXVXI motifs. Our model further suggests that six N-terminal arms are located on the outside of the dodecamer, accessible for interaction with client proteins, and distinct from previous undefined or inwardly facing arms. To test the importance of the IXVXI motif, we created the point mutant V181A, which, as expected, disrupts the Hsp21 dodecamer and decreases chaperone activity. Finally, our data emphasize that sHsp chaperone efficiency depends on oligomerization and that client interactions can occur both with and without oligomer dissociation. These results provide a generalizable workflow to explore sHsps, expand our understanding of sHsp structural motifs, and provide a testable Hsp21 structure model to inform future investigations.
Project description:The small heat shock proteins (sHsps), which counteract heat and oxidative stress in an unknown way, belong to a protein family of sHsps and alpha-crystallins whose members form large oligomeric complexes. The chloroplast-localized sHsp, Hsp21, contains a conserved methionine-rich sequence, predicted to form an amphipatic helix with the methionines situated along one of its sides. Here, we report how methionine sulfoxidation was detected by mass spectrometry in proteolytically cleaved peptides that were produced from recombinant Arabidopsis thaliana Hsp21, which had been treated with varying concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Sulfoxidation of the methionine residues in the conserved amphipatic helix coincided with a significant conformational change in the Hsp21 protein oligomer.
Project description:The results of this study describe the identification and characterization of the Toxoplasma gondii alpha-crystallin/small heat shock protein (sHsp) family. By database (www.toxodb.org) search, five parasite sHsps (Hsp20, Hsp21, Hsp28, Hsp29, and the previously characterized Hsp30/Bag1) were identified. As expected, they share the homologous alpha-crystallin domain, which is the key characteristic of sHsps. However, the N-terminal segment of each protein contains unique characteristics in size and sequence. Most T. gondii sHsps are constitutively expressed in tachyzoites and fully differentiated bradyzoites, with the exception of Hsp30/Bag1. Interestingly, by subcellular localization we observed that T. gondii sHsps are located in different compartments. Hsp20 is located at the apical end of the cell, Hsp28 is located inside the mitochondrion, Hsp29 showed a membrane-associated labeling, and Hsp21 appeared throughout the cytosol of the parasites. These particular differences in the immunostaining patterns suggest that their targets and functions might be different.
Project description:Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) have multiple cellular functions. However, the biological function of sHsps in pathogenic microorganisms is largely unknown. In the present study we identified and characterized the novel sHsp Hsp21 of the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Using a reverse genetics approach we demonstrate the importance of Hsp21 for resistance of C. albicans to specific stresses, including thermal and oxidative stress. Furthermore, a hsp21?/? mutant was defective in invasive growth and formed significantly shorter filaments compared to the wild type under various filament-inducing conditions. Although adhesion to and invasion into human-derived endothelial and oral epithelial cells was unaltered, the hsp21?/? mutant exhibited a strongly reduced capacity to damage both cell lines. Furthermore, Hsp21 was required for resisting killing by human neutrophils. Measurements of intracellular levels of stress protective molecules demonstrated that Hsp21 is involved in both glycerol and glycogen regulation and plays a major role in trehalose homeostasis in response to elevated temperatures. Mutants defective in trehalose and, to a lesser extent, glycerol synthesis phenocopied HSP21 deletion in terms of increased susceptibility to environmental stress, strongly impaired capacity to damage epithelial cells and increased sensitivity to the killing activities of human primary neutrophils. Via systematic analysis of the three main C. albicans stress-responsive kinases (Mkc1, Cek1, Hog1) under a range of stressors, we demonstrate Hsp21-dependent phosphorylation of Cek1 in response to elevated temperatures. Finally, the hsp21?/? mutant displayed strongly attenuated virulence in two in vivo infection models. Taken together, Hsp21 mediates adaptation to specific stresses via fine-tuning homeostasis of compatible solutes and activation of the Cek1 pathway, and is crucial for multiple stages of C. albicans pathogenicity. Hsp21 therefore represents the first reported example of a small heat shock protein functioning as a virulence factor in a eukaryotic pathogen.
Project description:The small heat shock proteins (sHsps), which are ubiquitous stress proteins proposed to act as chaperones, are encoded by an unusually complex gene family in plants. Plant sHsps are classified into different subfamilies according to amino acid sequence similarity and localization to distinct subcellular compartments. In the whole Arabidopsis thaliana genome, 19 genes were annotated to encode sHsps, of which 14 belong to previously defined plant sHsp families. In this paper, we report studies of the five additional sHsp genes in A. thaliana, which can now be shown to represent evolutionarily distinct sHsp subfamilies also found in other plant species. While two of these five sHsps show expression patterns typical of the other 14 genes, three have unusual tissue specific and developmental profiles and do not respond to heat induction. Analysis of intracellular targeting indicates that one sHsp represents a new class of mitochondrion-targeted sHsps, while the others are cytosolic/nuclear, some of which may cooperate with other sHsps in formation of heat stress granules. Three of the five new proteins were purified and tested for chaperone activity in vitro. Altogether, these studies complete our basic understanding of the sHsp chaperone family in plants.
Project description:Knowledge of the origin and evolution of gene families is critical to our understanding of the evolution of protein function. To gain a detailed understanding of the evolution of the small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) in plants, we have examined the evolutionary history of the chloroplast (CP)-localized sHSPs. Previously, these nuclear-encoded CP proteins had been identified only from angiosperms. This study reveals the presence of the CP sHSPs in a moss, Funaria hygrometrica. Two clones for CP sHSPs were isolated from a F. hygrometrica heat shock cDNA library that represent two distinct CP sHSP genes. Our analysis of the CP sHSPs reveals unexpected evolutionary relationships and patterns of sequence conservation. Phylogenetic analysis of the CP sHSPs with other plant CP sHSPs and eukaryotic, archaeal, and bacterial sHSPs shows that the CP sHSPs are not closely related to the cyanobacterial sHSPs. Thus, they most likely evolved via gene duplication from a nuclear-encoded cytosolic sHSP and not via gene transfer from the CP endosymbiont. Previous sequence analysis had shown that all angiosperm CP sHSPs possess a methionine-rich region in the N-terminal domain. The primary sequence of this region is not highly conserved in the F. hygrometrica CP sHSPs. This lack of sequence conservation indicates that sometime in land plant evolution, after the divergence of mosses from the common ancestor of angiosperms but before the monocot-dicot divergence, there was a change in the selective constraints acting on the CP sHSPs.
Project description:The small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) and alpha-crystallins are highly effective, ATP-independent chaperones that can bind denaturing client proteins to prevent their irreversible aggregation. One model of sHSP function suggests that the oligomeric sHSPs are activated to the client-binding form by dissociation at elevated temperatures to dimers or other sub-oligomeric species. Here we examine this model in a comparison of the oligomeric structure and chaperone activity of two conserved classes of cytosolic sHSPs in plants, the class I (CI) and class II (CII) proteins. Like the CI sHSPs, recombinant CII sHSPs from three divergent plant species, pea, wheat, and Arabidopsis, are dodecamers as determined by nano-electrospray mass spectrometry. While at 35 to 45 degrees C, all three CI sHSPs reversibly dissociate to dimers, the CII sHSPs retain oligomeric structure at high temperature. The CII dodecamers are, however, dynamic and rapidly exchange subunits, but unlike CI sHSPs, the exchange unit appears larger than a dimer. Differences in dodecameric structure are also reflected in the fact that the CII proteins do not hetero-oligomerize with CI sHSPs. Binding of the hydrophobic probe bis-ANS and limited proteolysis demonstrate CII proteins undergo significant, reversible structural changes at high temperature. All three recombinant CII proteins more efficiently protect firefly luciferase from insolubilization during heating than do the CI proteins. The CI and CII proteins behave strictly additively in client protection. In total, the results demonstrate that different sHSPs can achieve effective protection of client proteins by varied mechanisms.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) are critical for plant response to biotic and abiotic stresses, especially heat stress. They have also been implicated in various aspects of plant development. However, the acting mechanisms of the sHSPs in plants, especially in perennial grass species, remain largely elusive. RESULTS:In this study, AsHSP26.8a, a novel chloroplast-localized sHSP gene from creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) was cloned and its role in plant response to environmental stress was studied. AsHSP26.8a encodes a protein of 26.8?kDa. Its expression was strongly induced in both leaf and root tissues by heat stress. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing AsHSP26.8a displayed reduced tolerance to heat stress. Furthermore, overexpression of AsHSP26.8a resulted in hypersensitivity to hormone ABA and salinity stress. Global gene expression analysis revealed AsHSP26.8a-modulated expression of heat-shock transcription factor gene, and the involvement of AsHSP26.8a in ABA-dependent and -independent as well as other stress signaling pathways. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that AsHSP26.8a may negatively regulate plant response to various abiotic stresses through modulating ABA and other stress signaling pathways.