Modifying the Replication of Geminiviral Vectors Reduces Cell Death and Enhances Expression of Biopharmaceutical Proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana Leaves.
ABSTRACT: Plants are a promising platform to produce biopharmaceutical proteins, however, the toxic nature of some proteins inhibits their accumulation. We previously created a replicating geminiviral expression system based on bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) that enables very high-level production of recombinant proteins. To study the role of replication in this system, we generated vectors that allow separate and controlled expression of BeYDV Rep and RepA proteins. We show that the ratio of Rep and RepA strongly affects the efficiency of replication. Rep, RepA, and vector replication all elicit the plant hypersensitive response, resulting in cell death. We find that a modest reduction in expression of Rep and RepA reduces plant leaf cell death which, despite reducing the accumulation of viral replicons, increases target protein accumulation. A single nucleotide change in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) reduced Rep/RepA expression, reduced cell death, and enhanced the production of monoclonal antibodies. We also find that replicating vectors achieve optimal expression with lower Agrobacterium concentrations than non-replicating vectors, further reducing cell death. Viral UTRs are also shown to contribute substantially to cell death, while a native plant-derived 5' UTR does not.
Project description:DNA replication is tightly regulated to constrain the genetic material within strict spatiotemporal boundaries and copy numbers. Bacterial plasmids are autonomously replicating DNA molecules of much clinical, environmental and biotechnological interest. A mechanism used by plasmids to prevent over-replication is 'handcuffing', i.e. inactivating the replication origins in two DNA molecules by holding them together through a bridge built by a plasmid-encoded initiator protein (Rep). Besides being involved in handcuffing, the WH1 domain in the RepA protein assembles as amyloid fibres upon binding to DNA in vitro. The amyloid state in proteins is linked to specific human diseases, but determines selectable and epigenetically transmissible phenotypes in microorganisms. Here we have explored the connection between handcuffing and amyloidogenesis of full-length RepA. Using a monoclonal antibody specific for an amyloidogenic conformation of RepA-WH1, we have found that the handcuffed RepA assemblies, either reconstructed in vitro or in plasmids clustering at the bacterial nucleoid, are amyloidogenic. The replication-inhibitory RepA handcuff assembly is, to our knowledge, the first protein amyloid directly dealing with DNA. Built on an amyloid scaffold, bacterial plasmid handcuffs can bring a novel molecular solution to the universal problem of keeping control on DNA replication initiation.
Project description:Rhizobia commonly have very complex genomes with a chromosome and several large plasmids that possess genes belonging to the repABC family. RepA and RepB are members of the ParA and ParB families of partitioning proteins, respectively, whereas RepC is crucial for plasmid replication. In the repABC replicons, partitioning and replication functions are transcriptionally linked resulting in complex regulation of rep gene expression. The genome of R. leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA1 (RtTA1) consists of a chromosome and four plasmids (pRleTA1a-d), equipped with functional repABC genes. In this work, the regulation of transcription of the individual repABC cassettes of the four RtTA1 plasmids was studied. The involvement of the RepA and RepB as well as parS-like centromere sites in this process was depicted, demonstrating some dissimilarity in expression of respective rep regions. RtTA1 repABC genes of individual plasmids formed operons, which were negatively regulated by RepA and RepB. Individual RepA were able to bind to DNA without added nucleotides, but in the presence of ADP, bound specifically to their own operator sequences containing imperfect palindromes, and caused operon autorepression, whereas the addition of ATP stimulated non-specific binding of RepA to DNA. The RepA proteins were able to dimerize/oligomerize: in general dimers formed independently of ATP or ADP, although ATP diminished the concentration of oligomers that were produced. By the comprehensive approach focusing on a set of plasmids instead of individual replicons, the work highlighted subtle differences between the organization and regulation of particular rep operons as well as the structures and specificity of RepA proteins, which contribute to the fine-tuned coexistence of several replicons with similar repABC cassettes in the complex bacterial genome.
Project description:Different cryptic plasmids are widely distributed in many strains of cyanobacteria. A small cryptic plasmid, pCA2.4, from Synechocystis strain PCC 6803 was completely sequenced, and its replication mode was determined. pCA2.4 contained 2,378 bp and encoded a replication (Rep) protein, designated RepA. An analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence revealed that RepA of pCA2.4 has significant homology with Rep proteins of pKYM from Shigella sonnei, a pUB110 plasmid family from gram-positive bacteria, and with a protein corresponding to an open reading frame in a Nostoc plasmid and open reading frame C of Plectonema plasmid pRF1. pKYM and pUB110 family plasmids replicate by a rolling circle mechanism in which a Rep protein nicks the origin of replication to allow the generation of a single-stranded plasmid as a replication intermediate. RepA encoded by pC2.4 was expressed in Escherichia coli cells harboring a vector, pCRP336, containing the entire repA gene. The observed molecular weight of RepA was consistent with the value of 39,200 calculated from its deduced amino acid sequence, as was the N-terminal sequence analysis done through the 12th residue. Single-stranded plasmid DNA of pCA2.4 that was specifically degraded by S1 nuclease was detected in Synechocystis cells by Southern hybridization. These observations suggest that pCA2.4 replicates by a rolling circle mechanism in Synechocystis cells.
Project description:KEY MESSAGE:This is the first evidence that replicating vectors can be successfully used for transient protein expression in BY-2 plant cell packs. Transient recombinant protein expression in plants and recently also plant cell cultures are of increasing interest due to the speed, safety and scalability of the process. Currently, studies are focussing on the design of plant virus-derived vectors to achieve higher amounts of transiently expressed proteins in these systems. Here we designed and tested replicating single and multi-cassette vectors that combine elements for enhanced replication and hypertranslation, and assessed their ability to express and particularly co-express proteins by Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression in tobacco BY-2 plant cell packs. Substantial yields of green and red fluorescent proteins of up to?~?700 ng/g fresh mass were detected in the plant cells along with position-dependent expression. This is the first evidence of the ability of replicating vectors to transiently express proteins in BY-2 plant cell packs.
Project description:Temperate bacteriophages are common and establish lysogens of their bacterial hosts in which the prophage is stably inherited. It is typical for such prophages to be integrated into the bacterial chromosome, but extrachromosomally replicating prophages have been described also, with the best characterized being the Escherichia coli phage P1 system. Among the large collection of sequenced mycobacteriophages, more than half are temperate or predicted to be temperate, most of which code for a tyrosine or serine integrase that promotes site-specific prophage integration. However, within the large group of 621 cluster A temperate phages, ?20% lack an integration cassette, which is replaced with a parABS partitioning system. A subset of these phages carry genes coding for a RepA-like protein (RepA phages), which we show here is necessary and sufficient for autonomous extrachromosomal replication. The non-RepA phages appear to replicate using an RNA-based system, as a parABS-proximal region expressing a noncoding RNA is required for replication. Both RepA and non-RepA phage-based plasmids replicate at one or two copies per cell, transform both Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and are compatible with pAL5000-derived oriM and integration-proficient plasmid vectors. Characterization of these phage-based plasmids offers insights into the variability of lysogenic maintenance systems and provides a large suite of plasmids for actinobacterial genetics that vary in stability, copy number, compatibility, and host range.IMPORTANCE Bacteriophages are the most abundant biological entities in the biosphere and are a source of uncharacterized biological mechanisms and genetic tools. Here, we identify segments of phage genomes that are used for stable extrachromosomal replication in the prophage state. Autonomous replication of some of these phages requires a RepA-like protein, although most lack repA and use RNA-based systems for replication initiation. We describe a suite of plasmids based on these prophage replication functions that vary in copy number, stability, host range, and compatibility. These plasmids expand the toolbox available for genetic manipulation of Mycobacterium and other Actinobacteria, including Gordonia terrae.
Project description:The replicator (rep) of the nopaline-type Ti plasmid pTiC58 is located adjacent to the trb operon of this conjugal element. Previous genetic studies of this region (D. R. Gallie, M. Hagiya, and C. I. Kado, J. Bacteriol. 161:1034-1041, 1985) identified functions involved in partitioning, origin of replication and incompatibility, and copy number control. In this study, we determined the nucleotide sequence of a 6,146-bp segment that encompasses the rep locus of pTiC58. The region contained four full open reading frames (ORFs) and one partial ORF. The first three ORFs, oriented divergently from the traI-trb operon, are closely related to the repA, repB, and repC genes of the octopine-type Ti plasmid pTiB6S3 as well as to other repA, -B, and -C genes from the Ri plasmid pRiA4b and three large plasmids from Rhizobium spp. The fourth ORF and the partial ORF are similar to y4CG and y4CF, respectively, of the Sym plasmid pNGR234a. The 363-bp intergenic region between traI and repA contained two copies of the tra box which is the cis promoter recognition site for TraR, the quorum-sensing activator of Ti plasmid conjugal transfer. Expression of the traI-trb operon from the tra box II-associated promoter mediated by TraR and its acyl-homoserine lactone ligand, AAI, was negatively influenced by an intact tra box III. On the other hand, the region containing the two tra boxes was required for maximal expression of repA, and this expression was enhanced slightly by TraR and AAI. Copy number of a minimal rep plasmid increased five- to sevenfold in strains expressing traR but only when AAI also was provided. Consistent with this effect, constitutive expression of the quorum-sensing system resulted in an apparent increase in Ti plasmid copy number. We conclude that Ti plasmid copy number is influenced by the quorum-sensing system, suggesting a connection between conjugal transfer and vegetative replication of these virulence elements.
Project description:In bacterial plasmids, Rep proteins initiate DNA replication by undergoing a structural transformation coupled to dimer dissociation. Amyloidogenesis of the 'winged-helix' N-terminal domain of RepA (WH1) is triggered in vitro upon binding to plasmid-specific DNA sequences, and occurs at the bacterial nucleoid in vivo. Amyloid fibers are made of distorted RepA-WH1 monomers that assemble as single or double intertwined tubular protofilaments. RepA-WH1 causes in E. coli an amyloid proteinopathy, which is transmissible from mother to daughter cells, but not infectious, and enables conformational imprinting in vitro and in vivo; i.e. RepA-WH1 is a 'prionoid'. Microfluidics allow the assessment of the intracellular dynamics of RepA-WH1: bacterial lineages maintain two types (strains-like) of RepA-WH1 amyloids, either multiple compact cytotoxic particles or a single aggregate with the appearance of a fluidized hydrogel that it is mildly detrimental to growth. The Hsp70 chaperone DnaK governs the phase transition between both types of RepA-WH1 aggregates in vivo, thus modulating the vertical propagation of the prionoid. Engineering chimeras between the Sup35p/[PSI(+)] prion and RepA-WH1 generates [REP-PSI(+)], a synthetic prion exhibiting strong and weak phenotypic variants in yeast. These recent findings on a synthetic, self-contained bacterial prionoid illuminate central issues of protein amyloidogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plant cell suspensions and hairy root cultures represent scalable protein expression platforms. Low protein product titers have thus far limited the application of transient protein expression in these hosts. The objective of this work was to overcome this limitation by harnessing A. tumefaciens to deliver replicating and non-replicating RNA viral vectors in plant tissue co-cultures. RESULTS: Replicating vectors derived from Potato virus X (PVX) and Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) were modified to contain the reporter gene β-glucuronidase (GUS) with a plant intron to prevent bacterial expression. In cell suspensions, a minimal PVX vector retaining only the viral RNA polymerase gene yielded 6.6-fold more GUS than an analogous full-length PVX vector. Transient co-expression of the minimal PVX vector with P19 of Tomato bushy stunt virus or HC-Pro of Tobacco etch virus to suppress post-transcriptional gene silencing increased GUS expression by 44 and 83%, respectively. A non-replicating vector containing a leader sequence from Cowpea mosaic virus (CPMV-HT) modified for enhanced translation led to 70% higher transient GUS expression than a control treatment. In hairy roots, a TRV vector capable of systemic movement increased GUS accumulation by 150-fold relative to the analogous PVX vector. Histochemical staining for GUS in TRV-infected hairy roots revealed the capacity for achieving even higher productivity per unit biomass. CONCLUSIONS: For the first time, replicating PVX vectors and a non-replicating CPMV-HT vector were successfully applied toward transient heterologous protein expression in cell suspensions. A replicating TRV vector achieved transient GUS expression levels in hairy roots more than an order of magnitude higher than the highest level previously reported with a viral vector delivered by A. tumefaciens.
Project description:Geminiviruses are DNA viruses that replicate in nuclei of infected plant cells using the plant DNA replication machinery, including PCNA (proliferating cellular nuclear antigen), a cofactor that orchestrates genome duplication and maintenance by recruiting crucial players to replication forks. These viruses encode a multifunctional protein, Rep, which is essential for viral replication, induces the accumulation of the host replication machinery, and interacts with several host proteins, including PCNA and the SUMO E2 conjugation enzyme (SCE1). Posttranslational modification of PCNA by ubiquitin or SUMO plays an essential role in the switching of PCNA between interacting partners during DNA metabolism processes (e.g., replication, recombination, and repair, etc.). In yeast, PCNA sumoylation has been associated with DNA repair involving homologous recombination (HR). Previously, we reported that ectopic Rep expression results in very specific changes in the sumoylation pattern of plant cells. In this work, we show, using a reconstituted sumoylation system in Escherichia coli, that tomato PCNA is sumoylated at two residues, K254 and K164, and that coexpression of the geminivirus protein Rep suppresses sumoylation at these lysines. Finally, we confirm that PCNA is sumoylated in planta and that Rep also interferes with PCNA sumoylation in plant cells.IMPORTANCE SUMO adducts have a key role in regulating the activity of animal and yeast PCNA on DNA repair and replication. Our work demonstrates for the first time that sumoylation of plant PCNA occurs in plant cells and that a plant virus interferes with this modification. This work marks the importance of sumoylation in allowing viral infection and replication in plants. Moreover, it constitutes a prime example of how viral proteins interfere with posttranslational modifications of selected host factors to create a proper environment for infection.
Project description:A system for generating chromosomal insertions in lactococci is described. It is based on the conditional replication of lactococcal pWV01-derived Ori+ RepA- vector pORI19, containing lacZ alpha and the multiple cloning site of pUC19. Chromosomal AluI fragments of Lactococcus lactis were cloned in pORI19 in RepA+ helper strain Escherichia coli EC101. The frequency of Campbell-type recombinants, following introduction of this plasmid bank into L. lactis (RepA-), was increased by combining the system with temperature-sensitive pWV01 derivative pVE6007. Transformation of L. lactis MG1363 (pVE6007) with the pORI19 bank of lactococcal chromosomal fragments at the permissive temperature allowed replication of several copies of a recombinant plasmid from the bank within a cell because of the provision in trans of RepA-Ts from pVE6007. A temperature shift to 37 degrees C resulted in loss of pVE6007 and integration of the pORI19 derivatives at high frequencies. A bank of lactococcal mutants was made in this way and successfully screened for the presence of two mutations: one in the monocistronic 1.3-kb peptidoglycan hydrolase gene (acmA) and one in the hitherto uncharacterized maltose fermentation pathway. Reintroduction of pVE6007 into the Mal- mutant at 30 degrees C resulted in excision of the integrated plasmid and restoration of the ability of ferment maltose. The integration plasmid (pMAL) was rescued by using the isolated plasmid content of a restored Mal+ colony to transform E. coli EC101. Nucleotide sequencing of the 564-bp chromosomal fragment in pMAL revealed an internal part of an open reading frame of which the translated product showed significant homology with ATP-binding proteins MalK of E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Enterobacter aerogenes and MsmK of Streptococcus mutans. This combined use of two types of conditional replicating pWV01-derived vectors represents a novel, powerful tool for chromosomal gene inactivation, targeting, cloning, and sequencing of the labelled gene.