Chitin acts as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern from fungal pathogens whose perception triggers a range of defense responses. We show that LYSIN MOTIF DOMAIN-CONTAINING GLYCOSYLPHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL-ANCHORED PROTEIN 2 (LYM2), the Arabidopsis homolog of a rice chitin receptor-like protein, mediates a reduction in molecular flux via plasmodesmata in the presence of chitin. For this response, lym2-1 mutants are insensitive to the presence of chitin, but not to the flagellin derivative flg22. Surprisingly, the chitin-recognition receptor CHITIN ELCITOR RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (CERK1) is not required for chitin-induced changes to plasmodesmata flux, suggesting that there are at least two chitin-activated response pathways in Arabidopsis and that LYM2 is not required for CERK1-mediated chitin-triggered defense responses, indicating that these pathways are independent. In accordance with a role in the regulation of intercellular flux, LYM2 is resident at the plasma membrane and is enriched at plasmodesmata. Chitin-triggered regulation of molecular flux between cells is required for defense responses against the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea, and thus we conclude that the regulation of symplastic continuity and molecular flux between cells is a vital component of chitin-triggered immunity in Arabidopsis.
Cell-to-cell communication coordinates the behavior of individual cells to establish organ patterning and development. Although mobile signals are known to be important in lateral root development, the role of plasmodesmata (PD)-mediated transport in this process has not been investigated. Here, we show that changes in symplastic connectivity accompany and regulate lateral root organogenesis in Arabidopsis. This connectivity is dependent upon callose deposition around PD affecting molecular flux through the channel. Two plasmodesmal-localized ?-1,3 glucanases (PdBGs) were identified that regulate callose accumulation and the number and distribution of lateral roots. The fundamental role of PD-associated callose in this process was illustrated by the induction of similar phenotypes in lines with altered callose turnover. Our results show that regulation of callose and cell-to-cell connectivity is critical in determining the pattern of lateral root formation, which influences root architecture and optimal plant performance.
Plasmodesmata are doors in the rigid cell wall. In multicellular tissues, they allow the passage of molecules needed to create physiological gradients and, by closure, symplastic boundaries, which are necessary for the fundamental processes of plant growth, development and defence. Despite this central role in plant growth our knowledge of their contribution has been hindered by difficulties in biochemical and molecular characterisation. Recent advances in proteomic, biochemical, cell biological and genetic analysis of their structure and function is showing that plasmodesmata are plastic yet highly regulated structures. They require the perception of small molecule signals (such as reactive oxygen species) to activate local changes in the cell wall that place physical constraints on the channel. This article reviews recent evidence that highlights the roles of the membrane subcomponents both as structural elements and as environments for resident signalling molecules.
The multicellular nature of plants requires that cells should communicate in order to coordinate essential functions. This is achieved in part by molecular flux through pores in the cell wall, called plasmodesmata. We describe the proteomic analysis of plasmodesmata purified from the walls of Arabidopsis suspension cells. Isolated plasmodesmata were seen as membrane-rich structures largely devoid of immunoreactive markers for the plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum and cytoplasmic components. Using nano-liquid chromatography and an Orbitrap ion-trap tandem mass spectrometer, 1341 proteins were identified. We refer to this list as the plasmodesmata- or PD-proteome. Relative to other cell wall proteomes, the PD-proteome is depleted in wall proteins and enriched for membrane proteins, but still has a significant number (35%) of putative cytoplasmic contaminants, probably reflecting the sensitivity of the proteomic detection system. To validate the PD-proteome we searched for known plasmodesmal proteins and used molecular and cell biological techniques to identify novel putative plasmodesmal proteins from a small subset of candidates. The PD-proteome contained known plasmodesmal proteins and some inferred plasmodesmal proteins, based upon sequence or functional homology with examples identified in different plant systems. Many of these had a membrane association reflecting the membranous nature of isolated structures. Exploiting this connection we analysed a sample of the abundant receptor-like class of membrane proteins and a small random selection of other membrane proteins for their ability to target plasmodesmata as fluorescently-tagged fusion proteins. From 15 candidates we identified three receptor-like kinases, a tetraspanin and a protein of unknown function as novel potential plasmodesmal proteins. Together with published work, these data suggest that the membranous elements in plasmodesmata may be rich in receptor-like functions, and they validate the content of the PD-proteome as a valuable resource for the further uncovering of the structure and function of plasmodesmata as key components in cell-to-cell communication in plants.
Pea encodes eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E (eIF4E(S)), which supports the multiplication of Pea seed-borne mosaic virus (PSbMV). In common with hosts for other potyviruses, some pea lines contain a recessive allele (sbm1) encoding a mutant eIF4E (eIF4E(R)) that fails to interact functionally with the PSbMV avirulence protein, VPg, giving genetic resistance to infection.
As channels that provide cell-to-cell connectivity, plasmodesmata are central to the local and systemic spread of viruses in plants. This review discusses the current state of knowledge of the structure and function of these channels and the ways in which viruses bring about functional changes that allow macromolecular trafficking to occur. Despite the passing of two decades since the first identification of a viral movement protein that mediates these changes, our understanding of the relevant molecular mechanisms remains in its infancy. However, viral movement proteins provide valuable tools for the modification of plasmodesmata and will continue to assist in the dissection of plasmodesmal properties in relation to their core roles in cell-to-cell communication.
Plasmodesmata (PD) are essential but poorly understood structures in plant cell walls that provide symplastic continuity and intercellular communication pathways between adjacent cells and thus play fundamental roles in development and pathogenesis. Viruses encode movement proteins (MPs) that modify these tightly regulated pores to facilitate their spread from cell to cell. The most striking of these modifications is observed for groups of viruses whose MPs form tubules that assemble in PDs and through which virions are transported to neighbouring cells. The nature of the molecular interactions between viral MPs and PD components and their role in viral movement has remained essentially unknown. Here, we show that the family of PD-located proteins (PDLPs) promotes the movement of viruses that use tubule-guided movement by interacting redundantly with tubule-forming MPs within PDs. Genetic disruption of this interaction leads to reduced tubule formation, delayed infection and attenuated symptoms. Our results implicate PDLPs as PD proteins with receptor-like properties involved the assembly of viral MPs into tubules to promote viral movement.
The actin cytoskeleton has been implicated in the intra- and intercellular movement of a growing number of plant and animal viruses. However, the range of viruses influenced by actin for movement and the mechanism of this transport are poorly understood. Here we determine the importance of microfilaments and myosins for the sustained intercellular movement of a group of RNA-based plant viruses. We demonstrate that the intercellular movement of viruses from different genera [tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), potato virus X (PVX), tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV)], is inhibited by disruption of microfilaments. Surprisingly, turnip vein-clearing virus (TVCV), a virus from the same genus as TMV, did not require intact microfilaments for normal spread. To investigate the molecular basis for this difference we compared the subcellular location of GFP fusions to the 126-kDa protein and the homologous 125-kDa protein from TMV and TVCV, respectively. The 126-kDa protein formed numerous large cytoplasmic inclusions associated with microfilaments, whereas the 125-kDa protein formed few small possible inclusions, none associated with microfilaments. The dependence of TMV, PVX, and TBSV on intact microfilaments for intercellular movement led us to investigate the role of myosin motors in this process. Virus-induced gene silencing of the Nicotiana benthamiana myosin XI-2 gene, but not three other myosins, inhibited only TMV movement. These results indicate that RNA viruses have evolved differently in their requirements for microfilaments and the associated myosin motors, in a manner not correlated with predicted phylogeny.
Crystals of an N-terminally truncated 20 kDa fragment of Pisum sativum eIF4E (DeltaN-eIF4E) were grown by vapour diffusion. X-ray data were recorded to a resolution of 2.2 A from a single crystal in-house. Indexing was consistent with primitive monoclinic symmetry and solvent-content estimations suggested that between four and nine copies of the eIF4E fragment were possible per crystallographic asymmetric unit. eIF4E is an essential component of the eukaryotic translation machinery and recent studies have shown that point mutations of plant eIF4Es can confer resistance to potyvirus infection.
Remorins (REMs) are proteins of unknown function specific to vascular plants. We have used imaging and biochemical approaches and in situ labeling to demonstrate that REM clusters at plasmodesmata and in approximately 70-nm membrane domains, similar to lipid rafts, in the cytosolic leaflet of the plasma membrane. From a manipulation of REM levels in transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants, we show that Potato virus X (PVX) movement is inversely related to REM accumulation. We show that REM can interact physically with the movement protein TRIPLE GENE BLOCK PROTEIN1 from PVX. Based on the localization of REM and its impact on virus macromolecular trafficking, we discuss the potential for lipid rafts to act as functional components in plasmodesmata and the plasma membrane.
The entry of carbon from sucrose into cellular metabolism in plants can potentially be catalyzed by either sucrose synthase (SUS) or invertase (INV). These 2 routes have different implications for cellular metabolism in general and for the production of key metabolites, including the cell-wall precursor UDPglucose. To examine the importance of these 2 routes of sucrose catabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.), we generated mutant plants that lack 4 of the 6 isoforms of SUS. These mutants (sus1/sus2/sus3/sus4 mutants) lack SUS activity in all cell types except the phloem. Surprisingly, the mutant plants are normal with respect to starch and sugar content, seed weight and lipid content, cellulose content, and cell-wall structure. Plants lacking the remaining 2 isoforms of SUS (sus5/sus6 mutants), which are expressed specifically in the phloem, have reduced amounts of callose in the sieve plates of the sieve elements. To discover whether sucrose catabolism in Arabidopsis requires INVs rather than SUSs, we further generated plants deficient in 2 closely related isoforms of neutral INV predicted to be the main cytosolic forms in the root (cinv1/cinv2 mutants). The mutant plants have severely reduced growth rates. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of carbon supply to the nonphotosynthetic cells of plants.
In Arabidopsis thaliana, auxin is a key regulator of tissue patterning in the developing embryo. We have identified a group of proteins that act downstream of auxin accumulation in auxin-mediated root and vascular development in the embryo. Combined mutations in OBERON1 (OBE1) and OBERON2 (OBE2) give rise to obe1 obe2 double mutant seedlings that closely phenocopy the monopteros (mp) mutant phenotype, with an absence of roots and defective development of the vasculature. We show that, in contrast to the situation in mp mutants, obe1 obe2 double mutant embryos show auxin maxima at the root pole and in the provascular region, and that the SCF(TIR1) pathway, which translates auxin accumulation into transcriptional activation of auxin-responsive genes, remains intact. Although we focus on the impact of obe mutations on aspects of embryo development, the effect of such mutations on a broad range of auxin-related gene expression and the tissue expression patterns of OBE genes in seedlings suggest that OBE proteins have a wider role to play in growth and development. We suggest that OBE1 and OBE2 most likely control the transcription of genes required for auxin responses through the action of their PHD finger domains.
In common with a range of environmental and biological stresses, heat shock results in the accumulation of misfolded proteins and a collection of downstream consequences for cellular homeostasis and growth. Within this complex array of responses, the sensing of and responses to misfolded proteins in specific subcellular compartments involves specific chaperones, transcriptional regulators, and expression profiles. Using biological (ectopic protein expression and virus infection) and chemical triggers for misfolded protein accumulation, we have profiled the transcriptional features of the response to misfolded protein accumulation in the cytosol (i.e., the cytoplasmic protein response [CPR]) and identified the effects as a subcomponent of the wider effects induced by heat shock. The CPR in Arabidopsis thaliana is associated with the heat shock promoter element and the involvement of specific heat shock factors (HSFs), notably HSFA2, which appears to be regulated by alternative splicing and non-sense-mediated decay. Characterization of Arabidopsis HSFA2 knockout and overexpression lines showed that HSFA2 is one of the regulatory components of the CPR.
Plasmodesmata (Pds) traverse the cell wall to establish a symplastic continuum through most of the plant. Rapid and reversible deposition of callose in the cell wall surrounding the Pd apertures is proposed to provide a regulatory process through physical constriction of the symplastic channel. We identified members within a larger family of X8 domain-containing proteins that targeted to Pds. This subgroup of proteins contains signal sequences for a glycosylphosphatidylinositol linkage to the extracellular face of the plasma membrane. We focused our attention on three closely related members of this family, two of which specifically bind to 1,3-beta-glucans (callose) in vitro. We named this family of proteins Pd callose binding proteins (PDCBs). Yellow fluorescent protein-PDCB1 was found to localize to the neck region of Pds with potential to provide a structural anchor between the plasma membrane component of Pds and the cell wall. PDCB1, PDCB2, and PDCB3 had overlapping and widespread patterns of expression, but neither single nor combined insertional mutants for PDCB2 and PDCB3 showed any visible phenotype. However, increased expression of PDCB1 led to an increase in callose accumulation and a reduction of green fluorescent protein (GFP) movement in a GFP diffusion assay, identifying a potential association between PDCB-mediated callose deposition and plant cell-to-cell communication.
Herbivory results in an array of physiological changes in the host that are separable from the associated physical damage. We have made the surprising observation that an Arabidopsis line (pdko3) mutated in genes encoding plasmodesmal proteins is defective in some, but not all, of the typical plant responses to herbivory. We tested the responses of plasma transmembrane potential (Vm) depolarization, voltage gated K(+) channel activity, cytosolic calcium [Ca(2+) ](cyt) and reactive oxygen species (ROS) (H(2) O(2) and NO) release, shoot-to-root signaling, biosynthesis of the phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) and the elicitation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Following herbivory and the release of factors present in insect oral secretions (including a putative ?-galactofuranose polysaccharide), both the pdko3 and wild type (WT) plants showed a increased accumulation of [Ca(2+) ](cyt) , NO and H(2) O(2) . In contrast, unlike WT plants, the mutant line showed an almost complete loss of voltage gated K(+) channel activity and Vm depolarization, a loss of shoot-induced root-Vm depolarization, a loss of activation and regulation of gene expression of the JA defense pathway, and a much diminished release and altered profile of VOCs. The mutations in genes for plasmodesmal proteins have provided valuable genetic tools for the dissection of the complex spectrum of responses to herbivory and shown us that the responses to herbivory can be separated into a calcium-activated oxidative response and a K(+) -dependent Vm-activated jasmonate response associated with the release of VOCs.
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