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Breakthroughs spotlighting roles for extracellular nucleotides and apyrases in stress responses and growth and development.
Plant Sci.
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2014
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Animal and plant cells release nucleotides into their extracellular matrix when touched, wounded, and when their plasma membranes are stretched during delivery of secretory vesicles and growth. These released nucleotides then function as signaling agents that induce rapid increases in the concentration of cytosolic calcium, nitric oxide and superoxide. These, in turn, are transduced into downstream physiological changes. These changes in plants include changes in the growth of diverse tissues, in gravitropism, and in the opening and closing of stomates. The concentration of extracellular nucleotides is controlled by various phosphatases, prominent among which are apyrases EC 3.6.1.5 (nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases, NTPDases). This review provides phylogenetic and pHMM analyses of plant apyrases as well as analysis of predicted post-translational modifications for Arabidopsis apyrases. This review also summarizes and discusses recent advances in research on the roles of apyrases and extracellular nucleotides in controlling plant growth and development. These include new findings that document how apyrases and extracellular nucleotides control auxin transport, modulate stomatal aperture, and mediate biotic and abiotic stress responses, and on how apyrase suppression leads to growth inhibition.
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Apyrase suppression raises extracellular ATP levels and induces gene expression and cell wall changes characteristic of stress responses.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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Plant cells release ATP into their extracellular matrix as they grow, and extracellular ATP (eATP) can modulate the rate of cell growth in diverse tissues. Two closely related apyrases (APYs) in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), APY1 and APY2, function, in part, to control the concentration of eATP. The expression of APY1/APY2 can be inhibited by RNA interference, and this suppression leads to an increase in the concentration of eATP in the extracellular medium and severely reduces growth. To clarify how the suppression of APY1 and APY2 is linked to growth inhibition, the gene expression changes that occur in seedlings when apyrase expression is suppressed were assayed by microarray and quantitative real-time-PCR analyses. The most significant gene expression changes induced by APY suppression were in genes involved in biotic stress responses, which include those genes regulating wall composition and extensibility. These expression changes predicted specific chemical changes in the walls of mutant seedlings, and two of these changes, wall lignification and decreased methyl ester bonds, were verified by direct analyses. Taken together, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that APY1, APY2, and eATP play important roles in the signaling steps that link biotic stresses to plant defense responses and growth changes.
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Between two fern genomes.
Gigascience
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Ferns are the only major lineage of vascular plants not represented by a sequenced nuclear genome. This lack of genome sequence information significantly impedes our ability to understand and reconstruct genome evolution not only in ferns, but across all land plants. Azolla and Ceratopteris are ideal and complementary candidates to be the first ferns to have their nuclear genomes sequenced. They differ dramatically in genome size, life history, and habit, and thus represent the immense diversity of extant ferns. Together, this pair of genomes will facilitate myriad large-scale comparative analyses across ferns and all land plants. Here we review the unique biological characteristics of ferns and describe a number of outstanding questions in plant biology that will benefit from the addition of ferns to the set of taxa with sequenced nuclear genomes. We explain why the fern clade is pivotal for understanding genome evolution across land plants, and we provide a rationale for how knowledge of fern genomes will enable progress in research beyond the ferns themselves.
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Co-regulation of exine wall patterning, pollen fertility and anther dehiscence by Arabidopsis apyrases 6 and 7.
Plant Physiol. Biochem.
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2013
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An NCBI nucleotide blast keyed to apyrase (ATP-diphosphohydrolases, EC 3.6.1.5) conserved regions revealed five apyrases, AtAPYs (3-7), in addition to the previously identified AtAPY1 and 2. Here we report the functional analyses of two of the newly defined apyrases, AtAPY6 and AtAPY7. We analyzed tissue specificity of AtAPY6 and 7 expression by qRT-PCR and promoter:GUS fusion assays. We characterized the phenotypes of single and double knockout mutants for AtAPY6 and 7 in anther and pollen by light microscopy and electron microscopy. The transcripts of both AtAPY6 and 7 are expressed in mature pollen grains. Single knockout mutants of AtAPY6 and 7 displayed a minor change in pollen exine pattern under scanning electron microscopy without obvious change in fertility. Double knockout mutants of AtAPY6 and 7 (apy6apy7) displayed severe defects in pollen exine pattern, deformed pollen shape and reduced male fertility. An analysis of pollen from heterozygous apy6apy7 plants suggests that the defects in pollen exine wall are determined by the diploid genome. Our findings demonstrate that AtAPY6 and AtAPY7 are enzymes that play an important role in exine development of pollen grains, possibly through regulating the production of key polysaccharides needed for proper assembly of the exine layer.
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Current status and proposed roles for nitric oxide as a key mediator of the effects of extracellular nucleotides on plant growth.
Front Plant Sci
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Recent data indicate that nucleotides are released into the extracellular matrix during plant cell growth, and that these extracellular nucleotides induce signaling changes that can, in a dose-dependent manner, increase or decrease the cell growth. After activation of a presumed receptor, the earliest signaling change induced by extracellular nucleotides is an increase in the concentration of cytosolic Ca(2+), but rapidly following this change is an increase in the cellular level of nitric oxide (NO). In Arabidopsis, mutants deficient in nitrate reductase activity (nia1nia2) have drastically reduced nitric oxide production and cannot transduce the effects of applied nucleotides into growth changes. Both increased levels of extracellular nucleotides and increased NO production inhibit auxin transport and inhibit growth, and these effects are potentially due to disruption of the localization and/or function of auxin transport facilitators. However, because NO- and auxin-induced signaling pathways can intersect at multiple points, there may be diverse ways by which the induction of NO by extracellular ATP could modulate auxin signaling and thus influence growth. This review will discuss these optional mechanisms and suggest possible regulatory routes based on current experimental data and predictive computational analyses.
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Identification and characterization of annexin gene family in rice.
Plant Cell Rep.
PUBLISHED: 10-06-2011
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Plant annexins are Ca(2+)-dependent phospholipid-binding proteins and are encoded by multigene families. They are implicated in the regulation of plant development as well as protection from drought and other stresses. They are well characterized in Arabidopsis, however no such characterization of rice annexin gene family has been reported thus far. With the availability of the rice genome sequence information, we have identified ten members of the rice annexin gene family. At the protein level, they share 16-64% identity with predicted molecular masses ranging from 32 to 40 kDa. Phylogenetic analysis of rice annexins together with annexins from other monocots led to their classification into five different orthologous groups and share similar motif patterns in their protein sequences. Expression analysis by real-time RT-PCR revealed differential temporal and spatial regulation of these genes. The rice annexin genes are also found to be regulated in seedling stage by various abiotic stressors including salinity, drought, heat and cold. Additionally, in silico analysis of the putative upstream sequences was analyzed for the presence of stress-responsive cis-elements. These results provide a basis for further functional characterization of specific rice annexin genes at the tissue/developmental level and in response to abiotic stresses.
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Apyrases, extracellular ATP and the regulation of growth.
Curr. Opin. Plant Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2011
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Although no definitive receptor for extracellular ATP (eATP) has been identified in plants, there is now stronger physiological evidence that the effects of eATP on plant growth are mediated by a receptor, or, as in animals, by multiple receptors. Recent papers clarify how extracellular nucleotides induce changes in [Ca(2+)](cyt), and the production of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species. They document links between eATP signaling and the synthesis or transport of hormones, and they reveal that applied nucleotides can regulate the aperture of stomates, which release ATP when stimulated by light and hormones. Ectoapyrases (ecto-nucleoside triphosphate-diphosphohydrolase) help control both the diverse signaling changes and downstream growth changes induced by extracellular nucleotides by limiting their concentration in the extracellular matrix (ECM).
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Extracellular nucleotides and apyrases regulate stomatal aperture in Arabidopsis.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2011
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This study investigates the role of extracellular nucleotides and apyrase enzymes in regulating stomatal aperture. Prior data indicate that the expression of two apyrases in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), APY1 and APY2, is strongly correlated with cell growth and secretory activity. Both are expressed strongly in guard cell protoplasts, as determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunoblot analyses. Promoter activity assays for APY1 and APY2 show that expression of both apyrases correlates with conditions that favor stomatal opening. Correspondingly, immunoblot data indicate that APY expression in guard cell protoplasts rises quickly when these cells are moved from darkness into light. Both short-term inhibition of ectoapyrase activity by polyclonal antibodies and long-term suppression of APY1 and APY2 transcript levels significantly disrupt normal stomatal behavior in light. Stomatal aperture shows a biphasic response to applied adenosine 5-[?-thio]triphosphate (ATP?S) or adenosine 5-[?-thio] diphosphate, with lower concentrations inducing stomatal opening and higher concentrations inducing closure. Equivalent concentrations of adenosine 5-O-thiomonophosphate have no effect on aperture. Two mammalian purinoceptor inhibitors block ATP?S- and adenosine 5-[?-thio] diphosphate-induced opening and closing and also partially block the ability of abscisic acid to induce stomatal closure and of light to induce stomatal opening. Treatment of epidermal peels with ATP?S induces increased levels of nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species, and genetically suppressing the synthesis of these agents blocks the effects of nucleotides on stomatal aperture. A luciferase assay indicates that treatments that induce either the closing or opening of stomates also induce the release of ATP from guard cells. These data favor the novel conclusion that ectoapyrases and extracellular nucleotides play key roles in regulating stomatal functions.
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Changes in gravity rapidly alter the magnitude and direction of a cellular calcium current.
Planta
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2011
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In single-celled spores of the fern Ceratopteris richardii, gravity directs polarity of development and induces a directional, trans-cellular calcium (Ca(2+)) current. To clarify how gravity polarizes this electrophysiological process, we measured the kinetics of the cellular response to changes in the gravity vector, which we initially estimated using the self-referencing calcium microsensor. In order to generate more precise and detailed data, we developed a silicon microfabricated sensor array which facilitated a lab-on-a-chip approach to simultaneously measure calcium currents from multiple cells in real time. These experiments revealed that the direction of the gravity-dependent polar calcium current is reversed in less than 25 s when the cells are inverted, and that changes in the magnitude of the calcium current parallel rapidly changing g-forces during parabolic flight on the NASA C-9 aircraft. The data also revealed a hysteresis in the response of cells in the transition from 2g to micro-g in comparison to cells in the micro-g to 2-g transition, a result consistent with a role for mechanosensitive ion channels in the gravity response. The calcium current is suppressed by either nifedipine (calcium-channel blocker) or eosin yellow (plasma membrane calcium pump inhibitor). Nifedipine disrupts gravity-directed cell polarity, but not spore germination. These results indicate that gravity perception in single plant cells may be mediated by mechanosensitive calcium channels, an idea consistent with some previously proposed models of plant gravity perception.
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Is annexin 1 a multifunctional protein during stress responses?
Plant Signal Behav
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2010
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Accumulating evidence suggest that certain annexins can play a role in abiotic stress responses in plants. We found that for one member of the Arabidopsis thaliana annexin gene family, annexin 1 (AnnAt1), loss-of-function mutants are more sensitive to drought stress and gain-of-function mutants are more tolerant. We also found that AnnAt1 is able to regulate accumulation of H(2)O(2) in vivo in Arabidopsis cells based on the observation that the level of ROS accumulation following induction by ABA correlates with the level of AnnAt1 protein in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Here we provide more commentary on the antioxidant activity of AnnAt1, critically assess the evidence that AnnAt1 and other annexins possess peroxidase activity, emphasize a redox-induced post-translational modification which occurs to AnnAt1 during ABA signaling, and discuss ways this annexins membrane associations could mediate stress signaling while addressing the potential that AnnAt1 is a multifunctional protein in plants.
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Both the stimulation and inhibition of root hair growth induced by extracellular nucleotides in Arabidopsis are mediated by nitric oxide and reactive oxygen species.
Plant Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-03-2010
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Root hairs secrete ATP as they grow, and extracellular ATP and ADP can trigger signaling pathways that regulate plant cell growth. In several plant tissues the level of extracellular nucleotides is limited in part by ectoapyrases (ecto-NTPDases), and the growth of these tissues is strongly influenced by their level of ectoapyrase expression. Both chemical inhibition of ectoapyrase activity and suppression of the expression of two ectoapyrase enzymes by RNAi in Arabidopsis resulted in inhibition of root hair growth. As assayed by a dose-response curve, different concentrations of the poorly hydrolysable nucleotides, ATP?S and ADP?S, could either stimulate (at 7.5-25 ?M) or inhibit (at ? 150 ?M) the growth rate of root hairs in less than an hour. Equal amounts of AMPS, used as a control, had no effect on root hair growth. Root hairs of nia1nia2 mutants, which are suppressed in nitric oxide (NO) production, and of atrbohD/F mutants, which are suppressed in the production of H(2)O(2), did not show growth responses to applied nucleotides, indicating that the growth changes induced by these nucleotides in wild-type plants were likely transduced via NO and H(2)O(2) signals. Consistent with this interpretation, treatment of root hairs with different concentrations of ATP?S induced different accumulations of NO and H(2)O(2) in root hair tips. Two mammalian purinoceptor antagonists also blocked the growth responses induced by extracellular nucleotides, suggesting that they were initiated by a receptor-based mechanism.
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Apyrase (nucleoside triphosphate-diphosphohydrolase) and extracellular nucleotides regulate cotton fiber elongation in cultured ovules.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2009
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Ectoapyrase enzymes remove the terminal phosphate from extracellular nucleoside tri- and diphosphates. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), two ectoapyrases, AtAPY1 and AtAPY2, have been implicated as key modulators of growth. In fibers of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), transcript levels for GhAPY1 and GhAPY2, two closely related ectoapyrases that have high sequence similarity to AtAPY1 and AtAPY2, are up-regulated when fibers enter their rapid growth phase. In an ovule culture system, fibers release ATP as they grow, and when their ectoapyrase activity is blocked by the addition of polyclonal anti-apyrase antibodies or by two different small molecule inhibitors, the medium ATP level rises and fiber growth is suppressed. High concentrations of the poorly hydrolyzable nucleotides ATPgammaS and ADPbetaS applied to the medium inhibit fiber growth, and low concentrations of them stimulate growth, but treatment with adenosine 5-O-thiomonophosphate causes no change in the growth rate. Both the inhibition and stimulation of growth by applied nucleotides can be blocked by an antagonist that blocks purinoceptors in animal cells, and by adenosine. Treatment of cotton ovule cultures with ATPgammaS induces increased levels of ethylene, and two ethylene antagonists, aminovinylglycine and silver nitrate, block both the growth stimulatory and growth inhibitory effects of applied nucleotides. In addition, the ethylene precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, lowers the concentration of nucleotide needed to promote fiber growth. These data indicate that ectoapyrases and extracellular nucleotides play a significant role in regulating cotton fiber growth and that ethylene is a likely downstream component of the signaling pathway.
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The role of annexin 1 in drought stress in Arabidopsis.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2009
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Annexins act as targets of calcium signals in eukaryotic cells, and recent results suggest that they play an important role in plant stress responses. We found that in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), AnnAt1 (for annexin 1) mRNA levels were up-regulated in leaves by most of the stress treatments applied. Plants overexpressing AnnAt1 protein were more drought tolerant and knockout plants were more drought sensitive than ecotype Columbia plants. We also observed that hydrogen peroxide accumulation in guard cells was reduced in overexpressing plants and increased in knockout plants both before and after treatment with abscisic acid. Oxidative protection resulting from AnnAt1 overexpression could be due to the low level of intrinsic peroxidase activity exhibited by this protein in vitro, previously linked to a conserved histidine residue found in a peroxidase-like motif. However, analyses of a mutant H40A AnnAt1 protein in a bacterial complementation test and in peroxidase activity assays indicate that this residue is not critical to the ability of AnnAt1 to confer oxidative protection. To further examine the mechanism(s) linking AnnAt1 expression to stress resistance, we analyzed the reactive S3 cluster to determine if it plays a role in AnnAt1 oligomerization and/or is the site for posttranslational modification. We found that the two cysteine residues in this cluster do not form intramolecular or intermolecular bonds but are highly susceptible to oxidation-driven S-glutathionylation, which decreases the Ca(2+) affinity of AnnAt1 in vitro. Moreover, S-glutathionylation of AnnAt1 occurs in planta after abscisic acid treatment, which suggests that this modification could be important in regulating the cellular function of AnnAt1 during stress responses.
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Intersection of two signalling pathways: extracellular nucleotides regulate pollen germination and pollen tube growth via nitric oxide.
J. Exp. Bot.
PUBLISHED: 04-10-2009
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Plant and animal cells release or secrete ATP by various mechanisms, and this activity allows extracellular ATP to serve as a signalling molecule. Recent reports suggest that extracellular ATP induces plant responses ranging from increased cytosolic calcium to changes in auxin transport, xenobiotic resistance, pollen germination, and growth. Although calcium has been identified as a secondary messenger for the extracellular ATP signal, other parts of this signal transduction chain remain unknown. Increasing the extracellular concentration of ATPgammaS, a poorly-hydrolysable ATP analogue, inhibited both pollen germination and pollen tube elongation, while the addition of AMPS had no effect. Because pollen tube elongation is also sensitive to nitric oxide, this raised the possibility that a connection exists between the two pathways. Four approaches were used to test whether the germination and growth effects of extracellular ATPgammaS were transduced via nitric oxide. The results showed that increases in extracellular ATPgammaS induced increases in cellular nitric oxide, chemical agonists of the nitric oxide signalling pathway lowered the threshold of extracellular ATPgammaS that inhibits pollen germination, an antagonist of guanylate cyclase, which can inhibit some nitric oxide signalling pathways, blocked the ATPgammaS-induced inhibition of both pollen germination and pollen tube elongation, and the effects of applied ATPgammaS were blocked in nia1nia2 mutants, which have diminished NO production. The concurrence of these four data sets support the conclusion that the suppression of pollen germination and pollen tube elongation by extracellular nucleotides is mediated in part via the nitric oxide signalling pathway.
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Root waving and skewing: unexpectedly in micro-g.
BMC Plant Biol.
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Gravity has major effects on both the form and overall length of root growth. Numerous papers have documented these effects (over 300 publications in the last 5 years), the most well-studied being gravitropism, which is a growth re-orientation directed by gravity toward the earths center. Less studied effects of gravity are undulations due to the regular periodic change in the direction root tips grow, called waving, and the slanted angle of growth roots exhibit when they are growing along a nearly-vertical surface, called skewing. Although diverse studies have led to the conclusion that a gravity stimulus is needed for plant roots to show waving and skewing, the novel results just published by Paul et al. (2012) reveal that this conclusion is not correct. In studies carried out in microgravity on the International Space Station, the authors used a new imaging system to collect digital photographs of plants every six hours during 15 days of spaceflight. The imaging system allowed them to observe how roots grew when their orientation was directed not by gravity but by overhead LED lights, which roots grew away from because they are negatively phototropic. Surprisingly, the authors observed both skewing and waving in spaceflight plants, thus demonstrating that both growth phenomena were gravity independent. Touch responses and differential auxin transport would be common features of root waving and skewing at 1-g and micro-g, and the novel results of Paul et al. will focus the attention of cell and molecular biologists more on these features as they try to decipher the signaling pathways that regulate root skewing and waving.
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Role for apyrases in polar auxin transport in Arabidopsis.
Plant Physiol.
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Recent evidence indicates that extracellular nucleotides regulate plant growth. Exogenous ATP has been shown to block auxin transport and gravitropic growth in primary roots of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Cells limit the concentration of extracellular ATP in part through the activity of ectoapyrases (ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases), and two nearly identical Arabidopsis apyrases, APY1 and APY2, appear to share this function. These findings, plus the fact that suppression of APY1 and APY2 blocks growth in Arabidopsis, suggested that the expression of these apyrases could influence auxin transport. This report tests that hypothesis. The polar movement of [(3)H]indole-3-acetic acid in both hypocotyl sections and primary roots of Arabidopsis seedlings was measured. In both tissues, polar auxin transport was significantly reduced in apy2 null mutants when they were induced by estradiol to suppress the expression of APY1 by RNA interference. In the hypocotyl assays, the basal halves of APY-suppressed hypocotyls contained considerably lower free indole-3-acetic acid levels when compared with wild-type plants, and disrupted auxin transport in the APY-suppressed roots was reflected by their significant morphological abnormalities. When a green fluorescent protein fluorescence signal encoded by a DR5:green fluorescent protein construct was measured in primary roots whose apyrase expression was suppressed either genetically or chemically, the roots showed no signal asymmetry following gravistimulation, and both their growth and gravitropic curvature were inhibited. Chemicals that suppress apyrase activity also inhibit gravitropic curvature and, to a lesser extent, growth. Taken together, these results indicate that a critical step connecting apyrase suppression to growth suppression is the inhibition of polar auxin transport.
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RNA-seq analysis identifies potential modulators of gravity response in spores of Ceratopteris (Parkeriaceae): evidence for modulation by calcium pumps and apyrase activity.
Am. J. Bot.
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Gravity regulates the magnitude and direction of a trans-cell calcium current in germinating spores of Ceratopteris richardii. Blocking this current with nifedipine blocks the spores downward polarity alignment, a polarization that is fixed by gravity ?10 h after light induces the spores to germinate. RNA-seq analysis at 10 h was used to identify genes potentially important for the gravity response. The data set will be valuable for other developmental and phylogenetic studies.
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AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 function as Golgi-localized nucleoside diphosphatases in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Plant Cell Physiol.
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Nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (NTPDases; apyrases) (EC 3.6.1.5) hydrolyze di- and triphosphate nucleotides, but not monophosphate nucleotides. They are categorized as E-type ATPases, have a broad divalent cation (Mg(2+), Ca(2+)) requirement for activation and are insensitive to inhibitors of F-type, P-type and V-type ATPases. Among the seven NTPDases identified in Arabidopsis, only APYRASE 1 (AtAPY1) and APYRASE 2 (AtAPY2) have been previously characterized. In this work, either AtAPY1 or AtAPY2 tagged with C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP) driven by their respective native promoter can rescue the apy1 apy2 double knockout (apy1 apy2 dKO) successfully, and confocal microscopy reveals that these two Arabidopsis apyrases reside in the Golgi apparatus. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, both AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 can complement the Golgi-localized GDA1 mutant, rescuing its aberrant protein glycosylation phenotype. In Arabidopsis, microsomes of the wild type show higher substrate preferences toward UDP compared with other NDP substrates. Loss-of-function Arabidopsis AtAPY1 mutants exhibit reduced microsomal UDPase activity, and this activity is even more significantly reduced in the loss-of-function AtAPY2 mutant and in the AtAPY1/AtAPY2 RNA interference (RNAi) technology repressor lines. Microsomes from wild-type plants also have detectable GDPase activity, which is significantly reduced in apy2 but not apy1 mutants. The GFP-tagged AtAPY1 or AtAPY2 constructs in the apy1 apy2 dKO plants can restore microsomal UDP/GDPase activity, confirming that they both also have functional competency. The cell walls of apy1, apy2 and the RNAi-silenced lines all have an increased composition of galactose, but the transport efficiency of UDP-galactose across microsomal membranes was not altered. Taken together, these results reveal that AtAPY1 and AtAPY2 are Golgi-localized nucleotide diphosphatases and are likely to have roles in regulating UDP/GDP concentrations in the Golgi lumen.
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Evolutionary adaptation of plant annexins has diversified their molecular structures, interactions and functional roles.
New Phytol.
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Annexins are an homologous, structurally related superfamily of proteins known to associate with membrane lipid and cytoskeletal components. Their involvement in membrane organization, vesicle trafficking and signaling is fundamental to cellular processes such as growth, differentiation, secretion and repair. Annexins exist in some prokaryotes and all eukaryotic phyla within which plant annexins represent a monophyletic clade of homologs descended from green algae. Genomic, proteomic and transcriptomic approaches have provided data on the diversity, cellular localization and expression patterns of different plant annexins. The availability of 35 complete plant genomes has enabled systematic comparative analysis to determine phylogenetic relationships, characterize structures and observe functional specificity between and within individual subfamilies. Short amino termini and selective erosion of the canonical type 2 calcium coordinating sites in domains 2 and 3 are typical of plant annexins. The convergent evolution of alternate functional motifs such as KGD, redox-sensitive Cys and hydrophobic Trp/Phe residues argues for their functional relevance and contribution to mechanistic diversity in plant annexins. This review examines recent findings and advances in plant annexin research with special focus on their structural diversity, cellular and molecular interactions and their potential integrated functions in the broader context of physiological responses.
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