Alleles Causing Resistance to Isoxaben and Flupoxam Highlight the Significance of Transmembrane Domains for CESA Protein Function.
ABSTRACT: The cellulose synthase (CESA) proteins in Arabidopsis play an essential role in the production of cellulose in the cell walls. Herbicides such as isoxaben and flupoxam specifically target this production process and are prominent cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors (CBIs). Forward genetic screens in Arabidopsis revealed that mutations that can result in varying degrees of resistance to either isoxaben or flupoxam CBI can be attributed to single amino acid substitutions in primary wall CESAs. Missense mutations were almost exclusively present in the predicted transmembrane regions of CESA1, CESA3, and CESA6. Resistance to isoxaben was also conferred by modification to the catalytic residues of CESA3. This resulted in cellulose deficient phenotypes characterized by reduced crystallinity and dwarfism. However, mapping of mutations to the transmembrane regions also lead to growth phenotypes and altered cellulose crystallinity phenotypes. These results provide further genetic evidence supporting the involvement of CESA transmembrane regions in cellulose biosynthesis.
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: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.
Project description:The mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of cellulose in plants are complex and still poorly understood. A central question concerns the mechanism of microfibril structure and how this is linked to the catalytic polymerization action of cellulose synthase (CESA). Furthermore, it remains unclear whether modification of cellulose microfibril structure can be achieved genetically, which could be transformative in a bio-based economy. To explore these processes in planta, we developed a chemical genetic toolbox of pharmacological inhibitors and corresponding resistance-conferring point mutations in the C-terminal transmembrane domain region of CESA1(A903V) and CESA3(T942I) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Using (13)C solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction, we show that the cellulose microfibrils displayed reduced width and an additional cellulose C4 peak indicative of a degree of crystallinity that is intermediate between the surface and interior glucans of wild type, suggesting a difference in glucan chain association during microfibril formation. Consistent with measurements of lower microfibril crystallinity, cellulose extracts from mutated CESA1(A903V) and CESA3(T942I) displayed greater saccharification efficiency than wild type. Using live-cell imaging to track fluorescently labeled CESA, we found that these mutants show increased CESA velocities in the plasma membrane, an indication of increased polymerization rate. Collectively, these data suggest that CESA1(A903V) and CESA3(T942I) have modified microfibril structure in terms of crystallinity and suggest that in plants, as in bacteria, crystallization biophysically limits polymerization.
Project description:In many higher plants, cellulose synthesis is inhibited by isoxaben and thiazolidinone herbicides such as 5-tert-butyl-carbamoyloxy-3-(3-trifluromethyl) phenyl-4-thiazolidinone. Semidominant mutations at the IXR1 and IXR2 loci of Arabidopsis confer isoxaben and thiazolidinone resistance. Isolation of the IXR1 gene by map-based cloning revealed that it encodes the AtCESA3 isoform of cellulose synthase. The two known mutant alleles contain point mutations that replace glycine 998 with aspartic acid, and threonine 942 with isoleucine, respectively. The mutations occur in a highly conserved region of the enzyme near the carboxyl terminus that is well separated from the proposed active site. Although the IXR1 gene is expressed in the same cells as the structurally related RSW1 (AtCESA1) cellulose synthase gene, these two CESA genes are not functionally redundant.
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:We are interested in understanding how plants respond to cell wall stress. The stress is created through inhibition of cellulose biosynthesis. Isoxaben is a drug that inhibits cellulose biosynthesis in a dose dependent manner. We used a concentration of 600 nM isoxaben which should inhibit appr. 80% of cellulose biosynthesis. We performed a time course experiment where seedlings were treated for 36h with isoxaben and in parrallel untreated seedlings were grown. At 8 different timepoints treated and untreated samples were harvested.
Project description:Cellulose, a microfibrillar polysaccharide consisting of bundles of beta-1,4-glucan chains, is a major component of plant and most algal cell walls and is also synthesized by some prokaryotes. Seed plants and bacteria differ in the structures of their membrane terminal complexes that make cellulose and, in turn, control the dimensions of the microfibrils produced. They also differ in the domain structures of their CesA gene products (the catalytic subunit of cellulose synthase), which have been localized to terminal complexes and appear to help maintain terminal complex structure. Terminal complex structures in algae range from rosettes (plant-like) to linear forms (bacterium-like). Thus, algal CesA genes may reveal domains that control terminal complex assembly and microfibril structure. The CesA genes from the alga Mesotaenium caldariorum, a member of the order Zygnematales, which have rosette terminal complexes, are remarkably similar to seed plant CesAs, with deduced amino acid sequence identities of up to 59%. In addition to the putative transmembrane helices and the D-D-D-QXXRW motif shared by all known CesA gene products, M. caldariorum and seed plant CesAs share a region conserved among plants, an N-terminal zinc-binding domain, and a variable or class-specific region. This indicates that the domains that characterize seed plant CesAs arose prior to the evolution of land plants and may play a role in maintaining the structures of rosette terminal complexes. The CesA genes identified in M. caldariorum are the first reported for any eukaryotic alga and will provide a basis for analyzing the CesA genes of algae with different types of terminal complexes.
Project description:The phytohormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles in regulating cell elongation and cell size, and BR-related mutants in Arabidopsis display significant dwarf phenotypes. Cellulose is a biopolymer which has a major contribution to cell wall formation during cell expansion and elongation. However, whether BRs regulate cellulose synthesis, and if so, what the underlying mechanism of cell elongation induced by BRs is, is unknown. The content of cellulose and the expression levels of the cellulose synthase genes (CESAs) was measured in BR-related mutants and their wild-type counterpart. The chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) experiments and genetic analysis were used to demonstrate that BRs regulate CESA genes. It was found here that the BR-deficient or BR-perceptional mutants contain less cellulose than the wild type. The expression of CESA genes, especially those related to primary cell wall synthesis, was reduced in det2-1 and bri1-301, and was only inducible by BRs in the BR-deficient mutant det2-1. CHIP experiments show that the BR-activated transcription factor BES1 can associate with upstream elements of most CESA genes particularly those related with the primary cell wall. Furthermore, over-expression of the BR receptor BRI1 in CESA1, 3, and 6 mutants can only partially rescue the dwarf phenotypes. Our findings provide potential insights into the mechanism that BRs regulate cellulose synthesis to accomplish the cell elongation process in plant development.
Project description:Small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs) from natural cis-antisense pairs derived from the 3'-coding region of the barley (Hordeum vulgare) CesA6 cellulose synthase gene substantially increase in abundance during leaf elongation. Strand-specific RT-PCR confirmed the presence of an antisense transcript of HvCesA6 that extends > or = 1230 bp from the 3' end of the CesA-coding sequence. The increases in abundance of the CesA6 antisense transcript and the 21-nt and 24-nt siRNAs derived from the transcript are coincident with the down-regulation of primary wall CesAs, several Csl genes, and GT8 glycosyl transferase genes, and are correlated with the reduction in rates of cellulose and (1 --> 3),(1 --> 4)-beta-D-glucan synthesis. Virus induced gene silencing using unique target sequences derived from HvCesA genes attenuated expression not only of the HvCesA6 gene, but also of numerous nontarget Csls and the distantly related GT8 genes and reduced the incorporation of D-(14)C-Glc into cellulose and into mixed-linkage (1 --> 3),(1 --> 4)-beta-D-glucans of the developing leaves. Unique target sequences for CslF and CslH conversely silenced the same genes and lowered rates of cellulose and (1 --> 3),(1 --> 4)-beta-D-glucan synthesis. Our results indicate that the expression of individual members of the CesA/Csl superfamily and glycosyl transferases share common regulatory control points, and siRNAs from natural cis-antisense pairs derived from the CesA/Csl superfamily could function in this global regulation of cell-wall synthesis.
Project description:Thaxtomin A, a phytotoxin produced by Streptomyces eubacteria, is suspected to act as a natural cellulose synthesis inhibitor. This view is confirmed by the results obtained from new chemical, molecular, and microscopic analyses of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings treated with thaxtomin A. Cell wall analysis shows that thaxtomin A reduces crystalline cellulose, and increases pectins and hemicellulose in the cell wall. Treatment with thaxtomin A also changes the expression of genes involved in primary and secondary cellulose synthesis as well as genes associated with pectin metabolism and cell wall remodelling, in a manner nearly identical to isoxaben. In addition, it induces the expression of several defence-related genes and leads to callose deposition. Defects in cellulose synthesis cause ectopic lignification phenotypes in A. thaliana, and it is shown that lignification is also triggered by thaxtomin A, although in a pattern different from isoxaben. Spinning disc confocal microscopy further reveals that thaxtomin A depletes cellulose synthase complexes from the plasma membrane and results in the accumulation of these particles in a small microtubule-associated compartment. The results provide new and clear evidence for thaxtomin A having a strong impact on cellulose synthesis, thus suggesting that this is its primary mode of action.