Imaging cellulose synthase motility during primary cell wall synthesis in the grass Brachypodium distachyon.
ABSTRACT: The mechanism of cellulose synthesis has been studied by characterizing the motility of cellulose synthase complexes tagged with a fluorescent protein; however, this approach has been used exclusively on the hypocotyl of Arabidopsis thaliana. Here we characterize cellulose synthase motility in the model grass, Brachypodium distachyon. We generated lines in which mEGFP is fused N-terminal to BdCESA3 or BdCESA6 and which grew indistinguishably from the wild type (Bd21-3) and had dense fluorescent puncta at or near the plasma membrane. Measured with a particle tracking algorithm, the average speed of GFP-BdCESA3 particles in the mesocotyl was 164?±?78?nm?min-1 (error gives standard deviation [SD], n?=?1451 particles). Mean speed in the root appeared similar. For comparison, average speed in the A. thaliana hypocotyl expressing GFP-AtCESA6 was 184?±?86?nm?min-1 (n?=?2755). For B. distachyon, we quantified root diameter and elongation rate in response to inhibitors of cellulose (dichlorobenylnitrile; DCB), microtubules (oryzalin), or actin (latrunculin B). Neither oryzalin nor latrunculin affected the speed of CESA complexes; whereas, DCB reduced average speed by about 50% in B. distachyon and by about 35% in A. thaliana. Evidently, between these species, CESA motility is well conserved.
Project description:Results from live cell imaging of fluorescently tagged Cellulose Synthase (CESA) proteins in Cellulose Synthesis Complexes (CSCs) have enhanced our understanding of cellulose biosynthesis, including the mechanisms of action of cellulose synthesis inhibitors. However, this method has been applied only in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brachypodium distachyon thus far. Results from freeze fracture electron microscopy of protonemal filaments of the moss Funaria hygrometrica indicate that a cellulose synthesis inhibitor, 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB), fragments CSCs and clears them from the plasma membrane. This differs from Arabidopsis, in which DCB causes CSC accumulation in the plasma membrane and a different cellulose synthesis inhibitor, isoxaben, clears CSCs from the plasma membrane. In this study, live cell imaging of the moss Physcomitrella patens indicated that DCB and isoxaben have little effect on protonemal growth rates, and that only DCB causes tip rupture. Live cell imaging of mEGFP-PpCESA5 and mEGFP-PpCESA8 showed that DCB and isoxaben substantially reduced CSC movement, but had no measureable effect on CSC density in the plasma membrane. These results suggest that DCB and isoxaben have similar effects on CSC movement in P. patens and Arabidopsis, but have different effects on CSC intracellular trafficking, cell growth and cell integrity in these divergent plant lineages.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Cortical microtubules regulate cell expansion by determining cellulose microfibril orientation in the root apex of Arabidopsis thaliana. While the regulation of cell wall properties by cortical microtubules is well studied, the data on the influence of cell wall to cortical microtubule organization and stability remain scarce. Studies on cellulose biosynthesis mutants revealed that cortical microtubules depend on Cellulose Synthase A (CESA) function and/or cell expansion. Furthermore, it has been reported that cortical microtubules in cellulose-deficient mutants are hypersensitive to oryzalin. In this work, the persistence of cortical microtubules against anti-microtubule treatment was thoroughly studied in the roots of several cesa mutants, namely thanatos, mre1, any1, prc1-1 and rsw1, and the Cellulose Synthase Interacting 1 protein (csi1) mutant pom2-4. In addition, various treatments with drugs affecting cell expansion were performed on wild-type roots. Whole mount tubulin immunolabeling was applied in the above roots and observations were performed by confocal microscopy. <h4>Results</h4> Cortical microtubules in all mutants showed statistically significant increased persistence against anti-microtubule drugs, compared to those of the wild-type. Furthermore, to examine if the enhanced stability of cortical microtubules was due to reduced cellulose biosynthesis or to suppression of cell expansion, treatments of wild-type roots with 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB) and Congo red were performed. After these treatments, cortical microtubules appeared more resistant to oryzalin, than in the control. <h4>Conclusions</h4> According to these findings, it may be concluded that inhibition of cell expansion, irrespective of the cause, results in increased microtubule stability in A. thaliana root. In addition, cell expansion does not only rely on cortical microtubule orientation but also plays a regulatory role in microtubule dynamics, as well. Various hypotheses may explain the increased cortical microtubule stability under decreased cell expansion such as the role of cell wall sensors and the presence of less dynamic cortical microtubules. <h4>Supplementary Information</h4> The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s40709-021-00143-8.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cellulose is an integral component of the plant cell wall and accounts for approximately forty percent of total plant biomass but understanding its mechanism of synthesis remains elusive. CELLULOSE SYNTHASE A (CESA) proteins function as catalytic subunits of a rosette-shaped complex that synthesizes cellulose at the plasma membrane. Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa) secondary wall CESA loss-of-function mutants have weak stems and irregular or thin cell walls. RESULTS: Here, we identify candidates for secondary wall CESAs in Brachypodium distachyon as having similar amino acid sequence and expression to those characterized in A. thaliana, namely CESA4/7/8. To functionally characterize BdCESA4 and BdCESA7, we generated loss-of-function mutants using artificial microRNA constructs, specifically targeting each gene driven by a maize (Zea mays) ubiquitin promoter. Presence of the transgenes reduced BdCESA4 and BdCESA7 transcript abundance, as well as stem area, cell wall thickness of xylem and fibers, and the amount of crystalline cellulose in the cell wall. CONCLUSION: These results suggest BdCESA4 and BdCESA7 play a key role in B. distachyon secondary cell wall biosynthesis.
Project description:The CESA1 component of cellulose synthase is phosphorylated at sites clustered in two hypervariable regions of the protein. Mutations of the phosphorylated residues to Ala (A) or Glu (E) alter anisotropic cell expansion and cellulose synthesis in rapidly expanding roots and hypocotyls. Expression of T166E, S686E, or S688E mutants of CESA1 fully rescued the temperature sensitive cesA1-1 allele (rsw1) at a restrictive temperature whereas mutations to A at these positions caused defects in anisotropic cell expansion. However, mutations to E at residues surrounding T166 (i.e., S162, T165, and S167) caused opposite effects. Live-cell imaging of fluorescently labeled CESA showed close correlations between tissue or cell morphology and patterns of bidirectional motility of CESA complexes in the plasma membrane. In the WT, CESA complexes moved at similar velocities in both directions along microtubule tracks. By contrast, the rate of movement of CESA particles was directionally asymmetric in mutant lines that exhibited abnormal tissue or cell expansion, and the asymmetry was removed upon depolymerizing microtubules with oryzalin. This suggests that phosphorylation of CESA differentially affects a polar interaction with microtubules that may regulate the length or quantity of a subset of cellulose microfibrils and that this, in turn, alters microfibril structure in the primary cell wall resulting in or contributing to the observed defect in anisotropic cell expansion.
Project description:Cellulose synthesis at the plasma membrane is a critical process in plant growth and development. The displacement of cellulose synthase complexes (CSCs) by the rigid cellulose polymers they produce is a measure of enzyme activity. Connections between cortical microtubules and CSCs have been identified but it remains unclear how these affect CSC displacement speed. In this study, we applied a high throughput automated particle tracking method using near-total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to measure the speed of CSCs. We found CSC speeds did not vary according to their proximity to microtubules, and that inhibiting microtubule polymerization could have opposite effects on CSC speed, depending on the nature of inhibition. While CSC speed increased in the temperature-sensitive <i>mor1-1</i> mutant, it decreased after treatment with the drug oryzalin. Moreover, introducing the <i>mor1-1</i> mutation into the CesA1 mutant <i>any1</i> increased CSC speed, suggesting that microtubule dynamics affect CSC speed by a mechanism other than Cellulose Synthase A (CesA) catalytic activity. CSC speed varied widely in a range of mutants with reduced growth anisotropy, indicating that the relationship between CSC speed and anisotropy is complex. We conclude that microtubules affect CSC speed by finely tuned mechanisms that are independent of their physical association with CSCs.
Project description:Here, we present a study into the mechanisms of primary cell wall cellulose formation in grasses, using the model cereal grass Brachypodium distachyon. The exon found adjacent to the BdCESA1 glycosyltransferase QXXRW motif was targeted using Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes (TILLING) and sequencing candidate amplicons in multiple parallel reactions (SCAMPRing) leading to the identification of the Bdcesa1 S830N allele. Plants carrying this missense mutation exhibited a significant reduction in crystalline cellulose content in tissues that rely on the primary cell wall for biomechanical support. However, Bdcesa1 S830N plants failed to exhibit the predicted reduction in plant height. In a mechanism unavailable to eudicotyledons, B. distachyon plants homozygous for the Bdcesa1 S830N allele appear to overcome the loss of internode expansion anatomically by increasing the number of nodes along the stem. Stem biomechanics were resultantly compromised in Bdcesa1 S830N . The Bdcesa1 S830N missense mutation did not interfere with BdCESA1 gene expression. However, molecular dynamic simulations of the CELLULOSE SYNTHASE A (CESA) structure with modelled membrane interactions illustrated that Bdcesa1 S830N exhibited structural changes in the translated gene product responsible for reduced cellulose biosynthesis. Molecular dynamic simulations showed that substituting S830N resulted in a stabilizing shift in the flexibility of the class specific region arm of the core catalytic domain of CESA, revealing the importance of this motion to protein function.
Project description:In all land plants, cellulose is synthesized from hexameric plasma membrane complexes. Indirect evidence suggests that in vascular plants the complexes involved in primary wall synthesis contain three distinct cellulose synthase catalytic subunits (CESAs). In this study, we show that CESA3 and CESA6 fused to GFP are expressed in the same cells and at the same time in the hypocotyl of etiolated seedlings and migrate with comparable velocities along linear trajectories at the cell surface. We also show that CESA3 and CESA6 can be coimmunoprecipitated from detergent-solubilized extracts, their protein levels decrease in mutants for either CESA3, CESA6, or CESA1 and CESA3, CESA6 and also CESA1 can physically interact in vivo as shown by bimolecular fluorescence complementation. We also demonstrate that CESA6-related CESA5 and CESA2 are partially, but not completely, redundant with CESA6 and most likely compete with CESA6 for the same position in the cellulose synthesis complex. Using promoter-beta-glucuronidase fusions we show that CESA5, CESA6, and CESA2 have distinct overlapping expression patterns in hypocotyl and root corresponding to different stages of cellular development. Together, these data provide evidence for the existence of binding sites for three distinct CESA subunits in primary wall cellulose synthase complexes, with two positions being invariably occupied by CESA1 and CESA3, whereas at least three isoforms compete for the third position. Participation of the latter three isoforms might fine-tune the CESA complexes for the deposition of microfibrils at distinct cellular growth stages.
Project description:A 3D atomistic model of a plant cellulose synthase (CESA) has remained elusive despite over forty years of experimental effort. Here, we report a computationally predicted 3D structure of 506 amino acids of cotton CESA within the cytosolic region. Comparison of the predicted plant CESA structure with the solved structure of a bacterial cellulose-synthesizing protein validates the overall fold of the modeled glycosyltransferase (GT) domain. The coaligned plant and bacterial GT domains share a six-stranded ?-sheet, five ?-helices, and conserved motifs similar to those required for catalysis in other GT-2 glycosyltransferases. Extending beyond the cross-kingdom similarities related to cellulose polymerization, the predicted structure of cotton CESA reveals that plant-specific modules (plant-conserved region and class-specific region) fold into distinct subdomains on the periphery of the catalytic region. Computational results support the importance of the plant-conserved region and/or class-specific region in CESA oligomerization to form the multimeric cellulose-synthesis complexes that are characteristic of plants. Relatively high sequence conservation between plant CESAs allowed mapping of known mutations and two previously undescribed mutations that perturb cellulose synthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana to their analogous positions in the modeled structure. Most of these mutation sites are near the predicted catalytic region, and the confluence of other mutation sites supports the existence of previously undefined functional nodes within the catalytic core of CESA. Overall, the predicted tertiary structure provides a platform for the biochemical engineering of plant CESAs.
Project description:Cellulose is synthesized by the so called rosette protein complex and the catalytic subunits of this complex are the cellulose synthases (CESAs). It is thought that the rosette complexes in the primary and secondary cell walls each contains at least three different non-redundant cellulose synthases. In addition to the CESA proteins, cellulose biosynthesis almost certainly requires the action of other proteins, although few have been identified and little is known about the biochemical role of those that have been identified. One of these proteins is KORRIGAN (KOR1). Mutant analysis of this protein in Arabidopsis thaliana showed altered cellulose content in both the primary and secondary cell wall. KOR1 is thought to be required for cellulose synthesis acting as a cellulase at the plasma membrane-cell wall interface. KOR1 has recently been shown to interact with the primary cellulose synthase rosette complex however direct interaction with that of the secondary cell wall has never been demonstrated. Using various methods, both in vitro and in planta, it was shown that KOR1 interacts specifically with only two of the secondary CESA proteins. The KOR1 protein domain(s) involved in the interaction with the CESA proteins were also identified by analyzing the interaction of truncated forms of KOR1 with CESA proteins. The KOR1 transmembrane domain has shown to be required for the interaction between KOR1 and the different CESAs, as well as for higher oligomer formation of KOR1.
Project description:In higher plants, cellulose is synthesized at the plasma membrane by the cellulose synthase (CESA) complex. The catalytic core of the complex is believed to be composed of three types of CESA subunits. Indirect evidence suggests that the complex associated with primary wall cellulose deposition consists of CESA1, -3, and -6 in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, phenotypes associated with mutations in two of these genes, CESA1 and -6, suggest unequal contribution by the different CESAs to overall enzymatic activity of the complex. We present evidence that the primary complex requires three unique types of components, CESA1-, CESA3-, and CESA6-related, for activity. Removal of any of these components results in gametophytic lethality due to pollen defects, demonstrating that primary-wall cellulose synthesis is necessary for pollen development. We also show that the CESA6-related CESAs are partially functionally redundant.