The Origins and Roles of Methylthiolated Cytokinins: Evidence From Among Life Kingdoms.
ABSTRACT: Cytokinins (CKs) are a group of adenine-derived, small signaling molecules of crucial importance for growth and multiple developmental processes in plants. Biological roles of classical CKs: isopentenyladenine (iP), trans and cis isomers of zeatin (tZ, cZ), and dihydrozeatin, have been studied extensively and their functions are well defined in many aspects of plant physiology. In parallel, extensive knowledge exists for genes involved in tRNA modifications that lead to the production of tRNA-bound methylthiolated CKs, especially in bacterial and mammalian systems. However, not much is known about the origins, fates, and possible functions of the unbound methylthiolated CKs (2MeS-CKs) in biological systems. 2MeS-CKs are the free base or riboside derivatives of iP or Z-type CKs, modified by the addition of a thiol group (-SH) at position 2 of the adenine ring that is subsequently methylated. Based on the evidence to date, these distinctive CK conjugates are derived exclusively via the tRNA degradation pathway. This review summarizes the knowledge on the probable steps involved in the biosynthesis of unbound 2MeS-CKs across diverse kingdoms of life. Furthermore, it provides examples of CK profiles of organisms from which the presence of 2MeS-CKs have been detected and confirms a close association and balance between the production of classical CKs and 2MeS-CKs. Finally, it discusses available reports regarding the possible physiological functions of 2MeS-CKs in different biological systems.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) are a family of evolutionarily conserved growth regulating hormones. While CKs are well-characterized in plant systems, these N6-substituted adenine derivatives are found in a variety of organisms beyond plants, including bacteria, fungi, mammals, and the social amoeba, Dictyostelium discoideum. Within Dictyostelium, CKs have only been studied in the late developmental stages of the life cycle, where they promote spore encapsulation and dormancy. In this study, we used ultra high-performance liquid chromatography-positive electrospray ionization-high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-(ESI+)-HRMS/MS) to profile CKs during the Dictyostelium life cycle: growth, aggregation, mound, slug, fruiting body, and germination. Comprehensive profiling revealed that Dictyostelium produces 6 CK forms (cis-Zeatin (cZ), discadenine (DA), N6-isopentenyladenine (iP), N6-isopentenyladenine-9-riboside (iPR), N6-isopentenyladenine-9-riboside-5' phosphate (iPRP), and 2-methylthio-N6-isopentenyladenine (2MeSiP)) in varying abundance across the sampled life cycle stages, thus laying the foundation for the CK biosynthesis pathway to be defined in this organism. Interestingly, iP-type CKs were the most dominant CK analytes detected during growth and aggregation. Exogenous treatment of AX3 cells with various CK types revealed that iP was the only CK to promote the proliferation of cells in culture. In support of previous studies, metabolomics data revealed that DA is one of the most significantly upregulated small molecules during Dictyostelium development, and our data indicates that total CK levels are highest during germination. While much remains to be explored in Dictyostelium, this research offers new insight into the nature of CK biosynthesis, secretion, and function during Dictyostelium growth, development, and spore germination.
Project description:Decades ago, the importance of cytokinins (CKs) during Rhodococcus fascians pathology had been acknowledged, and an isopentenyltransferase gene had been characterized in the fas operon of the linear virulence plasmid, but hitherto, no specific CK(s) could be associated with virulence. We show that the CK receptors AHK3 and AHK4 of Arabidopsis thaliana are essential for symptom development, and that the CK perception machinery is induced upon infection, underlining its central role in the symptomatology. Three classical CKs [isopentenyladenine, trans-zeatin, and cis-zeatin (cZ)] and their 2-methylthio (2MeS)-derivatives were identified by CK profiling of both the pathogenic R. fascians strain D188 and its nonpathogenic derivative D188-5. However, the much higher CK levels in strain D188 suggest that the linear plasmid is responsible for the virulence-associated production. All R. fascians CKs were recognized by AHK3 and AHK4, and, although they individually provoked typical CK responses in several bioassays, the mixture of bacterial CKs exhibited clear synergistic effects. The cis- and 2MeS-derivatives were poor substrates of the apoplastic CK oxidase/dehydrogenase enzymes and the latter were not cytotoxic at high concentrations. Consequently, the accumulating 2MeScZ (and cZ) in infected Arabidopsis tissue contribute to the continuous stimulation of tissue proliferation. Based on these results, we postulate that the R. fascians pathology is based on the local and persistent secretion of an array of CKs.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) are a class of compounds that have long been thought to be exclusively plant growth regulators. Interestingly, some species of phytopathogenic bacteria and fungi have been shown to, and gall-inducing insects have been hypothesized to, produce CKs and use them to manipulate their host plants. We used high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) to examine concentrations of a wide range of CKs in 17 species of phytophagous insects, including gall- and non-gall-inducing species from all six orders of Insecta that contain species known to induce galls: Thysanoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera. We found CKs in all six orders of insects, and they were not associated exclusively with gall-inducing species. We detected 24 different CK analytes, varying in their chemical structure and biological activity. Isoprenoid precursor nucleotide and riboside forms of trans-zeatin (tZ) and isopentenyladenine (iP) were most abundant and widespread across the surveyed insect species. Notably, the observed concentrations of CKs often markedly exceeded those reported in plants suggesting that insects are synthesizing CKs rather than obtaining them from the host plant via tissue consumption, compound sequestration, and bioaccumulation. These findings support insect-derived CKs as means for gall-inducing insects to manipulate their host plant to facilitate cell proliferation, and for both gall- and non-gall-inducing insects to modify nutrient flux and plant defenses during herbivory. Furthermore, wide distribution of CKs across phytophagous insects, including non-gall-inducing species, suggests that insect-borne CKs could be involved in manipulation of source-sink mechanisms of nutrient allocation to sustain the feeding site and altering plant defensive responses, rather than solely gall induction. Given the absence of any evidence for genes in the de novo CK biosynthesis pathway in insects, we postulate that the tRNA-ipt pathway is responsible for CK production. However, the unusually high concentrations of CKs in insects, and the tendency toward dominance of their CK profiles by tZ and iP suggest that the tRNA-ipt pathway functions differently and substantially more efficiently in insects than in plants.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) are well-known as a class of phytohormones capable of delaying senescence in detached leaves. However, CKs are often treated as a monolithic group of compounds even though dozens of CK species are present in plants with varied degrees of reported biological activity. One specific type of CK, isopentenyladenine base (iP), has been demonstrated as having roles in delaying leaf senescence, inhibition of root growth, and promoting shoot regeneration. However, its N-glucosides isopentenyladenine-7- and -9-glucoside (iP7G, iP9G) have remained understudied and thought of as inactive cytokinins for several decades, despite their relatively high concentrations in plants such as the model species <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i>. Here we show that iP and one of its glucosides, iP9G, are capable of delaying senescence in leaves, though the glucosides having little to no activity in other bioassays. Additionally, we performed the first transcriptomic study of iP-delayed cotyledon senescence which shows that iP is capable of upregulating photosynthetic genes and downregulating catabolic genes in detached cotyledons. Transcriptomic analysis also shows iP9G has limited effects on gene expression, but that the few affected genes are CK-related and are similar to those seen from iP effects during senescence as seen for the type-A response regulator ARR6. These findings suggest that iP9G functions as an active CK during senescence.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) can modulate plant immunity to various pathogens, but how CKs are involved in plant defense responses to the necrotrophic pathogen <i>Botrytis cinerea</i> is still unknown. Here, we found that <i>B. cinerea</i> infection induced transcriptional changes in multiple genes involved in the biosynthesis, degradation, and signaling of CKs, as well as their contents, in pathogen-infected <i>Arabidopsis</i> leaves. Among the CKs, the gene expression of <i>CYTOKININ OXIDASE/DEHYDROGENASE 5</i> (<i>CKX5</i>) was remarkably induced in the local infected leaves and the distant leaves of the same plant without pathogen inoculation. <i>Cis</i>-zeatin (<i>c</i>Z) and its riboside (<i>c</i>ZR) accumulated considerably in infected leaves, suggesting an important role of the <i>cis</i>-zeatin type of CKs in the plant response to <i>B. cinerea</i>. Cytokinin double-receptor mutants were more susceptible to <i>B. cinerea</i> infection, whereas an exogenous CK treatment enhanced the expression levels of defense-related genes and of jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET), but not salicylic acid (SA), resulting in higher resistance of <i>Arabidopsis</i> to <i>B. cinerea</i>. Investigation of CK responses to <i>B. cinerea</i> infection in the JA biosynthesis mutant, <i>jar1-1</i>, and ET-insensitive mutant, <i>ein2-1</i>, showed that CK signaling and levels of CKs, namely, those of isopentenyladenine (iP), isopentenyladenine riboside (iPR), and <i>trans</i>-zeatin (<i>t</i>Z), were enhanced in <i>jar1-1</i>-infected leaves. By contrast, reductions in iP, iPR, <i>t</i>Z, and <i>t</i>Z riboside (<i>t</i>ZR) as well as <i>c</i>ZR contents occurred in <i>ein2-1</i>-infected leaves, whose transcript levels of CK signaling genes were likewise differentially regulated. The <i>Arabidopsis Response Regulator 5</i> (<i>ARR5</i>) gene was upregulated in infected leaves of <i>ein2-1</i> whereas another type-A response regulator, <i>ARR16</i>, was significantly downregulated, suggesting the existence of a complex regulation of CK signaling via the ET pathway. Accumulation of the <i>cis</i>-zeatin type of CKs in <i>B. cinerea</i>-infected leaves depended on ET but not JA pathways. Collectively, our findings provide evidence that CK responds to <i>B. cinerea</i> infection in a variety of ways that are differently modulated by JA and ET pathways in <i>Arabidopsis</i>.
Project description:Endophytic insects provide the textbook examples of herbivores that manipulate their host plant's physiology, putatively altering source/sink relationships by transferring cytokinins (CK) to create 'green islands' that increase the nutritional value of infested tissues. However, unambiguous demonstrations of CK transfer are lacking. Here we show that feeding by the free-living herbivore Tupiocoris notatus on Nicotiana attenuata is characterized by stable nutrient levels, increased CK levels and alterations in CK-related transcript levels in attacked leaves, in striking similarity to endophytic insects. Using 15N-isotope labeling, we demonstrate that the CK N6-isopentenyladenine (IP) is transferred from insects to plants via their oral secretions. In the field, T. notatus preferentially attacks leaves with transgenically increased CK levels; plants with abrogated CK-perception are less tolerant of T. notatus feeding damage. We infer that this free-living insect uses CKs to manipulate source/sink relationships to increase food quality and minimize the fitness consequences of its feeding.
Project description:Cytokinins are plant hormones, derivatives of adenine with a side chain at the <i>N<sup>6</sup></i>-position. They are involved in many physiological processes. While the metabolism of <i>trans</i>-zeatin and isopentenyladenine, which are considered to be highly active cytokinins, has been extensively studied, there are others with less obvious functions, such as <i>cis</i>-zeatin, dihydrozeatin, and aromatic cytokinins, which have been comparatively neglected. To help explain this duality, we present a novel hypothesis metaphorically comparing various cytokinin forms, enzymes of CK metabolism, and their signalling and transporter functions to the comics superheroes Hulk and Deadpool. Hulk is a powerful but short-lived creation, whilst Deadpool presents a more subtle and enduring force. With this dual framework in mind, this review compares different cytokinin metabolites, and their biosynthesis, translocation, and sensing to illustrate the different mechanisms behind the two CK strategies. This is put together and applied to a plant developmental scale and, beyond plants, to interactions with organisms of other kingdoms, to highlight where future study can benefit the understanding of plant fitness and productivity.
Project description:Light is one of the most important factor influencing plant growth and development all through their life cycle. One of the well-known light-regulated processes is de-etiolation, i.e. the switch from skotomorphogenesis to photomorphogenesis. The hormones cytokinins (CKs) play an important role during the establishment of photomorphogenesis as exogenous CKs induced photomorphogenesis of dark-grown seedlings. Most of the studies are conducted on the plant model Arabidopsis, but no or few information are available for important crop species, such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.). In our study, we analyzed for the first time the endogenous CKs content in tomato hypocotyls during skotomorphogenesis, photomorphogenesis and de-etiolation. For this purpose, two tomato genotypes were used: cv. Rutgers (wild-type; WT) and its corresponding mutant (7B-1) affected in its responses to blue light (BL). Using physiological and molecular approaches, we identified that the skotomorphogenesis is characterized by an endoreduplication-mediated cell expansion, which is inhibited upon BL exposure as seen by the accumulation of trancripts encoding CycD3, key regulators of the cell cycle. Our study showed for the first time that iP (isopentenyladenine) is the CK accumulated in the tomato hypocotyl upon BL exposure, suggesting its specific role in photomorphogenesis. This result was supported by physiological experiments and gene expression data. We propose a common model to explain the role and the relationship between CKs, namely iP, and endoreduplication during de-etiolation and photomorphogenesis.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) mediate cellular responses to drought stress and targeted control of CK metabolism can be used to develop drought-tolerant plants. Aiming to manipulate CK levels to improve drought tolerance of soybean cultivars through genetic engineering of CK metabolic genes, we surveyed the soybean genome and identified 14 CK biosynthetic (isopentenyltransferase, GmIPT) and 17 CK degradative (CK dehydrogenase, GmCKX) genes. Comparative analyses of GmIPTs and GmCKXs with Arabidopsis counterparts revealed their similar architecture. The average numbers of abiotic stress-inducible cis-elements per promoter were 0.4 and 1.2 for GmIPT and GmCKX genes, respectively, suggesting that upregulation of GmCKXs, thereby reduction of CK levels, maybe the major events under abiotic stresses. Indeed, the expression of 12 GmCKX genes was upregulated by dehydration in R2 roots. Overall, the expressions of soybean CK metabolic genes in various tissues at various stages were highly responsive to drought. CK contents in various organs at the reproductive (R2) stage were also determined under well-watered and drought stress conditions. Although tRNA-type GmIPT genes were highly expressed in soybean, cis-zeatin and its derivatives were found at low concentrations. Moreover, reduction of total CK content in R2 leaves under drought was attributable to the decrease in dihydrozeatin levels, suggesting a role of this molecule in regulating soybean's responses to drought stress. Our systematic analysis of the GmIPT and GmCKX families has provided an insight into CK metabolism in soybean under drought stress and a solid foundation for in-depth characterization and future development of improved drought-tolerant soybean cultivars by manipulation of CK levels via biotechnological approach.
Project description:Cytokinins (CKs) control many plant developmental processes and responses to environmental cues. Although the CK signaling is well understood, we are only beginning to decipher its evolution. Here, we investigated the CK perception apparatus in early-divergent plant species such as bryophyte <i>Physcomitrium patens</i>, lycophyte <i>Selaginella moellendorffii</i>, and gymnosperm <i>Picea abies</i>. Of the eight CHASE-domain containing histidine kinases (CHKs) examined, two CHKs, PpCHK3 and PpCHK4, did not bind CKs. All other CHK receptors showed high-affinity CK binding (<i>K</i><sub>D</sub> of nM range), with a strong preference for isopentenyladenine over other CK nucleobases in the moss and for <i>trans</i>-zeatin over <i>cis</i>-zeatin in the gymnosperm. The pH dependences of CK binding for these six CHKs showed a wide range, which may indicate different subcellular localization of these receptors at either the plasma- or endoplasmic reticulum membrane. Thus, the properties of the whole CK perception apparatuses in early-divergent lineages were demonstrated. Data show that during land plant evolution there was a diversification of the ligand specificity of various CHKs, in particular, the rise in preference for <i>trans</i>-zeatin over <i>cis</i>-zeatin, which indicates a steadily increasing specialization of receptors to various CKs. Finally, this distinct preference of individual receptors to different CK versions culminated in vascular plants, especially angiosperms.