Convergent evolution of hetero-oligomeric cellulose synthesis complexes in mosses and seed plants.
ABSTRACT: In seed plants, cellulose is synthesized by rosette-shaped cellulose synthesis complexes (CSCs) that are obligate hetero-oligomeric, comprising three non-interchangeable cellulose synthase (CESA) isoforms. The moss Physcomitrella patens has rosette CSCs and seven CESAs, but its common ancestor with seed plants had rosette CSCs and a single CESA gene. Therefore, if P. patens CSCs are hetero-oligomeric, then CSCs of this type evolved convergently in mosses and seed plants. Previous gene knockout and promoter swap experiments showed that PpCESAs from class A (PpCESA3 and PpCESA8) and class B (PpCESA6 and PpCESA7) have non-redundant functions in secondary cell wall cellulose deposition in leaf midribs, whereas the two members of each class are redundant. Based on these observations, we proposed the hypothesis that the secondary class A and class B PpCESAs associate to form hetero-oligomeric CSCs. Here we show that transcription of secondary class A PpCESAs is reduced when secondary class B PpCESAs are knocked out and vice versa, as expected for genes encoding isoforms that occupy distinct positions within the same CSC. The class A and class B isoforms co-accumulate in developing gametophores and co-immunoprecipitate, suggesting that they interact to form a complex in planta. Finally, secondary PpCESAs interact with each other, whereas three of four fail to self-interact when expressed in two different heterologous systems. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that obligate hetero-oligomeric CSCs evolved independently in mosses and seed plants and we propose the constructive neutral evolution hypothesis as a plausible explanation for convergent evolution of hetero-oligomeric CSCs.
Project description:Cellulose, often touted as the most abundant biopolymer on Earth, is a critical component of the plant cell wall and is synthesized by plasma membrane-spanning cellulose synthase (CESA) enzymes, which in plants are organized into rosette-like CESA complexes (CSCs). Plants construct two types of cell walls, primary cell walls (PCWs) and secondary cell walls (SCWs), which differ in composition, structure, and purpose. Cellulose in PCWs and SCWs is chemically identical but has different physical characteristics. During PCW synthesis, multiple dispersed CSCs move along a shared linear track in opposing directions while synthesizing cellulose microfibrils with low aggregation. In contrast, during SCW synthesis, we observed swaths of densely arranged CSCs that moved in the same direction along tracks while synthesizing cellulose microfibrils that became highly aggregated. Our data support a model in which distinct spatiotemporal features of active CSCs during PCW and SCW synthesis contribute to the formation of cellulose with distinct structure and organization in PCWs and SCWs of Arabidopsis thaliana This study provides a foundation for understanding differences in the formation, structure, and organization of cellulose in PCWs and SCWs.
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: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:Cellulose is one of the most abundant organic polymers in nature. It contains multiple β-1,4-glucan chains synthesized by cellulose synthases (CesAs) on the plasma membrane of higher plants. CesA subunits assemble into a pseudo-sixfold symmetric cellulose synthase complex (CSC), known as a 'rosette complex'. The structure of CesA remains enigmatic. Here, we report the cryo-EM structure of the homotrimeric CesA7 from Gossypium hirsutum at 3.5-angstrom resolution. The GhCesA7 homotrimer shows a C3 symmetrical assembly. Each protomer contains seven transmembrane helices (TMs) which form a channel potentially facilitating the release of newly synthesized glucans. The cytoplasmic glycosyltransferase domain (GT domain) of GhCesA7 protrudes from the membrane, and its catalytic pocket is directed towards the TM pore. The homotrimer GhCesA7 is stabilized by the transmembrane helix 7 (TM7) and the plant-conserved region (PCR) domains. It represents the building block of CSCs and facilitates microfibril formation. This structure provides insight into how eukaryotic cellulose synthase assembles and provides a mechanistic basis for the improvement of cotton fibre quality in the future.
Project description:Cellulose is synthesized by cellulose synthases (CESAs) from the glycosyltransferase GT-2 family. In plants, the CESAs form a six-lobed rosette-shaped CESA complex (CSC). Here we report crystal structures of the catalytic domain of <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> CESA3 (AtCESA3<sup>CatD</sup>) in both apo and uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose (UDP-Glc)-bound forms. AtCESA3<sup>CatD</sup> has an overall GT-A fold core domain sandwiched between a plant-conserved region (P-CR) and a class-specific region (C-SR). By superimposing the structure of AtCESA3<sup>CatD</sup> onto the bacterial cellulose synthase BcsA, we found that the coordination of the UDP-Glc differs, indicating different substrate coordination during cellulose synthesis in plants and bacteria. Moreover, structural analyses revealed that AtCESA3<sup>CatD</sup> can form a homodimer mainly via interactions between specific beta strands. We confirmed the importance of specific amino acids on these strands for homodimerization through yeast and <i>in planta</i> assays using point-mutated full-length AtCESA3. Our work provides molecular insights into how the substrate UDP-Glc is coordinated in the CESAs and how the CESAs might dimerize to eventually assemble into CSCs in plants.
Project description:Cellulose synthase (CesA) proteins are components of CesA complexes (rosettes) and are thought to catalyze the chain elongation step in glucan polymerization. Little is understood about rosette assembly, including how CesAs interact with each other or with other components within the complexes. The first conserved region at the N terminus of plant CesA proteins contains two putative zinc fingers that show high homology to the RING-finger motif. We show that this domain in GhCesA1 can bind two atoms of Zn2+, as predicted by its structure. Analysis in the yeast two-hybrid system indicates that the N-terminal portions of cotton fiber GhCesA1 and GhCesA2 containing these domains can interact to form homo- or heterodimers. Although Zn(2+) binding occurs only when the protein is in the reduced form, biochemical analyses show that under oxidative conditions, the GhCesA1 zinc-finger domain and also the full-length protein dimerize via intermolecular disulfide bonds, indicating CesA dimerization can be regulated by redox state. We also provide evidence that the herbicide CGA 325'615 (Syngenta, Basel), which inhibits synthesis of crystalline cellulose and leads to a disruption of rosette architecture, may affect the oxidative state of the zinc-finger domain that is necessary for rosette stability. Taken together, these results support a model in which at least part of the process of rosette assembly and function may involve oxidative dimerization between CesA subunits.
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:A six-lobed membrane spanning cellulose synthesis complex (CSC) containing multiple cellulose synthase (CESA) glycosyltransferases mediates cellulose microfibril formation. The number of CESAs in the CSC has been debated for decades in light of changing estimates of the diameter of the smallest microfibril formed from the ?-1,4 glucan chains synthesized by one CSC. We obtained more direct evidence through generating improved transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images and image averages of the rosette-type CSC, revealing the frequent triangularity and average cross-sectional area in the plasma membrane of its individual lobes. Trimeric oligomers of two alternative CESA computational models corresponded well with individual lobe geometry. A six-fold assembly of the trimeric computational oligomer had the lowest potential energy per monomer and was consistent with rosette CSC morphology. Negative stain TEM and image averaging showed the triangularity of a recombinant CESA cytosolic domain, consistent with previous modeling of its trimeric nature from small angle scattering (SAXS) data. Six trimeric SAXS models nearly filled the space below an average FF-TEM image of the rosette CSC. In summary, the multifaceted data support a rosette CSC with 18 CESAs that mediates the synthesis of a fundamental microfibril composed of 18 glucan chains.
Project description:Cellulose is an abundant biopolymer and a prominent constituent of plant cell walls. Cellulose is also a central component to plant morphogenesis and contributes the bulk of a plant's biomass. While cellulose synthase (CesA) genes were identified over two decades ago, genetic manipulation of this family to enhance cellulose production has remained difficult. In this study, we show that increasing the expression levels of the three primary cell wall AtCesA6-like genes (AtCesA2, AtCesA5, AtCesA6), but not AtCesA3, AtCesA9 or secondary cell wall AtCesA7, can promote the expression of major primary wall CesA genes to accelerate primary wall CesA complex (cellulose synthase complexes, CSCs) particle movement for acquiring long microfibrils and consequently increasing cellulose production in Arabidopsis transgenic lines, as compared with wild-type. The overexpression transgenic lines displayed changes in expression of genes related to cell growth and proliferation, perhaps explaining the enhanced growth of the transgenic seedlings. Notably, overexpression of the three AtCesA6-like genes also enhanced secondary cell wall deposition that led to improved mechanical strength and higher biomass production in transgenic mature plants. Hence, we propose that overexpression of certain AtCesA genes can provide a biotechnological approach to increase cellulose synthesis and biomass accumulation in transgenic plants.
Project description:Cellulose is synthesized at the plasma membrane by cellulose synthase (CESA) complexes (CSCs), which are assembled in the Golgi and secreted to the plasma membrane through the <i>trans</i>-Golgi network (TGN) compartment. However, the molecular mechanisms that guide CSCs through the secretory system and deliver them to the plasma membrane are poorly understood. Here, we identified an uncharacterized gene, <i>TRANVIA</i> (<i>TVA</i>), that is transcriptionally coregulated with the <i>CESA</i> genes required for primary cell wall synthesis. The <i>tva</i> mutant exhibits enhanced sensitivity to cellulose synthesis inhibitors; reduced cellulose content; and defective dynamics, density, and secretion of CSCs to the plasma membrane as compared to wild type. TVA is a plant-specific protein of unknown function that is detected in at least two different intracellular compartments: organelles labeled by markers for the TGN and smaller compartments that deliver CSCs to the plasma membrane. Together, our data suggest that TVA promotes trafficking of CSCs to the plasma membrane by facilitating exit from the TGN and/or interaction of CSC secretory vesicles with the plasma membrane.