In Ajuga reptans, raffinose oligosaccharides accumulated during winter. Stachyose, verbascose, and higher RFO oligomers were exclusively found in the vacuole whereas one-fourth of raffinose was localized in the stroma. The evergreen labiate Ajuga reptans L. can grow at low temperature. The carbohydrate metabolism changes during the cold phase, e.g., raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) accumulate. Additionally, A. reptans translocates RFOs in the phloem. In the present study, subcellular concentrations of metabolites were studied in summer and winter leaves of A. reptans to gain further insight into regulatory instances involved in the cold acclimation process and into the function of RFOs. Subcellular metabolite concentrations were determined by non-aqueous fractionation. Volumes of the subcellular compartments of summer and winter leaves were analyzed by morphometric measurements. The metabolite content varied strongly between summer and winter leaves. Soluble metabolites increased up to tenfold during winter whereas the starch content was decreased. In winter leaves, the subcellular distribution showed a shift of carbohydrates from cytoplasm to vacuole and chloroplast. Despite this, the metabolite concentration was higher in all compartments in winter leaves compared to summer leaves because of the much higher total metabolite content in winter leaves. The different oligosaccharides did show different compartmentations. Stachyose, verbascose, and higher RFO oligomers were almost exclusively found in the vacuole whereas one-fourth of raffinose was localized in the stroma. Apparently, the subcellular distribution of the RFOs differs because they fulfill different functions in plant metabolism during winter. Raffinose might function in protecting chloroplast membranes during freezing, whereas higher RFO oligomers may exert protective effects on vacuolar membranes. In addition, the high content of RFOs in winter leaves may also result from reduced consumption of assimilates.
Every biological organism relies for its proper function on interactions between a multitude of molecular entities like RNA, proteins, and metabolites. The comprehensive measurement and the analysis of all these entities would therefore provide the basis for our functional and mechanistic understanding of most biological processes. Next to their amount and identity, it is most crucial to also gain information about the subcellular distribution and the flux of the measured compounds between the cellular compartments. That is, we want to understand not only the individual functions of cellular components but also their functional implications within the whole organism. While the analysis of macromolecules like DNA, RNA, and proteins is quite established and robust, analytical techniques for small metabolites, which are prone to diffusion and degradation processes, provide a host of unsolved challenges. The major limitations here are the metabolite conversion and relocation processes. In this protocol we describe a methodological workflow which includes a nonaqueous fractionation method, a fractionated two-phase liquid/liquid extraction protocol, and a software package, which together allow extracting and analyzing starch, proteins, and especially polar and lipophilic metabolites from a single sample towards the estimation of their subcellular distributions.
Serine (Ser) has a fundamental role in metabolism and signaling in living organisms. In plants, the existence of different pathways of Ser biosynthesis has complicated our understanding of this amino acid homeostasis. The photorespiratory glycolate pathway has been considered to be of major importance, whereas the nonphotorespiratory phosphorylated pathway has been relatively neglected. Recent advances indicate that the phosphorylated pathway has an important function in plant metabolism and development. Plants deficient in this pathway display developmental defects in embryos, male gametophytes, and roots. We propose that the phosphorylated pathway is more important than was initially thought because it is the only Ser source for specific cell types involved in developmental events. Here, we discuss its importance as a link between metabolism and development in plants.
Phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) serves not only as a high energy carbon compound in glycolysis, but it acts also as precursor for plastidial anabolic sequences like the shikimate pathway, which produces aromatic amino acids (AAA) and subsequently secondary plant products. After conversion to pyruvate, PEP can also enter de novo fatty acid biosynthesis, the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids, and the non-mevalonate way of isoprenoid production. As PEP cannot be generated by glycolysis in chloroplasts and a variety of non-green plastids, it has to be imported from the cytosol by a phosphate translocator (PT) specific for PEP (PPT). A loss of function of PPT1 in Arabidopsis thaliana results in the chlorophyll a/b binding protein underexpressed1 (cue1) mutant, which is characterized by reticulate leaves and stunted roots. Here we dissect the shoot- and root phenotypes, and also address the question whether or not long distance signaling by metabolites is involved in the perturbed mesophyll development of cue1. Reverse grafting experiments showed that the shoot- and root phenotypes develop independently from each other, ruling out long distance metabolite signaling. The leaf phenotype could be transiently modified even in mature leaves, e.g. by an inducible PPT1RNAi approach or by feeding AAA, the cytokinin trans-zeatin (tZ), or the putative signaling molecule dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol glucoside (DCG). Hormones, such as auxins, abscisic acid, gibberellic acid, ethylene, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid did not rescue the cue1 leaf phenotype. The low cell density1 (lcd1) mutant shares the reticulate leaf-, but not the stunted root phenotype with cue1. It could neither be rescued by AAA nor by tZ. In contrast, tZ and AAA further inhibited root growth both in cue1 and wild-type plants. Based on our results, we propose a model that PPT1 acts as a net importer of PEP into chloroplast, but as an overflow valve and hence exporter in root plastids.
In plants, two independent serine biosynthetic pathways, the photorespiratory and glycolytic phosphoserine (PS) pathways, have been postulated. Although the photorespiratory pathway is well characterized, little information is available on the function of the PS pathway in plants. Here, we present a detailed characterization of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenases (PGDHs) as components of the PS pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana. All PGDHs localize to plastids and possess similar kinetic properties, but they differ with respect to their sensitivity to serine feedback inhibition. Furthermore, analysis of pgdh1 and phosphoserine phosphatase mutants revealed an embryo-lethal phenotype and PGDH1-silenced lines were inhibited in growth. Metabolic analyses of PGDH1-silenced lines grown under ambient and high CO2 conditions indicate a direct link between PS biosynthesis and ammonium assimilation. In addition, we obtained several lines of evidence for an interconnection between PS and tryptophan biosynthesis, because the expression of PGDH1 and PHOSPHOSERINE AMINOTRANSFERASE1 is regulated by MYB51 and MYB34, two activators of tryptophan biosynthesis. Moreover, the concentration of tryptophan-derived glucosinolates and auxin were reduced in PGDH1-silenced plants. In essence, our results provide evidence for a vital function of PS biosynthesis for plant development and metabolism.
Subcellular sugar partitioning in plants is strongly regulated in response to developmental cues and changes in external conditions. Besides transitory starch, the vacuolar sugars represent a highly dynamic pool of instantly accessible metabolites that serve as energy source and osmoprotectant. Here, we present the molecular identification and functional characterization of the vacuolar glucose (Glc) exporter Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) Early Responsive to Dehydration-Like6 (AtERDL6). We demonstrate tonoplast localization of AtERDL6 in plants. In Arabidopsis, AtERDL6 expression is induced in response to factors that activate vacuolar Glc pools, like darkness, heat stress, and wounding. On the other hand, AtERDL6 transcript levels drop during conditions that trigger Glc accumulation in the vacuole, like cold stress and external sugar supply. Accordingly, sugar analyses revealed that Aterdl6 mutants have elevated vacuolar Glc levels and that Glc flux across the tonoplast is impaired under stress conditions. Interestingly, overexpressor lines indicated a very similar function for the ERDL6 ortholog Integral Membrane Protein from sugar beet (Beta vulgaris). Aterdl6 mutant plants display increased sensitivity against external Glc, and mutant seeds exhibit a 10% increase in seed weight due to enhanced levels of seed sugars, proteins, and lipids. Our findings underline the importance of vacuolar Glc export during the regulation of cellular Glc homeostasis and the composition of seed reserves.
With the development of high-throughput metabolic technologies, a plethora of primary and secondary compounds have been detected in the plant cell. However, there are still major gaps in our understanding of the plant metabolome. This is especially true with regards to the compartmental localization of these identified metabolites. Non-aqueous fractionation (NAF) is a powerful technique for the determination of subcellular metabolite distributions in eukaryotic cells, and it has become the method of choice to analyze the distribution of a large number of metabolites concurrently. However, the NAF technique produces a continuous gradient of metabolite distributions, not discrete assignments. Resolution of these distributions requires computational analyses based on marker molecules to resolve compartmental localizations. In this article we focus on expanding the computational analysis of data derived from NAF. Along with an experimental workflow, we describe the critical steps in NAF experiments and how computational approaches can aid in assessing the quality and robustness of the derived data. For this, we have developed and provide a new version (v1.2) of the BestFit command line tool for calculation and evaluation of subcellular metabolite distributions. Furthermore, using both simulated and experimental data we show the influence on estimated subcellular distributions by modulating important parameters, such as the number of fractions taken or which marker molecule is selected. Finally, we discuss caveats and benefits of NAF analysis in the context of the compartmentalized metabolome.
The extensive subcellular compartmentalization of metabolites and metabolism in eukaryotic cells is widely acknowledged and represents a key factor of metabolic activity and functionality. In striking contrast, the knowledge of actual compartmental distribution of metabolites from experimental studies is surprisingly low. However, a precise knowledge of, possibly all, metabolites and their subcellular distributions remains a key prerequisite for the understanding of any cellular function.
Sulfur plays a pivotal role in the cellular metabolism of many organisms. In plants, the uptake and assimilation of sulfate is strongly regulated at the transcriptional level. Regulatory factors are the demand of reduced sulfur in organic or non-organic form and the level of O-acetylserine (OAS), the carbon precursor for cysteine biosynthesis. In plants, cysteine is synthesized by action of the cysteine-synthase complex (CSC) containing serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and O-acetylserine-(thiol)-lyase (OASTL). Both enzymes are located in plastids, mitochondria and the cytosol. The function of the compartmentation of the CSC to regulate sulfate uptake and assimilation is still not clearly resolved. To address this question, we analyzed Arabidopsis thaliana mutants for the plastidic and cytosolic SAT isoenzymes under sulfur starvation conditions. In addition, subcellular metabolite analysis by non-aqueous fractionation revealed distinct changes in subcellular metabolite distribution upon short-term sulfur starvation. Metabolite and transcript analyses of SERAT1.1 and SERAT2.1 mutants [previously analyzed in Krueger et al. (Plant Cell Environ 32:349-367, 2009)] grown under sulfur starvation conditions indicate that both isoenzymes do not contribute directly to the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in sulfate uptake and assimilation. Here, we summarize the current knowledge about the regulation of cysteine biosynthesis and the contribution of the different compartments to this metabolic process. We relate hypotheses and views of the regulation of cysteine biosynthesis with our results of applying sulfur starvation to mutants impaired in compartment-specific cysteine biosynthetic enzymes.
Endorectal coil magnetic resonance imaging (EC-MRI) is useful to evaluate prostate cancer localization. Herein, we evaluate sensitivity and specificity of EC-MRI in different regions of the prostate by comparing the acquired images to whole-mount sections of the prostate after radical prostatectomy.
In plants, the enzymes for cysteine synthesis serine acetyltransferase (SAT) and O-acetylserine-(thiol)-lyase (OASTL) are present in the cytosol, plastids and mitochondria. However, it is still not clearly resolved to what extent the different compartments are involved in cysteine biosynthesis and how compartmentation influences the regulation of this biosynthetic pathway. To address these questions, we analysed Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA insertion mutants for cytosolic and plastidic SAT isoforms. In addition, the subcellular distribution of enzyme activities and metabolite concentrations implicated in cysteine and glutathione biosynthesis were revealed by non-aqueous fractionation (NAF). We demonstrate that cytosolic SERAT1.1 and plastidic SERAT2.1 do not contribute to cysteine biosynthesis to a major extent, but may function to overcome transport limitations of O-acetylserine (OAS) from mitochondria. Substantiated by predominantly cytosolic cysteine pools, considerable amounts of sulphide and presence of OAS in the cytosol, our results suggest that the cytosol is the principal site for cysteine biosynthesis. Subcellular metabolite analysis further indicated efficient transport of cysteine, gamma-glutamylcysteine and glutathione between the compartments. With respect to regulation of cysteine biosynthesis, estimation of subcellular OAS and sulphide concentrations established that OAS is limiting for cysteine biosynthesis and that SAT is mainly present bound in the cysteine-synthase complex.
3-Phosphoadenosine 5-phosphosulfate (PAPS) is the high-energy sulfate donor for sulfation reactions. Plants produce some PAPS in the cytosol, but it is predominantly produced in plastids. Accordingly, PAPS has to be provided by plastids to serve as a substrate for sulfotransferase reactions in the cytosol and the Golgi apparatus. We present several lines of evidence that the recently described Arabidopsis thaliana thylakoid ADP/ATP carrier TAAC transports PAPS across the plastid envelope and thus fulfills an additional function of high physiological relevance. Transport studies using the recombinant protein revealed that it favors PAPS, 3-phosphoadenosine 5-phosphate, and ATP as substrates; thus, we named it PAPST1. The protein could be detected both in the plastid envelope membrane and in thylakoids, and it is present in plastids of autotrophic and heterotrophic tissues. TAAC/PAPST1 belongs to the mitochondrial carrier family in contrast with the known animal PAPS transporters, which are members of the nucleotide-sugar transporter family. The expression of the PAPST1 gene is regulated by the same MYB transcription factors also regulating the biosynthesis of sulfated secondary metabolites, glucosinolates. Molecular and physiological analyses of papst1 mutant plants indicate that PAPST1 is involved in several aspects of sulfur metabolism, including the biosynthesis of thiols, glucosinolates, and phytosulfokines.
We have studied the impact of carbohydrate-starvation on the acclimation response to high light using Arabidopsis thaliana double mutants strongly impaired in the day- and night path of photoassimilate export from the chloroplast. A complete knock-out mutant of the triose phosphate/phosphate translocator (TPT; tpt-2 mutant) was crossed to mutants defective in (i) starch biosynthesis (adg1-1, pgm1 and pgi1-1; knock-outs of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, plastidial phosphoglucomutase and phosphoglucose isomerase) or (ii) starch mobilization (sex1-3, knock-out of glucan water dikinase) as well as in (iii) maltose export from the chloroplast (mex1-2).
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.