Identification on mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling cascades by integrating protein interaction with transcriptional profiling analysis in cotton.
ABSTRACT: Plant mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play important roles in development and stress responses. In previous studies, we have systematically investigated the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MKK) and MAPK gene families in cotton. However, the complete interactions between MAPK gene family members in MAPK signaling cascade is poorly characterized. Herein, we investigated the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) family members and identified a total of 89 MAPKKK genes in the Gossypium raimondii genome. We cloned 51 MAPKKKs in G. hirsutum and investigated the interactions between MKK and MAPKKK proteins through yeast-two hybrid assays. A total of 18 interactive protein pairs involved in 14 MAPKKKs and six MKKs were found. Among these, 13 interactive pairs had not been reported previously. Gene expression patterns revealed that 12 MAPKKKs were involved in diverse signaling pathways triggered by hormone treatments or abiotic stresses. By combining the MKK-MAPK and MKK-MAPKKK protein interactions with gene expression patterns, 38 potential MAPK signaling modules involved in the complicated cross-talks were identified, which provide a basis on elucidating biological function of the MAPK cascade in response to hormonal and/or stress responses. The systematic investigation in MAPK signaling cascades will lay a foundation for understanding the functional roles of different MAPK cascades in signal transduction pathways, and for the improvement of various defense responses in cotton.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play a crucial role in plant growth and development, as well as their biotic and abiotic stress responses. As a nodal point of the MAPK cascade, the MKK gene family has not been systematically studied in cotton. Here, we identified 11 putative MKK genes in the Gossypium raimondii genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the MKKs were supported by architectures of conserved protein motifs. Expression patterns of MKKs under hormone treatments or abiotic stresses revealed their diverse functions in stress responses. Based on a yeast two hybrid, a total of 63 interactive pairs of MKKs and MAPKs were identified in cotton. Among these, 40 interactive pairs were newly identified compared to that reported previously in Arabidopsis. Integration analysis of the interaction network and expression patterns of MKK and MAPK family members revealed 13 potential MAPK signaling modules that are involved in the complicated cross-talk between hormones and abiotic stresses. Taken together, our data enhance the understanding of the evolution and function of MAPK cascades in cotton, and lay the foundation for the improvement of various defense responses that use MAPK signaling modules in the future.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signal transduction model in animals, yeast and plants. Plant MAPK cascades have been implicated in development and stress responses. Although MAPKKKs have been investigated in several plant species including Arabidopsis and rice, no systematic analysis has been conducted in maize. In this study, we performed a bioinformatics analysis of the entire maize genome and identified 74 MAPKKK genes. Phylogenetic analyses of MAPKKKs from maize, rice and Arabidopsis have classified them into three subgroups, which included Raf, ZIK and MEKK. Evolutionary relationships within subfamilies were also supported by exon-intron organizations and the conserved protein motifs. Further expression analysis of the MAPKKKs in microarray databases revealed that MAPKKKs were involved in important signaling pathways in maize different organs and developmental stages. Our genomics analysis of maize MAPKKK genes provides important information for evolutionary and functional characterization of this family in maize.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is an evolutionarily ancient mechanism of signal transduction found in eukaryotic cells. In plants, MAPK cascades are associated with responses to various abiotic and biotic stresses such as plant pathogens. MAPK cascades function through sequential phosphorylation: MAPK kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) phosphorylate MAPK kinases (MAPKKs), and phosphorylated MAPKKs phosphorylate MAPKs. Of these three types of kinase, the MAPKKKs exhibit the most divergence in the plant genome. Their great diversity is assumed to allow MAPKKKs to regulate many specific signaling pathways in plants despite the relatively limited number of MAPKKs and MAPKs. Although some plant MAPKKKs, including the MAPKKK? of Nicotiana benthamiana (NbMAPKKK?), are known to play crucial roles in plant defense responses, the functional relationship among MAPKKK genes is poorly understood. Here, we performed a comparative functional analysis of MAPKKKs to investigate the signaling pathway leading to the defense response. RESULTS: We cloned three novel MAPKKK genes from N. benthamiana: NbMAPKKK?, NbMAPKKK?, and NbMAPKKK?2. Transient overexpression of full-length NbMAPKKK? or NbMAPKKK? or their kinase domains in N. benthamiana leaves induced hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death associated with hydrogen peroxide production. This activity was dependent on the kinase activity of the overexpressed MAPKKK. In addition, virus-induced silencing of NbMAPKKK? or NbMAPKKK? expression significantly suppressed the induction of programmed cell death (PCD) by viral infection. Furthermore, in epistasis analysis of the functional relationships among NbMAPKKK?, NbMAPKKK?, and NbMAPKKK? (previously shown to be involved in plant defense responses) conducted by combining transient overexpression analysis and virus-induced gene silencing, silencing of NbMAPKKK? suppressed cell death induced by the overexpression of the NbMAPKKK? kinase domain or of NbMAPKKK?, but silencing of NbMAPKKK? failed to suppress cell death induced by the overexpression of NbMAPKKK? or NbMAPKKK?. Silencing of NbMAPKKK? suppressed cell death induced by the NbMAPKKK? kinase domain but not that induced by NbMAPKKK?. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that in addition to NbMAPKKK?, NbMAPKKK? and NbMAPKKK? also function as positive regulators of PCD. Furthermore, these three MAPKKKs form a linear signaling pathway leading to PCD; this pathway proceeds from NbMAPKKK? to NbMAPKKK? to NbMAPKKK?.
Project description:Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important mechanisms to control cellular functions in response to external and endogenous signals. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) are universal signaling molecules in eukaryotes that mediate the intracellular transmission of extracellular signals resulting in the induction of appropriate cellular responses. MAPK cascades are composed of four protein kinase modules: MAPKKK kinases (MAPKKKKs), MAPKK kinases (MAPKKKs), MAPK kinases (MAPKKs), and MAPKs. In plants, MAPKs are activated in response to abiotic stresses, wounding, and hormones, and during plant pathogen interactions and cell division. In this report, we performed a complete inventory of MAPK cascades genes in Vitis vinifera, the whole genome of which has been sequenced. By comparison with MAPK, MAPK kinases, MAPK kinase kinases and MAPK kinase kinase kinase kinase members of Arabidopsis thaliana, we revealed the existence of 14 MAPKs, 5 MAPKKs, 62 MAPKKKs, and 7 MAPKKKKs in Vitis vinifera. We identified orthologs of V. vinifera putative MAPKs in different species, and ESTs corresponding to members of MAPK cascades in various tissues. This work represents the first complete inventory of MAPK cascades in V. vinifera and could help elucidate the biological and physiological functions of these proteins in V. vinifera.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling cascades, consisting of three types of reversibly phosphorylated kinases (MAPKKK, MAPKK, and MAPK), are involved in important processes including plant immunity and hormone responses. The MAPKKKs comprise the largest family in the MAPK cascades, yet only a few of these genes have been associated with physiological functions, even in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Canola (Brassica napus L.) is one of the most important oilseed crops in China and worldwide. To explore MAPKKK functions in biotic and abiotic stress responses in canola, 66 MAPKKK genes were identified and 28 of them were cloned. Phylogenetic analysis of these canola MAPKKKs with homologous genes from representative species classified them into three groups (A-C), comprising four MAPKKKs, seven ZIKs, and 17 Raf genes. A further 15 interaction pairs between these MAPKKKs and the downstream BnaMKKs were identified through a yeast two-hybrid assay. The interactions were further validated through bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) analysis. In addition, by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR, it was further observed that some of these BnaMAPKKK genes were regulated by different hormone stimuli, abiotic stresses, or fungal pathogen treatments. Interestingly, two novel BnaMAPKKK genes, BnaMAPKKK18 and BnaMAPKKK19, which could elicit hypersensitive response (HR)-like cell death when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves, were successfully identified. Moreover, it was found that BnaMAPKKK19 probably mediated cell death through BnaMKK9. Overall, the present work has laid the foundation for further characterization of this important MAPKKK gene family in canola.
Project description:The Spc1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade in fission yeast is activated by two MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK) paralogues, Wis4 and Win1, in response to multiple forms of environmental stress. Previous studies identified Mcs4, a "response regulator" protein that associates with the MAPKKKs and receives peroxide stress signals by phosphorelay from the Mak2/Mak3 sensor histidine kinases. Here we show that Mcs4 has an unexpected, phosphorelay-independent function in promoting heteromer association between the Wis4 and Win1 MAPKKKs. Only one of the MAPKKKs in the heteromer complex needs to be catalytically active, but disturbing the integrity of the complex by mutations to Mcs4, Wis4, or Win1 results in reduced MAPKKK-MAPKK interaction and, consequently, compromised MAPK activation. The physical interaction among Mcs4, Wis4, and Win1 is constitutive and not responsive to stress stimuli. Therefore the Mcs4-MAPKKK heteromer complex might serve as a stable platform/scaffold for signaling proteins that convey input and output of different stress signals. The Wis4-Win1 complex discovered in fission yeast demonstrates that heteromer-mediated mechanisms are not limited to mammalian MAPKKKs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs; MAP3Ks) are important components of MAPK cascades, which are highly conserved signal transduction pathways in animals, yeast and plants, play important roles in plant growth and development. MAPKKKs have been investigated on their evolution and expression patterns in limited plants including Arabidopsis, rice and maize. RESULTS: In this study, we performed a genome-wide survey and identified 45 MAPKKK genes in the grapevine genome. Chromosome location, phylogeny, gene structure and conserved protein motifs of MAPKKK family in grapevine have been analyzed to support the prediction of these genes. In the phylogenetic analysis, MAPKKK genes of grapevine have been classified into three subgroups as described for Arabidopsis, named MEKK, ZIK and RAF, also confirmed in grapevine by the analysis of conserved motifs and exon-intron organizations. By analyzing expression profiles of MAPKKK genes in grapevine microarray databases, we highlighted the modulation of different MAPKKKs in different organs and distinct developmental stages. Furthermore, we experimentally investigated the expression profiles of 45 grape MAPKKK genes in response to biotic (powdery mildew) and abiotic stress (drought), as well as to hormone (salicylic acid, ethylene) and hydrogen peroxide treatments, and identified several candidate MAPKKK genes that might play an important role in biotic and abiotic responses in grapevine, for further functional characterization. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first comprehensive experimental survey of the grapevine MAPKKK gene family, which provides insights into their potential roles in regulating responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, and the evolutionary expansion of MAPKKKs is associated with the diverse requirement in transducing external and internal signals into intracellular actions in MAPK cascade in grapevine.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that is involved in plant development and stress responses. As the first component of this phosphorelay cascade, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) act as adaptors linking upstream signaling steps to the core MAPK cascade to promote the appropriate cellular responses; however, the functions of MAPKKKs in maize are unclear. Here, we identified 71 MAPKKK genes, of which 14 were novel, based on a computational analysis of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome. Using an RNA-seq analysis in the leaf, stem and root of maize under well-watered and drought-stress conditions, we identified 5,866 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 8 MAPKKK genes responsive to drought stress. Many of the DEGs were enriched in processes such as drought stress, abiotic stimulus, oxidation-reduction, and metabolic processes. The other way round, DEGs involved in processes such as oxidation, photosynthesis, and starch, proline, ethylene, and salicylic acid metabolism were clearly co-expressed with the MAPKKK genes. Furthermore, a quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis was performed to assess the relative expression levels of MAPKKKs. Correlation analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation between expression levels of two MAPKKKs and relative biomass responsive to drought in 8 inbred lines. Our results indicate that MAPKKKs may have important regulatory functions in drought tolerance in maize.
Project description:As upstream components of MAPK cascades, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) act as adaptors linking upstream signaling steps to the core MAPK cascades. MAPK cascades are universal modules of signal transduction in eukaryotic organisms and play crucial roles in plant development processes and in responses to biotic and abiotic stress and signal transduction. Members of the MAPKKK gene family have been identified in several plants,however, MAPKKKs have not been systematically studied in bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon L.). In this study, 55 potential CdMAPKKKs were produced from bermudagrass transcriptome data, of which 13 belonged to the MEKK, 38 to the Raf, and 4 to the ZIK subfamily. Multiple alignment and conserved motif analysis of CdMAPKKKs supported the evolutionary relationships inferred from phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, the distribution pattern in Poaceae species indicated that members of the MAPKKK family were conserved among almost all diploid species, and species-specific polyploidy or higher duplication ratios resulted in an expansion of the MAPKKK family. In addition, 714 co-functional links which were significantly enriched in signal transduction, responses to temperature stimuli, and other important biological processes of 55 CdMAPKKKs were identified using co-functional gene networks analysis; 30 and 19 co-functional genes involved in response to cold or heat stress, respectively, were also identified. Results of promoter analyses, and interaction network investigation of all CdMAPKKKs based on the rice homologs suggested that CdMAPKKKs are commonly associated with regulation of numerous biological processes. Furthermore, 12 and 13 CdMAPKKKs were significantly up- and downregulated, respectively, in response to low temperature stress; among them, six CdMAPKKKs were significantly induced by low temperature stress, at least at one point in time. This is the first study to conduct identification and functional analysis of the MAPKKK gene family in bermudagrass, and our results provide a foundation for further research on the functions of CdMAPKKKs in response to low temperature stress.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades represent one of the important signalling mechanisms in response to environmental stimuli. We report the identification of a human MAPK kinase kinase, MAPKKK4, via sequence similarity with other MAPKKKs. When truncated MAPKKK4 (DeltaMAPKKK4) was overexpressed in HEK293 cells, it was constitutively active and induced the activation of endogenous p38alpha, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)1/2 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)2 in vivo. Kinase-inactive DeltaMAPKKK4 partly inhibited the activation of p38alpha, JNK1/2 and ERK2 induced by stress, tumour necrosis factor alpha or epidermal growth factor, suggesting that MAPKKK4 might be physiologically involved in all three MAPK cascades. Co-expressed MAP kinase kinase (MKK)-1, MKK-4, MKK-3 and MKK-6 were activated in vivo by DeltaMAPKKK4. All of the above MKKs purified from Escherichia coli were phosphorylated and activated by DeltaMAPKKK4 immunoprecipitates in vitro. When expressed by lower plasmid doses, DeltaMAPKKK4 preferentially activated MKK-3 and p38alpha in vivo. Overexpression of DeltaMAPKKK4 did not activate the NF-kappaB pathway. Immunoprecipitation of endogenous MAPKKK4 by specific antibodies showed that MAPKKK4 was activated after the treatment of K562 cells with various stress conditions. As a broadly distributed kinase, MAPKKK4 might serve as a stress responder. MAPKKK4 is 91% identical with the recently described murine MEKK-4beta and might be its human homologue. It is also identical with the recently cloned human MAP three kinase 1 except for the lack of an internal sequence homologous to the murine MEKK-4alpha isoform. Differences in the reported functional activities of the three kinases are discussed.