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BSc, PhD, FRMS, FSB
Department of Biological and Medical Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
+44 (0)1865 483266
GIP - Sinclair Annex 1.03
I joined Oxford Brookes, then Oxford Polytechnic in 1989, from The Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford University where I was a Royal Society University Research Fellow. My first job at Brookes was to establish an electron microscope unit to service the new Cell Biology degree and research groups within the Department of Biological and Molecular Sciences. Over the years the facility has grown into a major Bioimaging Unit with a transmission and h scanning electron microscopes plus new high resolution Zeiss confocal, fluorescence and serial sectioning scanning electron microscopes plus all the necessary ancillary preparative equipment including high pressure freezing. The unit hosts the annual “Imaging Techniques” course for the Royal Microscopical Society of which I am currently Honorary Secretary. I lead a Plant Cell Biology research group which has an international reputation for its work on plant bioimaging and the functions of the plant secretory pathway.
I was until recently Research Director in the School of Life Sciences and am now Research Lead and Head of the Doctoral Training Programme in the new Department of Biological and Medical Sciences.
My research encompasses:
• The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is connected to the plasma membrane (PM) through
the plant specific NETWORKED protein, NET3C, and phylogenetically conserved
Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein-Associated Proteins (VAPs).
• Ten VAP homologues (VAP27-1 to 10) can be identified in the Arabidopsis genome
and can be divided into three clades. Representative members from each clade have
been tagged with fluorescent protein and expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana.
• Proteins from clades one and three localised to the ER as well as to ER/PM contact
sites (EPCS), whereas proteins from clade two are found only at the PM. Some of the
VAP27 labelled EPCS localised to plasmodesmata, and we show that the mobility of
VAP27 at the EPCS is influenced by the cell wall. EPCS closely associate with the
cytoskeleton, but their structure is unaffected when the cytoskeleton is removed.
• VAP27 labelled EPCS are found in most cell types in Arabidopsis with the exception
of cells in early trichome development. Arabidopsis expressing VAP27-GFP fusions
exhibit pleiotropic phenotypes including defects in root hair morphogenesis. A
similar effect is also observed in plants expressing VAP27 RNAi.
• Taken together these data indicate that VAP27 proteins used at the EPCS are
essential for normal ER-cytoskeleton interaction and for plant development.
The cytoskeleton is an early attribute of cellular life and its main components are composed of conserved proteins (Fletcher and Mullins, 2010). The actin cytoskeleton has a direct impact on cell size control in animal cells (Fletcher and Mullins, 2010; Faix et al., 1996), but its mechanistic contribution to cellular growth in plants remains largely elusive. Here, we reveal a role of actin in cell size regulation in plants. The actin cytoskeleton shows proximity to vacuoles, and the phytohormone auxin not only controls the organisation of actin filaments, but also impacts on vacuolar morphogenesis in an actin-dependent manner.
Pharmacological and genetic interference with the actin-myosin system abolishes the auxin effect on vacuoles and thus disrupts its negative influence on cellular growth. SEM-based 3D nanometre resolution imaging of the vacuoles revealed that auxin controls the constriction and luminal size of the vacuole. We show that this actin-dependent mechanism controls the relative cellular occupancy of the vacuole, thus proposing an unanticipated mechanism for cytosol homeostasis during cellular growth.
The ER is a ubiquitous organelle that plays roles in secretory protein production, folding, quality control, and lipid biosynthesis. The cortical ER in plants is pleomorphic and structured as a tubular network capable of morphing into flat cisternae, mainly at three way junctions, and back to tubules. Plant reticulon (RTNLB) proteins tubulate the ER by dimer- and oligomerization, creating localised ER membrane tensions that result in membrane curvature. Some RTNLB ER-shaping proteins are present in the plasmodesmal (PD) proteome (Fernandez-Calvino et al., 2011) and may contribute to the formation of the desmotubule, the axial ER-derived structure that traverses primary PD (Knox et al., 2015). Here we investigate the binding partners of two PD-resident reticulon proteins, RTNLB3 and RTNLB6, that are located in primary PD at cytokinesis (Knox et al., 2015). Co-immunoprecipitation of GFP-tagged RTNLB3 and RTNLB6 followed by mass spectrometry detected a high percentage of known PD-localised proteins as well as plasma-membrane proteins with putative membrane anchoring roles. FRET-FLIM assays revealed a highly significant interaction of the detected PD proteins with the bait RTNLB proteins. Our data suggest that RTNLB proteins, in addition to a role in ER modelling, may play important roles in linking the cortical ER to the plasma membrane.
Auxin is a major growth hormone in plants and the first plant hormone to be discovered and studied. Active research over more than sixty years has shed light on many of the molecular mechanisms of its action including transport, perception, signal transduction and a variety of biosynthetic pathways in various species, tissues and developmental stages. The complexity and redundancy of the auxin biosynthetic network and enzymes involved raises the question how such a system, producing such a potent agent as auxin, can be appropriately controlled at all. Here we show that maize auxin biosynthesis takes place in microsomal as well as cytosolic cellular fractions from maize seedlings. Most interestingly, a set of enzymes shown to be involved in auxin biosynthesis via their activity and/or mutant phenotypes and catalysing adjacent steps in YUCCA-dependent biosynthesis are localised to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Positioning of auxin biosynthetic enzymes at the endoplasmic reticulum could be necessary to bring auxin biosynthesis in closer proximity to ER-localised factors for transport, conjugation and signalling and allow for an additional level of regulation by subcellular compartmentation of auxin action. Furthermore it might provide a link to ethylene action and be a factor in hormonal crosstalk as all five ethylene receptors are ER-localised.
Primary plasmodesmata (PD) arise at cytokinesis when the new cell plate forms. During this process, fine strands of endoplasmic reticulum are laid down between enlarging Golgi-derived vesicles to form nascent PD, each pore containing a desmotubule, a membranous rod derived from the cortical ER. Little is known about the forces that model the ER during cell-plate formation. Here we show that members of the reticulon (RTNLB) family of ER-tubulating proteins may play a role in formation of the desmotubule. RTNLB3 and RTNLB6, two RTNLBs present in the PD proteome, are recruited to the cell plate at late telophase, when primary PD are formed, and remain associated with primary PD in the mature cell wall. Both RTNLBs showed significant co-localisation at PD with the viral movement protein of tobacco mosaic virus while super-resolution imaging (3D-SIM) of primary PD revealed the central desmotubule to be labelled by RTNLB6. FRAP studies showed that these RTNLBs are mobile at the edge of the developing cell plate, where new wall materials are being delivered, but significantly less mobile at its centre where PD are forming. A truncated RTNLB3, unable to constrict the ER, was not recruited to the cell plate at cytokinesis. We discuss the potential roles of RTNLBs in desmotubule formation
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the gateway to the secretory pathway in all eukaryotic cells. Its products subsequently pass through the Golgi apparatus on the way to the cell surface (true secretion) or to the lytic compartment of the cell (vacuolar protein transport). In animal cells, the Golgi apparatus is present as a stationary larger order complex near the nucleus, and transport between the cortical ER and the Golgi complex occurs via an intermediate compartment which is transported on microtubules. By contrast, higher plant cells have discrete mobile Golgi stacks that move along the cortical ER, and the intermediate compartment is absent. Although many of the major molecular players involved in ER-Golgi trafficking in mammalian and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) cells have homologs in higher plants, the narrow interface (less than 500 nm) between the Golgi and the ER, together with the motility factor, makes the identification of the transport vectors responsible for bidirectional traffic between these two organelles much more difficult. Over the years, a controversy has arisen over the two major possibilities by which transfer can occur: through vesicles or direct tubular connections. In this article, four leading plant cell biologists attempted to resolve this issue. Unfortunately, their opinions are so divergent and often opposing that it was not possible to reach a consensus. Thus, we decided to let each tell his or her version individually. The review begins with an article by Federica Brandizzi that provides the necessary molecular background on coat protein complexes in relation to the so-called secretory units model for ER-Golgi transport in highly vacuolated plant cells. The second article, written by Chris Hawes, presents the evidence in favor of tubules. It is followed by an article from David Robinson defending the classical notion that transport occurs via vesicles. The last article, by Akihiko Nakano, introduces the reader to possible alternatives to vesicles or tubules, which are now emerging as a result of exciting new developments in high-resolution light microscopy in yeast.
The endoplasmic reticulum forms the first compartment in a series of organelles which comprise the secretory pathway. It takes the form of an extremely dynamic and pleomorphic membrane bounded network of tubules and cisternae which have numerous different cellular functions. In this review we discuss the nature of endoplasmic reticulum structure and dynamics, its relationship with closely associated organelles, and its possible function as a highway for the distribution and delivery of a diverse range of structures from metabolic complexes to viral particles.
2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) is a synthetic auxin used as a herbicide to control weeds in agriculture. A high concentration of 2,4-D promotes leaf epinasty and cell death. In this work, the molecular mechanisms involved in the toxicity of this herbicide are studied by analysing in Arabidopsis plants the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide (NO), and their effect on cytoskeleton structure and peroxisome dynamics. 2,4-D (23 mM) promotes leaf epinasty, whereas this process was prevented by EDTA, which can reduce center dot OH accumulation. The analysis of ROS accumulation by confocal microscopy showed a 2,4-D-dependent increase in both H2O2 and O2 center dot(-), whereas total NO was not affected by the treatment. The herbicide promotes disturbances on the actin cytoskeleton structure as a result of post-translational modification of actin by oxidation and S-nitrosylation, which could disturb actin polymerization, as suggested by the reduction of the F-actin/G-actin ratio. These effects were reduced by EDTA, and the reduction of ROS production in Arabidopsis mutants deficient in xanthine dehydrogenase (Atxdh) gave rise to a reduction in actin oxidation. Also, 2,4-D alters the dynamics of the peroxisome, slowing the speed and shortening the distances by which these organelles are displaced. It is concluded that 2,4-D promotes oxidative and nitrosative stress, causing disturbances in the actin cytoskeleton, thereby affecting the dynamics of peroxisomes and some other organelles such as the mitochondria, with xanthine dehydrogenase being involved in ROS production under these conditions. These structural changes in turn appear to be responsible for the leaf epinasty.
The cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network in plants is a highly dynamic structure, and it contacts the plasma membrane (PM) at ER-PM anchor/contact sites. These sites are known to be essential for communication between the ER and PM for lipid transport, calcium influx, and ER morphology in mammalian and fungal cells. The nature of these contact sites is unknown in plants [1 and 2], and here, we have identified a complex that forms this bridge. This complex includes (1) NET3C, which belongs to a plant-specific superfamily (NET) of actin-binding proteins , (2) VAP27, a plant homolog of the yeast Scs2 ER-PM contact site protein [4 and 5], and (3) the actin and microtubule networks. We demonstrate that NET3C and VAP27 localize to puncta at the PM and that NET3C and VAP27 form homodimers/oligomers and together form complexes with actin and microtubules. We show that F-actin modulates the turnover of NET3C at these puncta and microtubules regulate the exchange of VAP27 at the same sites. Based on these data, we propose a model for the structure of the plant ER-PM contact sites.
Background: Certain members of the Camelidae family produce a special type of antibody with only one heavy chain. The antigen binding domains are the smallest functional fragments of these heavy-chain only antibodies and as a consequence have been termed nanobodies. Discovery of these nanobodies has allowed the development of a number of therapeutic proteins and tools.In this study a class of nanobodies fused to fluorescent proteins (chromobodies), and therefore allowing antigen-binding and visualisation by fluorescence, have been used. Such chromobodies can be expressed in living cells and used as genetically encoded immunocytochemical markers.
Results: Here a modified version of the commercially available Actin-Chromobody® as a novel tool for visualising actin dynamics in tobacco leaf cells was tested. The actin-chromobody binds to actin in a specific manner. Treatment with latrunculin B, a drug which disrupts the actin cytoskeleton through inhibition of polymerisation results in loss of fluorescence after less than 30 min but this can be rapidly restored by washing out latrunculin B and thereby allowing the actin filaments to repolymerise.
To test the effect of the actin-chromobody on actin dynamics and compare it to one of the conventional labelling probes, Lifeact, the effect of both probes on Golgi movement was studied as the motility of Golgi bodies is largely dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. With the actin-chromobody expressed in cells, Golgi body movement was slowed down but the manner of movement rather than speed was affected less than with Lifeact.
Conclusions: The actin-chromobody technique presented in this study provides a novel option for in vivo labelling ofthe actin cytoskeleton in comparison to conventionally used probes that are based on actin binding proteins.
The actin-chromobody is particularly beneficial to study actin dynamics in plant cells as it does label actin without impairing dynamic movement and polymerisation of the actin filaments.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the key organelle at the start of the secretory pathway and the list of its functions is continually growing. The ER organization as a tubular/cisternal network at the cortex of plant cells has recently been shown to be governed by the membrane tubulation proteins of the reticulon family working alongside plant atlastin homologues, members of the RHD3 group of proteins. Such a network has intimate connections with other organelles such as peroxisomes via peroxules, chloroplasts, Golgi bodies and at the cell cortex to the plasma membrane with cytoskeleton at so called 'anchor/contact sites'. The ER network is by no means static displaying a range of different movements and acting as a subcellular highway supports the motility of organelles such as peroxisomes, mitochondria and Golgi bodies plus the transport of macromolecules such as viral movement proteins, nucleocapsid proteins and RNA. Here we highlight recent and exciting discoveries on the maintenance of the ER structure and its role on movement and biology of other organelles.
Golgi-resident type–II membrane proteins are asymmetrically distributed across the Golgi stack. The intrinsic features of the protein that determine its subcompartment-specific concentration are still largely unknown. Here, we used a series of chimeric proteins to investigate the contribution of the cytoplasmic, transmembrane and stem region of Nicotiana benthamiana N–acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (GnTI) for its cis/medial-Golgi localization and for protein–protein interaction in the Golgi. The individual GnTI protein domains were replaced with those from the well-known trans-Golgi enzyme α2,6–sialyltransferase (ST) and transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Using co-localization analysis and N–glycan profiling, we show that the transmembrane domain of GnTI is the major determinant for its cis/medial-Golgi localization. By contrast, the stem region of GnTI contributes predominately to homomeric and heteromeric protein complex formation. Importantly, in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana, a chimeric GnTI variant with altered sub-Golgi localization was not able to complement the GnTI-dependent glycosylation defect. Our results suggest that sequence-specific features in the transmembrane domain of GnTI account for its steady-state distribution in the cis/medial-Golgi in plants, which is a prerequisite for efficient N–glycan processing in vivo.
N-glycan processing is one of the most important cellular protein modifications in plants and as such is essential for plant development and defense mechanisms. The accuracy of Golgi-located processing steps is governed by the strict intra-Golgi localization of sequentially acting glycosidases and glycosyltransferases. Their differential distribution goes hand in hand with the compartmentalization of the Golgi stack into cis-, medial and trans-cisternae, which separate early from late processing steps. The mechanisms that direct differential enzyme concentration are still unknown, but formation of multi-enzyme complexes is considered a feasible Golgi protein localization strategy. In this study we used two-photon (2P)-excitation Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) to determine the interaction of N-glycan processing enzymes with differential intra-Golgi locations. Following the coexpression of fluorescent protein-tagged N-terminal Golgi targeting sequences (cytoplasmic-transmembrane-stem region, designated CTS) of enzyme pairs in leaves of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum or Nicotiana benthamiana), we observed that all tested cis- and medial-Golgi enzymes, namely MNS1, GnTI, GMII and XylT, form homo- and heterodimers, whereas among the late-acting enzymes GALT1, FUT13 and ST (a non-plant Golgi marker) only GALT1 and GMII were found to form a heterodimer. Furthermore, the efficiency of energy transfer indicating the formation of interactions decreased considerably in a cis-to-trans fashion. The comparative 2P-FRET-FLIM analysis of several full-length cis- and medial-Golgi enzymes and their respective catalytic domain-deleted CTS clones further suggested that the formation of protein-protein interactions can occur through their N-terminal CTS region.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a network of membrane sheets and tubules connected via three-way junctions. A family of proteins, the reticulons, are responsible for shaping the tubular ER. Reticulons interact with other tubule-forming proteins (Dp1 and Yop1p) and the GTPase atlastin. The Arabidopsis homologue of Dp1/Yop1p is HVA22. We show here that a seed-specific isoform of HVA22 labels the ER in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cells but its overexpression does not alter ER morphology. The closest plant homologue of atlastin is RHD3. We show that RHD3-like 2 (RL2), the seed-specific isoform of RHD3, locates to the ER without affecting its shape or Golgi mobility. Expression of RL2-bearing mutations within its GTPase domain induces the formation of large ER strands, suggesting that a functional GTPase domain is important for the formation of three-way junctions. Coexpression of the reticulon RTNLB13 with RL2 resulted in a dramatic alteration of the ER network. This alteration did not depend on an active GTPase domain but required a functional reticulon, as no effect on ER morphology was seen when RL2 was coexpressed with a nonfunctional RTNLB13. RL2 and its GTPase mutants coimmunoprecipitate with RTNLB13. These results indicate that RL2 and RTNLB13 act together in modulating ER morphology.
Fatty acid β-oxidation is an essential process in many aspects of plant development, and storage oil in the form of triacylglycerol (TAG) is an important food source for humans and animals, for biofuel and for industrial feedstocks. In this study we characterize the effects of a small molecule, diphenyl methylphosphonate, on oil mobilization in Arabidopsis thaliana. Confocal laser scanning microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and quantitative lipid profiling were used to examine the effects of diphenyl methylphosphonate treatment on seedlings. Diphenyl methylphosphonate causes peroxisome clustering around oil bodies but does not affect morphology of other cellular organelles. We show that this molecule blocks the breakdown of pre-existing oil bodies resulting in retention of TAG and accumulation of acyl CoAs. The biochemical and phenotypic effects are consistent with a block in the early part of the β-oxidation pathway. Diphenyl methylphosphonate appears to be a fairly specific inhibitor of TAG mobilization in plants and whilst further work is required to identify the molecular target of the compound it should prove a useful tool to interrogate and manipulate these pathways in a controlled and reproducible manner.
The starchy endosperm is the major storage tissue in the mature wheat grain and exhibits quantitative and qualitative gradients in composition, with the outermost cell layers being rich in protein, mainly gliadins, and the inner cells being low in protein but enriched in high-molecular-weight (HMW) subunits of glutenin. We have used sequential pearling to produce flour fractions enriched in particular cell layers to determine the protein gradients in four different cultivars grown at two nitrogen levels. The results show that the steepness of the protein gradient is determined by both genetic and nutritional factors, with three high-protein breadmaking cultivars being more responsive to the N treatment than a low-protein cultivar suitable for livestock feed. Nitrogen also affected the relative abundances of the three main classes of wheat prolamins: the sulfur-poor ω-gliadins showed the greatest response to nitrogen and increased evenly across the grain; the HMW subunits also increased in response to nitrogen but proportionally more in the outer layers of the starchy endosperm than near the core, while the sulfur-rich prolamins showed the opposite trend.
One of the major drawbacks in transmission electron microscopy has been the production of three-dimensional views of cells and tissues. Currently, there is no one suitable 3D microscopy technique that answers all questions and serial block face scanning electron microscopy (SEM) fills the gap between 3D imaging using high-end fluorescence microscopy and the high resolution offered by electron tomography. In this review, we discuss the potential of the serial block face SEM technique for studying the three-dimensional organisation of animal, plant and microbial cells.
BACKGROUND: The aims of the present study were to validate a vital mitochondrial potentiometric staining method in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and to utilise this method to examine the effect of the herbicide bromoxynil octanoate on mitochondrial potential in this species. A range of stains was investigated, including Rhodamine 123, DASPMI, Mitotracker Green, Mitotracker Orange and JC-1. RESULTS: Rhodamine 123 (R123) had the highest utility of several candidate stains. Incubation with both 5 and 10 mu M carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone caused significant fluorescence collapse [ Dunn's post test (40.00, P < 0.01) and (45.49, P < 0.01) respectively], demonstrating that the R123 fluorescence reportedmitochondrial potential. The effect of the herbicide bromoxynil octanoate was examined. Exposure to 0.1mM of bromoxynil resulted in a significant increased mitochondrial fluorescence compared with the baseline (Mann-Whitney U = 222, P < 0.002), while concentrations of 1mM and greater resulted in significant, almost complete loss ofmitochondrial potential [ mean fluorescence ratio = 1.193-1.289 (where a ratio of 1 represents total potential loss), Mann-Whitney U = 0.0, P < 0.001 (1mM), 0.0, P < 0.0001 (2mM), 0.0, P < 0.0001 (5mM)]. EC50 of the collapse in mitochondrial potential owing to bromoxynil incubation occurred at 0.72mM, and the mean t50 of bromoxynil octanoate action was 93 s.
A cobalt(II) coordination polymer, [Co(L1)(H(2)L2)]center dot 2.5H(2)O, 1, has been prepared via the hydrothermal reaction of cobalt(II) chloride with the novel dicarboxy-Troger's base ligand 2,8-dicarboxy-6H,12H-5,11-methano-dibenzo[b,f][1,5]diazocine, H(2)L1, and the bis-pyrazole ligand 4,4'-methylenebis-(3,5-dimethylpyrazole),H(2)L2. The structure of 1 contains 2D (4,4) networks showing 2D -> 3D parallel interpenetration, whereby adjacent 2D sheets interlock through the apertures defined by the cleft-like Troger's base ligand, to realise an overall 3D entanglement. The interlocking also forms one-dimensional solvent filled channels which are easily disturbed on drying resulting in framework collapse. The crystal structure of H(2)L1 is also reported, and represents a rare example of homochiral hydrogen bonded [6,4] dia networks interpenetrated by their enantiomeric partner frameworks.
Transient gene expression, in plant protoplasts or specific plant tissues, is a key technique in plant molecular cell biology, aimed at exploring gene products and their modifications to examine functional subdomains, their interactions with other biomolecules, and their subcellular localization. Here, we highlight some of the major advantages and potential pitfalls of the most commonly used transient gene expression models and illustrate how ectopic expression and the use of dominant mutants can provide insights into protein function.
Organelles are eukaryotic subcellular structures each possessing a specific set of functions. The morphology, abundance, and content of the organelles also undergo constant changes for optimal function and for plant adaptation to environmental variation. The six reviews and one research article published in this special issue on Organelle Biology cover a wide range of topics encompassing recent advances in the studies of the dynamic morphology, abundance, and movement of plant organelles, protein trafficking between organelles, changes in organelle composition and function in response to stress conditions, and machineries involved in the turnover of cellular constituents. We apologize for not being able to cover many other exciting works related to the broad field of plant organelle biology due to space limitations. However, we hope that this special issue can provide readers with a taste of the extremely dynamic nature of these pivotal subcellular compartments.
The aims of the present study were to validate a vital mitochondrial potentiometric staining method in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and to utilise this method to examine the effect of the herbicide bromoxynil octanoate on mitochondrial potential in this species. A range of stains was investigated, including Rhodamine 123, DASPMI, Mitotracker Green, Mitotracker Orange and JC-1.
Auxin is a major growth hormone in plants, and recent studies have elucidated many of the molecular mechanisms underlying its action, including transport, perception and signal transduction. However, major gaps remain in our knowledge of auxin biosynthetic control, partly due to the complexity and probable redundancy of multiple pathways that involve the YUCCA family of flavin-dependent mono-oxygenases. This study reveals the differential localization of YUCCA4 alternative splice variants to the endoplasmic reticulum and the cytosol, which depends on tissue-specific splicing. One isoform is restricted to flowers, and is anchored to the cytosolic face of the endoplasmic reticulum membrane via a hydrophobic C-terminal transmembrane domain. The other isoform is present in all tissues and is distributed throughout the cytosol. These findings are consistent with previous observations of yucca4 phenotypes in flowers, and suggest a role for intracellular compartmentation in auxin biosynthesis.
Actin microfilament (MF) organization and remodelling is critical to cell function. The formin family of actin binding proteins are involved in nucleating MFs in Arabidopsis thaliana. They all contain formin homology domains in the intracellular, C-terminal half of the protein that interacts with MFs. Formins in class I are usually targeted to the plasma membrane and this is true of Formin1 (AtFH1) of A. thaliana. In this study, we have investigated the extracellular domain of AtFH1 and we demonstrate that AtFH1 forms a bridge from the actin cytoskeleton, across the plasma membrane and is anchored within the cell wall. AtFH1 has a large, extracellular domain that is maintained by purifying selection and that contains four conserved regions, one of which is responsible for immobilising the protein. Protein anchoring within the cell wall is reduced in constructs that express truncations of the extracellular domain and in experiments in protoplasts without primary cell walls. The 18 amino acid proline-rich extracellular domain that is responsible for AtFH1 anchoring has homology with cell-wall extensins. We also have shown that anchoring of AtFH1 in the cell wall promotes actin bundling within the cell and that overexpression of AtFH1 has an inhibitory effect on organelle actin-dependant dynamics. Thus, the AtFH1 bridge provides stable anchor points for the actin cytoskeleton and is probably a crucial component of the signalling response and actin-remodelling mechanisms.
Rice (Oryza sativa) takes up arsenite mainly through the silicic acid transport pathway. Understanding the uptake and sequestration of arsenic (As) into the rice plant is important for developing strategies to reduce As concentration in rice grain. In this study, the cellular and subcellular distributions of As and silicon (Si) in rice roots were investigated using high-pressure freezing, high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometry, and transmission electron microscopy. Rice plants, both the lsi2 mutant lacking the Si/arsenite efflux transporter Lsi2 and its wild-type cultivar, with or without an iron plaque, were treated with arsenate or arsenite. The formation of iron plaque on the root surface resulted in strong accumulation of As and phosphorous on the epidermis. The lsi2 mutant showed stronger As accumulation in the endodermal vacuoles, where the Lsi2 transporter is located in the plasma membranes, than the wild-type line. As also accumulated in the vacuoles of some xylem parenchyma cells and in some pericycle cells, particularly in the wild-type mature root zone. Vacuolar accumulation of As is associated with sulfur, suggesting that As may be stored as arsenite-phytochelatin complexes. Si was localized in the cell walls of the endodermal cells with little apparent effect of the Lsi2 mutation on its distribution. This study reveals the vacuolar sequestration of As in rice roots and contrasting patterns of As and Si subcellular localization, despite both being transported across the plasma membranes by the same transporters.
P>We have identified two endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated Arabidopsis proteins, KMS1 and KMS2, which are conserved among most species. Fluorescent protein fusions of KMS1 localised to the ER in plant cells, and over-expression induced the formation of a membrane structure, identified as ER whorls by electron microscopy. Hydrophobicity analysis suggested that KMS1 and KMS2 are integral membrane proteins bearing six transmembrane domains. Membrane protein topology was assessed by a redox-based topology assay (ReTA) with redox-sensitive GFP and confirmed by a protease protection assay. A major loop domain between transmembrane domains 2 and 3, plus the N- and C-termini were found on the cytosolic side of the ER. A C-terminal di(tri)-lysine motif is involved in retrieval of KMS1 and deletion led to a reduction of the GFP-KMS1 signal in the ER. Over-expression of KMS1/KMS2 truncations perturbed ER and Golgi morphology and similar effects were also seen when KMS1/KMS2 were knocked-down by RNA interference. Microscopy and biochemical experiments suggested that expression of KMS1/KMS2 truncations inhibited ER to Golgi protein transport.
Prolamins, the main storage proteins of wheat seeds, are synthesized and retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of the endosperm cells, where they accumulate in protein bodies (PBs) and are then exported to the storage vacuole. The mechanisms leading to these events are unresolved. To investigate this unconventional trafficking pathway, wheat gamma-gliadin and its isolated repeated N- terminal and cysteine-rich C-terminal domains were fused to fluorescent proteins and expressed in tobacco leaf epidermal cells. The results indicated that gamma-gliadin and both isolated domains were able to be retained and accumulated as protein body-like structures (PBLS) in the ER, suggesting that tandem repeats are not the only sequence involved in gamma-gliadin ER retention and PBLS formation. The high actin-dependent mobility of gamma-gliadin PBLS is also reported, and it is demonstrated that most of them do not co-localize with Golgi body or pre-vacuolar compartment markers. Both gamma-gliadin domains are found in the same PBLS when co-expressed, which is most probably due to their ability to interact with each other, as indicated by the yeast two-hybrid and FRET-FLIM experiments. Moreover, when stably expressed in BY-2 cells, green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions to gamma-gliadin and its isolated domains were retained in the ER for several days before being exported to the vacuole in a Golgi-dependent manner, and degraded, leading to the release of the GFP 'core'. Taken together, the results show that tobacco cells are a convenient model to study the atypical wheat prolamin trafficking with fluorescent protein fusions.
P>The B-cell antigen receptor (BCR), displayed on the plasma membrane of mature B cells of the mammalian immune system, is a multimeric complex consisting of a membrane-bound immunoglobulin (mIg) noncovalently associated with the Ig alpha/Ig beta heterodimer. In this study, we engineered transgenic tobacco plants expressing all four chains of the BCR. ELISA, Western blotting and confocal microscopy demonstrated that the BCR was correctly assembled in plants, predominantly in the plasma membrane, and that the noncovalent link was detergent sensitive. This is the first example of a noncovalently assembled plasma membrane-retained heterologous receptor in plants. In B cells of the mammalian immune system, following antigen binding to mIg, BCR is internalized and tyrosine residues on Ig alpha and Ig beta are phosphorylated activating a signaling cascade through interaction with protein kinases that ultimately leads to the initiation of gene expression. Expression of the BCR may therefore be an important tool for the study of plant endocytosis and the identification of previously unknown plant tyrosine kinases. The specificity and diversity of the antibody repertoire, coupled to the signal transduction capability of the Ig alpha/Ig beta heterodimer, also indicates that plants expressing BCR may in future be developed as environmental biosensors.
An oxidation method using dilute nitric acid solutions under solvothermal conditions has been developed to synthesise a series of polypyridine-polycarboxylic acids. It has been successfully applied to a range of methyl substituted polypyridines including symmetrical and asymmetrical 2,2'-bipyridines; 2,2':6',2 ''-terpyridines and; 2,2':6',2 '':6 '',2'''-tetra-pyridines and yields crystalline polypyridine-polycarboxylic acids in a single step. Simple product recovery through filtration yields a recyclable filtrate. More forcing conditions led to demethylation of the polypyridine ligand most probably via decarboxylation. This simple approach avoids potentially harmful metal-based oxidants and negates any issues associated with the disposal of their resultant (hazardous) waste.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in higher plants performs many important functions, yet our understanding of how its intricate network shape and dynamics relate to function is very limited. Recent work has begun to unpick key molecular players in the generation of the pleomorphic, highly dynamic ER network structure that pervades the entire cytoplasm. ER movement is acto-myosin dependent. ER shape is dependent on RHD3 (Root Hair Defective 3) and a family of proteins called reticulons. The major challenge that lies ahead is understanding how factors that control ER shape and movement are regulated and how this relates to the numerous functions of the ER.
An inducible system has been established in Nicotiana tabacum plants allowing controlled expression of Sar1-GTP and thus the investigation of protein dynamics after inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to Golgi transport. Complete Golgi disassembly and redistribution of Golgi markers into the ER was observed within 18-24h after induction. At the ultrastructural level Sar1-GTP expression led to a decrease in Golgi stack size followed by Golgi fragmentation and accumulation of vesicle remnants. Induction of Sar1-GTP resulted in redistribution of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged Arabidopsis golgins AtCASP and GC1 (golgin candidate 1, an Arabidopsis golgin 84 isoform) into the ER or cytoplasm, respectively. Additionally, both fusion proteins were observed in punctate structures, which co-located with a yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-tagged version of Sar1-GTP. The Sar1-GTP-inducible system is compared with constitutive Sar1-GTP expression and brefeldin A treatment, and its potential for the study of the composition of ER exit sites and early cis-Golgi structures is discussed.
A central question in cell biology is how the identity of organelles is established and maintained. Here, we report on GOLD36, an EMS mutant identified through a screen for partial displacement of the Golgi marker, ST-GFP, to other organelles. GOLD36 showed partial distribution of ST-GFP into a modified endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network, which formed bulges and large skein-like structures entangling Golgi stacks. GOLD36 showed defects in ER protein export as evidenced by our observations that, besides the partial retention of Golgi markers in the ER, the trafficking of a soluble bulk-flow marker to the cell surface was also compromised. Using a combination of classical mapping and next-generation DNA sequencing approaches, we linked the mutant phenotype to a missense mutation of a proline residue in position 80 to a leucine residue in a small endomembrane protein encoded by the gold36 locus (At1g54030). Subcellular localization analyses indicated that GOLD36 is a vacuolar protein and that its mutated form is retained in the ER. Interestingly also, a gold36 knock-out mutant mirrored the GOLD36 subcellular phenotype. These data indicate that GOLD36 is a protein destined to post-ER compartments and suggest that its export from the ER is a requirement to ensure steady-state maintenance of the organelle's organization and functional activity in relation to other secretory compartments. We speculate that GOLD36 may be a factor that is necessary for ER integrity because of its ability to limit deleterious effects of other secretory proteins on the ER
It has long been assumed that the individual cisternal stacks that comprise the plant Golgi apparatus multiply by some kind of fission process. However, more recently, it has been demonstrated that the Golgi apparatus can be experimentally disassembled and the reformation process from the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) monitored sequentially using confocal fluorescence and electron microscopy. Some other evidence suggests that Golgi stacks may arise de novo in cells. In the present paper, we review some of the more recent findings on plant Golgi stack biogenesis and propose a new model for their growth de novo from ER exit sites.
Little is known about possible interactions between chloroplasts and the Golgi apparatus, although there is increasing evidence for a direct Golgi to chloroplast transport pathway targeting proteins to their destinations within the membranes and stroma of plastids. Here data are presented showing that a blockage of secretion results in a significant increase of starch within plastids. Golgi disassembly promoted either by the secretory inhibitor brefeldin A or through an inducible Sar1-GTP system leads to dramatic starch accumulation in plastids, thus providing evidence for a direct interaction between plastids and Golgi activity. The possibility that starch accumulation is due either to elevated levels of cytosolic sugars because of loss of secretory Golgi activity or even to a blockage of amylase transport from the Golgi to the chloroplast is discussed.
Herein, we report the stepwise transport of multiple plant Golgi membrane markers during disassembly of the Golgi apparatus in tobacco leaf epidermal cells in response to the induced expression of the GTP-locked Sar1p or Brefeldin A (BFA), and reassembly on BFA washout. The distribution of fluorescent Golgi-resident N-glycan processing enzymes and matrix proteins (golgins) with specific cis-trans-Golgi sub-locations was followed by confocal microscopy during disassembly and reassembly. The first event during Golgi disassembly was the loss of trans-Golgi enzymes and golgins from Golgi membranes, followed by a sequential redistribution of medial and cis-Golgi enzymes into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), whilst golgins were relocated to the ER or cytoplasm. This event was confirmed by fractionation and immuno-blotting. The sequential redistribution of Golgi components in a trans-cis sequence may highlight a novel retrograde trafficking pathway between the trans-Golgi and the ER in plants. Release of Golgi markers from the ER upon BFA washout occurred in the opposite sequence, with cis-matrix proteins labelling Golgi-like structures before cis/medial enzymes. Trans-enzyme location was preceded by trans-matrix proteins being recruited back to Golgi membranes. Our results show that Golgi disassembly and reassembly occur in a highly ordered fashion in plants.
Laser trapping of micron-sized particles can be achieved utilizing the radiation pressure generated by a focused infrared laser beam. Thus, it is theoretically possible to trap and manipulate organelles within the cytoplasm and remodel the architecture of the cytoplasm and membrane systems. Here we describe recent progress, using this under utilized technology, in the manipulation of cytoplasmic strands and organelles in plant cells. Research highlights Laser traps/optical tweezers can be used to manipulate organelles within plant cell cytoplasm. Organelles can be trapped and used to create cytoplasmic strands within vacuoles. Manipulation of cytoplasmic using laser traps reveals that actin regulates cytoplasmic stiffness. Golgi bodies can be trapped and manipulated to remodel the cortical ER network in leaves. Optical trapping confirms connections between ER and Golgi and the existence of ER anchor points.
Plant vacuolar sorting receptors (VSRs) display cytosolic Tyr motifs (YMPL) for clathrin-mediated anterograde transport to the prevacuolar compartment. Here, we show that the same motif is also required for VSR recycling. A Y612A point mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana VSR2 leads to a quantitative shift in VSR2 steady state levels from the prevacuolar compartment to the trans-Golgi network when expressed in Nicotiana tabacum. By contrast, the L615A mutant VSR2 leaks strongly to vacuoles and accumulates in a previously undiscovered compartment. The latter is shown to be distinct from the Golgi stacks, the trans-Golgi network, and the prevacuolar compartment but is characterized by high concentrations of soluble vacuolar cargo and the rab5 GTPase Rha1(RabF2a). The results suggest that the prevacuolar compartment matures by gradual receptor depletion, leading to the formation of a late prevacuolar compartment situated between the prevacuolar compartment and the vacuole.
The biogenesis and positioning of organelles involves complex interacting processes and precise control. Progress in our understanding is being made rapidly as advances in analysing the nuclear and organellar genome and proteome combine with developments in live-cell microscopy and manipulation at the subcellular level. This paper introduces the collected papers resulting from Organelle Biogenesis and Positioning in Plants, the 2009 Biochemical Society Annual Symposium. Including papers on the nuclear envelope and all major organelles, it considers current knowledge and progress towards unifying themes that will elucidate the mechanisms by which cells generate the correct complement of organelles and adapt and change it in response to environmental and developmental signals.
Reticulons are integral endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane proteins that have the ability to shape the ER into tubules. It has been hypothesized that their unusually long conserved hydrophobic regions cause reticulons to assume a wedge-like topology that induces membrane curvature. Here we provide proof of this hypothesis. When over-expressed, an Arabidopsis thaliana reticulon (RTNLB13) localized to, and induced constrictions in, cortical ER tubules. Ectopic expression of RTNLB13 was sufficient to induce ER tubulation in an Arabidopsis mutant (pah1 pah2) whose ER membrane is mostly present in a sheet-like form. By sequential shortening of the four transmembrane domains (TMDs) of RTNLB13, we show that the length of the transmembrane regions is directly correlated with the ability of RTNLB13 to induce membrane tubulation and to form low-mobility complexes within the ER membrane. We also show that full-length TMDs are necessary for the ability of RTNLB13 to reside in the ER membrane.
By combining the capabilities of advanced sample preparation methodologies with the latest generation of secondary ion mass spectrometry instrumentation, we show that chemical information on the distribution of even dilute species in biological samples can be obtained with spatial resolutions of better than 100 nm. Here, we show the distribution of nickel and other elements in leaf tissue of the nickel hyperaccumulator plant Alyssum lesbiacum prepared by high-pressure freezing and freeze substitution.
The cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) epidermal cells is a network of tubules and cisternae undergoing dramatic rearrangements. Reticulons are integral membrane proteins involved in shaping ER tubules. Here, we characterized the localization, topology, effect, and interactions of five Arabidopsis thaliana reticulons (RTNs), isoforms 1-4 and 13, in the cortical ER. Our results indicate that RTNLB13 and RTNLB1-4 colocate to and constrict the tubular ER membrane. All five RTNs preferentially accumulate on ER tubules and are excluded from ER cisternae. All isoforms share the same transmembrane topology, with N and C termini facing the cytosol and four transmembrane domains. We show by Förster resonance energy transfer and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy that several RTNs have the capacity to interact with themselves and each other, and we suggest that oligomerization is responsible for their residence in the ER membrane. We also show that a complete reticulon homology domain is required for both RTN residence in high-curvature ER membranes and ER tubule constriction, yet it is not necessary for homotypic interactions.
Mougeotia sp. are widely distributed freshwater algae that have a characteristic chloroplast rotation response to incident light. The mechanics of the response have been elucidated, but no work regarding the bioenergetics of this process has been reported. The current study examined the morphology and movement dynamics of mitochondria in this alga. A novel method, utilizing DASPMI (dimethylaminostyrylmethylpyridiniumiodine) fluorescent dye, was developed to allow vital mitochondrial staining while avoiding sequestration of the dye by numerous cytoplasmic vesicles and then used to study mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondria were elongated tubular structures that were significantly asymmetrically located in the perinuclear and chloroplast edge regions. The mitochondria displayed small amplitude undirected movements with occasional high-velocity bursts of directional movement which were of greater magnitude. These latter movements were inhibited by a 30-min incubation with latrunculin (50 µM), but were unaffected by incubation with colchicine (10 µM), indicating that the actin, but not the microtubule cytoskeleton, is involved. The method used and the findings reported will allow research to be undertaken on the contribution of the chondriome to the chloroplast rotation response and other aspects of the bioenergetics of this organism.
Ypt/Rab GTPases act as key regulators of intracellular traffic through the conformational differences exhibited by their GTP or GDP-bound forms. In this paper, two Arabidopsis Ypt6 homologues, AtRAB-H1(b) and AtRAB-H1(c) were characterized and compared. Using a live cell imaging approach, it is shown that yellow fluorescent protein-fusions (YFP) of AtRAB-H1(b) and AtRAB-H1(c) locate to the Golgi and to the cytosol in both Nicotiana tabacum and in Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, YFP-AtRAB-H1(b) targets an as yet unknown compartment not labelled by YFP-AtRAB-H1(c) or Golgi markers. It is also shown that the subcellular location of YFP-AtRAB-H1(b) and YFP-AtRAB-H1(c) is affected by the state of GTP-binding and that expression of a GTP-deficient mutant results in increased apoplastic fluorescence of a secretory form of YFP.
Plant N-glycan processing enzymes are arranged along the early secretory pathway, forming an assembly line to facilitate the step-by-step modification of oligosaccharides on glycoproteins. Thus, these enzymes provide excellent tools to study signals and mechanisms, promoting their localization and retention in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus. Herein, we focused on a detailed investigation of amino acid sequence motifs present in their short cytoplasmic tails in respect to ER export. Using site- directed mutagenesis, we determined that single arginine/lysine residues within the cytoplasmic tail are sufficient to promote rapid Golgi targeting of Golgi-resident N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (GnTI) and alpha-mannosidase II (GMII). Furthermore, we reveal that an intact ER export motif is essential for proper in vivo function of GnTI. Coexpression studies with Sar1p provided evidence for COPII-dependent transport of GnTI to the Golgi. Our data provide evidence that efficient ER export of Golgi-resident plant N-glycan processing enzymes occurs through a selective mechanism based on recognition of single basic amino acids present in their cytoplasmic tails.
Using a novel analytical tool, this study investigates the relative roles of actin, microtubules, myosin, and Golgi bodies on form and movement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaf epidermal cells. Expression of a subset of truncated class XI myosins, which interfere with the activity of native class XI myosins, and drug-induced actin depolymerization produce a more persistent network of ER tubules and larger persistent cisternae. The treatments differentially affect two persistent size classes of cortical ER cisternae, those >0.3 µm2 and those smaller, called punctae. The punctae are not Golgi, and ER remodeling occurs in the absence of Golgi bodies. The treatments diminish the mobile fraction of ER membrane proteins but not the diffusive flow of mobile membrane proteins. The results support a model whereby ER network remodeling is coupled to the directionality but not the magnitude of membrane surface flow, and the punctae are network nodes that act as foci of actin polymerization, regulating network remodeling through exploratory tubule growth and myosin-mediated shrinkage.
The ER (endoplasmic reticulum) in higher plants forms a pleomorphic web of membrane tubules and small cisternae that pervade the cytoplasm, but in particular form a polygonal network at the cortex of the cell which may be anchored to the plasma membrane. The network is associated with the actin cytoskeleton and demonstrates extensive mobility, which is most likely to be dependent on myosin motors. The ER is characterized by a number of domains which may be associated with specific functions such as protein storage, or with direct interaction with other organelles such as the Golgi apparatus, peroxisomes and plastids. In the present review we discuss the nature of the network, the role of shape-forming molecules such as the recently described reticulon family of proteins and the function of some of the major domains within the ER network.
In many vacuolate plant cells, individual Golgi bodies appear to be attached to tubules of the pleiomorphic cortical endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network. Such observations culminated in the controversial mobile secretory unit hypothesis to explain transport of cargo from the ER to Golgi via Golgi attached export sites. This proposes that individual Golgi bodies and an attached-ER exit machinery move over or with the surface of the ER whilst collecting cargo for secretion. By the application of infrared laser optical traps to individual Golgi bodies within living leaf cells, we show that individual Golgi bodies can be micromanipulated to reveal their association with the ER. Golgi bodies are physically attached to ER tubules and lateral displacement of individual Golgi bodies results in the rapid growth of the attached ER tubule. Remarkably, the ER network can be remodelled in living cells simply by movement of laser trapped Golgi dragging new ER tubules through the cytoplasm and new ER anchor sites can be established. Finally, we show that trapped Golgi ripped off the ER are 'sticky' and can be docked on to and attached to ER tubules, which will again show rapid growth whilst pulled by moving Golgi.
+GP64 is the major envelope glycoprotein associated with the budded virus (BV) of Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) and is essential for attachment and budding of BV particles. Confocal microscopy and flotation assays established the presence of lipid raft domains within the plasma membranes of AcMNPV-infected Sf9 cells and suggested the association of GP64 with lipid rafts during infection. GP64 and filamentous actin (F-actin) were found to co-localise at the cell cortex at 24 and 48 hpi and an additional restructuring of F-actin during infection was visualised, resulting in a strongly polarised distribution of both F-actin and GP64 at the cell cortex. Depletion of F-actin, achieved by treatment of Sf9 cells with latrunculin B (LB), resulted in the redistribution of GP64 with significant cytoplasmic aggregation and reduced presence at the plasma membrane. Treatment with LB also resulted in reduced production of BV in Sf9 cells. Analysis of virus gene transcription confirmed this reduction was not due to decreased trafficking of nucleocapsids to the nucleus or to decreased production of infectious progeny nucleocapsids. Reduced BV production due to a lack of GP64 at the plasma membrane of AcMNPV-infected Sf9 cells treated with LB, suggests a key role for F-actin in the egress of BV.
Gene families with multiple members are predicted to have individuals with overlapping functions. We examined all of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) myosin family members for their involvement in Golgi and other organelle motility. Truncated fragments of all 17 annotated Arabidopsis myosins containing either the IQ tail or tail domains only were fused to fluorescent markers and coexpressed with a Golgi marker in two different plants. We tracked and calculated Golgi body displacement rate in the presence of all myosin truncations and found that tail fragments of myosins MYA1, MYA2, XI-C, XI-E, XI-I, and XI-K were the best inhibitors of Golgi body movement in the two plants. Tail fragments of myosins XI-B, XI-F, XI-H, and ATM1 had an inhibitory effect on Golgi bodies only in Nicotiana tabacum, while tail fragments of myosins XI-G and ATM2 had a slight effect on Golgi body motility only in Nicotiana benthamiana. The best myosin inhibitors of Golgi body motility were able to arrest mitochondrial movement too. No exclusive colocalization was found between these myosins and Golgi bodies in our system, although the excess of cytosolic signal observed could mask myosin molecules bound to the surface of the organelle. From the preserved actin filaments found in the presence of enhanced green fluorescent protein fusions of truncated myosins and the motility of myosin punctae, we conclude that global arrest of actomyosin- derived cytoplasmic streaming had not occurred. Taken together, our data suggest that the above myosins are involved, directly or indirectly, in the movement of Golgi and mitochondria in plant cells.
Peripheral tethering factors bind to small GTPases in order to obtain their correct location within the Golgi apparatus. Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) we visualized interactions between Arabidopsis homologues of tethering factors and small GTPases at the Golgi stacks in planta. Co-expression of the coiled-coil proteins AtGRIP and golgin candidate 5 (GC5) [TATA element modulatory factor (TMF)] and the putative post-Golgi tethering factor AtVPS52 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP) with mRFP (monomeric red fluorescent protein) fusions to the small GTPases AtRab-H1 (b), AtRab-H1(c) and AtARL1 resulted in reduced GFP lifetimes compared to the control proteins. Interestingly, we observed differences in GFP quenching between the different protein combinations as well as selective quenching of GFP-AtVPS52-labelled structures. The data presented here indicate that the FRET-FLIM technique should prove invaluable in assessing protein interactions in living plant cells at the organelle level.
Peroxisomes are organelles with an essentially oxidative metabolism that are involved in various metabolic pathways such as fatty acid beta-oxidation, photorespiration, and metabolism of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species. These organelles are highly dynamic but there is little information about the regulation of, and the effects of environment on, peroxisome movement. In this work a stable Arabidopsis line expressing the GFP-SKL peptide targeted to peroxisomes was characterized. Peroxisome- associated fluorescence was observed in all tissues, including leaves (mesophyll and epidermal cells, trichomes, and stomata) and roots. The dynamics of peroxisomes in epidermal cells was examined by confocal laser microscope, and various types of movement were observed. The speed of movement differed depending on the plant age. Treatment of plants with CdCl(2) (100 mu M) produced a significant increase in speed, which was dependent on enclogenous ROS and Ca(2+), but was not related to actin cytoskeleton modifications. In light of the results obtained, it is proposed that the increase in peroxisomal motility observed in Arabidopsis plants could be a cellular mechanism of protection against the Cd-imposed oxidative stress. Other possible roles for the enhanced peroxisome movement in plant cell physiology are discussed.
During hair coloring a number of disulfide bonds in cystine are oxidized (1) to create cysteic acid, forming binding sites for metal ions such as Ca2+ and Cu2+ from tap water (2). The increased uptake of these metals can have a detrimental impact on fiber properties—for example, reducing shine and causing a poor wet and dry feel (3). In addition, the increased uptake of copper can also contribute to further fiber damage during subsequent coloring due to its ability to take part in metal-induced radical chemistry (4). It is important to know where in the fibers these metals are located in order to either effectively remove these metals or control their chemistry. Nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) has been used to locate the calcium and copper within hair that has been treated with a colorant and washed multiple times in tap water containing these ions. Untreated hair is used as a baseline standard material. Images with up to 50-nm spatial resolution of the preferential locations of calcium uptake were obtained, showing a high concentration of calcium in the cuticle region of colored hair, specifically in the sulfur-rich regions (A-layer and exocuticle).
How the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus maintain their morphological and functional identity while working in concert to ensure the production of biomolecules necessary for the cell's survival is a fundamental question in plant biology. Here, we isolated and characterized an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant that partially accumulates Golgi membrane markers and a soluble secretory marker in globular structures composed of a mass of convoluted ER tubules that maintain a connection with the bulk ER. We established that the aberrant phenotype was due to a missense recessive mutation in sec24A, one of the three Arabidopsis isoforms encoding the coat protomer complex II (COPII) protein Sec24, and that the mutation affects the distribution of this critical component at ER export sites. By contrast, total loss of sec24A function was lethal, suggesting that Arabidopsis sec24A is an essential gene. These results produce important insights into the functional diversification of plant COPII coat components and the role of these proteins in maintaining the dynamic identity of organelles of the early plant secretory pathway.
no abstract available
In order to further understand the production and intracellular trafficking of pharmaceutical proteins in plants, the light and heavy chains (LC and HC) of the human immunodeficiency virus neutralizing monoclonal antibody 2G12 were fused to fluorescent proteins [Venus and monomeric red fluorescent protein (mRFP)] to enable the visualization of their passage through the plant cell. Co- expression of LC and HC with various markers of the endomembrane system demonstrated that LC fusions were found in mobile punctate structures, which are likely to be pre-vacuolar compartments (PVCs) as a proportion of the LC fusions were found to be located in the vacuole. In addition, apoplast labelling was also observed with a 2G12LC-RFP fusion. The HC fusion expressed alone was found only in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). When the LC and HC fusions were expressed together, they were found to co-locate to larger punctate structures, which were morphologically distinct from any observed on expression of LC or HC alone. These structures appeared to be in close association with the ER and their labelling partially overlapped with PVC marker fluorescence, but no increase in apoplast labelling was observed. Co-immunoprecipitation data demonstrated that the presence of the fluorescent proteins did not affect the assembly of the antibody, and also showed the association of BiP with the antibody chains. The antigen-binding activity of the Venus- fused 2G12 antibody was confirmed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Brefeldin A (BFA) is one of the most popular drugs used by researchers for studies on secretion and endocytosis because it interferes with specific vesicle coat proteins via action on a guanine nucleotide exchange factor. Due to its range of morphological effects on the Golgi apparatus in a variety of plant tissues, we believe that there is more to the BFA response than the primary molecular targets so far identified.
The levels of accumulation of recombinant vaccines in transgenic plants are protein specific and strongly influenced by the subcellular compartment of destination. The human immunodeficiency virus protein Nef (negative factor), a promising target for the development of an antiviral vaccine, is a cytosolic protein that accumulates to low levels in transgenic tobacco and is even more unstable when introduced into the secretory pathway, probably because of folding defects in the non-cytosolic environment. To improve Nef accumulation, a new strategy was developed to anchor the molecule to the cytosolic face of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. For this purpose, the Nef sequence was fused to the C-terminal domain of mammalian ER cytochrome b5, a long-lived, tail-anchored (TA) protein. This consistently increased Nef accumulation by more than threefold in many independent transgenic tobacco plants. Real-time polymerase chain reaction of mRNA levels and protein pulse-chase analysis indicated that the increase was not caused by higher transcript levels but by enhanced protein stability. Subcellular fractionation and immunocytochemistry indicated that Nef-TA accumulated on the ER membrane. Over-expression of mammalian or plant ER cytochrome b5 caused the formation of stacked membrane structures, as observed previously in similar experiments performed in mammalian cells; however, Nef-TA did not alter membrane organization in tobacco cells. Finally, Nef could be removed in vitro by its tail-anchor, taking advantage of an engineered thrombin cleavage site. These results open up the way to use tail-anchors to improve foreign protein stability in the plant cytosol without perturbing cellular functions.
We have cloned a member of the reticulon (RTN) family of Arabidopsis thaliana (RTNLB13). When fused to yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) and expressed in tobacco leaf epidermal cells, RTNLB13 is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Coexpression of a soluble ER luminal marker reveals that YFP-tagged, myc-tagged or untagged RTNLB13 induces severe morphological changes to the lumen of the ER. We show, using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) analysis, that RTNLB13 overexpression greatly reduces diffusion of soluble proteins within the ER lumen, possibly by introducing constrictions into the membrane. In spite of this severe phenotype, Golgi shape, number and dynamics appear unperturbed and secretion of a reporter protein remains unaffected.
Plant organelle movement is highly dynamic and dependent on the actin cytoskeleton. We are carrying out a systematic study of Arabidopsis myosins (17 in total) in order to determine their location and potential role in organelle movement.
Studies in mammals and yeast have shown that expression of myosin tail domains can act in a dominant negative manner on cargo motility. Therefore, fluorescent fusions of the predicted myosin tail domains were generated and live cell imaging was implemented to study the effects of these tail domains on organelle movement in tobacco epidermal cells. Using a combination of high speed scanning rates coupled with low resolution imaging we were able to track these organelles in cells expressing myosin tail fusions, and subsequently analyse the data using Volocity software (Improvision). The studies presented here are one of the first to show that class XI myosins regulate Golgi, peroxisome and mitochondria movement in tobacco epidermal cells. Additionally, we have isolated a myosin tail domain which is located on the nuclear envelope and in discrete motile puncta. Potential roles for this myosin and others will be open for discussion.
Although organelle movement in higher plants is predominantly actin-based, potential roles for the 17 predicted Arabidopsis myosins in motility are only just emerging. It is shown here that two Arabidopsis myosins from class XI, XIE, and XIK, are involved in Golgi, peroxisome, and mitochondrial movement. Expression of dominant negative forms of the myosin lacking the actin binding domain at the amino terminus perturb organelle motility, but do not completely inhibit movement. Latrunculin B, an actin destabilizing drug, inhibits organelle movement to a greater extent compared to the effects of AtXIE-T/XIK-T expression. Amino terminal YFP fusions to XIE-T and XIK-T are dispersed throughout the cytosol and do not completely decorate the organelles whose motility they affect. XIE-T and XIK-T do not affect the global actin architecture, but their movement and location is actin-dependent. The potential role of these truncated myosins as genetically encoded inhibitors of organelle movement is discussed.
The interface between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus is a critical junction in the secretory pathway mediating the transport of both soluble and membrane cargo between the two organelles. Such transport can be bidirectional and is mediated by coated membranes. In this review, we consider the organization and dynamics of this interface in plant cells, the putative structure of which has caused some controversy in the literature, and we speculate on the stages of Golgi biogenesis from the ER and the role of the Golgi and ER on each other's motility.
Golgins are large coiled-coil proteins that play a role in tethering of vesicles to Golgi membranes and in maintaining the overall structure of the Golgi apparatus. Six Arabidopsis proteins with the structural characteristics of golgins were isolated and shown to locate to Golgi stacks when fused to GFP. Two of these golgin candidates (GC1 and GC2) possess C-terminal transmembrane (TM) domains with similarity to the TM domain of human golgin-84. The C-termini of two others (GC3/GDAP1 and GC4) contain conserved GRAB and GA1 domains that are also found in yeast Rud3p and human GMAP210. GC5 shares similarity with yeast Sgm1p and human TMF and GC6 with yeast Uso1p and human p115. When fused to GFP, the C-terminal domains of AtCASP and GC1 to GC6 localized to the Golgi, showing that they contain Golgi localization motifs. The N-termini, on the other hand, label the cytosol or nucleus. Immuno-gold labelling and co-expression with the cis Golgi Q-SNARE Memb11 resulted in a more detailed picture of the sub-Golgi location of some of these putative golgins. Using two independent assays it is further demonstrated that the interaction between GC5, the TMF homologue, and the Rab6 homologues is conserved in plants.
The processing of N-linked oligosaccharides in the secretory pathway requires the sequential action of a number of glycosidases and glycosyltransferases. We studied the spatial distribution of several type II membrane-bound enzymes from Glycine max, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Nicotiana tabacum. Glucosidase I (GCSI) localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), α-1,2 mannosidase I (ManI) and N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase I (GNTI) both targeted to the ER and Golgi, and β-1,2 xylosyltransferase localized exclusively to Golgi stacks, corresponding to the order of expected function. ManI deletion constructs revealed that the ManI transmembrane domain (TMD) contains all necessary targeting information. Likewise, GNTI truncations showed that this could apply to other type II enzymes. A green fluorescent protein chimera with ManI TMD, lengthened by duplicating its last seven amino acids, localized exclusively to the Golgi and colocalized with a trans-Golgi marker (ST52-mRFP), suggesting roles for protein–lipid interactions in ManI targeting. However, the TMD lengths of other plant glycosylation enzymes indicate that this mechanism cannot apply to all enzymes in the pathway. In fact, removal of the first 11 amino acids of the GCSI cytoplasmic tail resulted in relocalization from the ER to the Golgi, suggesting a targeting mechanism relying on protein–protein interactions. We conclude that the localization of N-glycan processing enzymes corresponds to an assembly line in the early secretory pathway and depends on both TMD length and signals in the cytoplasmic tail.
Brefeldin A (BFA) treatment stops secretion and leads to the resorption of much of the Golgi apparatus into the endoplasmic reticulum. This effect is reversible upon washing out the drug, providing a situation for studying Golgi biogenesis. In this investigation Golgi regeneration in synchronized tobacco BY-2 cells was followed by electron microscopy and by the immunofluorescence detection of ARF1, which localizes to the rims of Golgi cisternae and serves as an indicator of COPI vesiculation. Beginning as clusters of vesicles that are COPI positive, mini-Golgi stacks first become recognizable 60 min after BFA washout. They continue to increase in terms of numbers and length of cisternae for a further 90 min before overshooting the size of control Golgi stacks. As a result, increasing numbers of dividing Golgi stacks were observed 120 min after BFA washout. BFA-regeneration experiments performed on cells treated with BFA (10 μg mL−1) for only short periods (30–45 min) showed that the formation of ER-Golgi hybrid structures, once initiated by BFA treatment, is an irreversible process, the further incorporation of Golgi membranes into the ER continuing during a subsequent drug washout. Application of the protein kinase A inhibitor H-89, which effectively blocks the reassembly of the Golgi apparatus in mammalian cells, also prevented stack regeneration in BY-2 cells, but only at very high, almost toxic concentrations (>200 μM). Our data suggest that under normal conditions mitosis-related Golgi stack duplication may likely occur via cisternal growth followed by fission.
Expression and tracking of fluorescent fusion proteins has revolutionized our understanding of basic concepts in cell biology. The protocol presented here has underpinned much of the in vivo results highlighting the dynamic nature of the plant secretory pathway. Transient transformation of tobacco leaf epidermal cells is a relatively fast technique to assess expression of genes of interest. These cells can be used to generate stable plant lines using a more time-consuming, cell culture technique. Transient expression takes from 2 to 4 days whereas stable lines are generated after approximately 2 to 4 months.
Trafficking of secretory proteins between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus depends on coat protein complexes I (COPI) and II (COPII) machineries. To date, full characterization of the distribution and dynamics of these machineries in plant cells remains elusive. Furthermore, except for a presumed linkage between COPI and COPII for the maintenance of ER protein export, the mechanisms by which COPI influences COPII-mediated protein transport from the ER in plant cells are largely uncharacterized. Here we dissect the dynamics of COPI in intact cells using live-cell imaging and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analyses to provide insights into the distribution of COPI and COPII machineries and the mechanisms by which COPI influences COPII-mediated protein export from the ER. We found that Arf1 and coatomer are dynamically associated with the Golgi apparatus and that the COPII coat proteins Sec24 and Sec23 localize at ER export sites that track with the Golgi apparatus in tobacco leaf epidermal cells. Arf1 is also localized at additional structures that originate from the Golgi apparatus but that lack coatomer, supporting the model that Arf1 also has a coatomer-independent role for post-Golgi protein transport in plants. When ER to Golgi protein transport is inhibited by mutations that hamper Arf1-GTPase activity without directly disrupting the COPII machinery for ER protein export, Golgi markers are localized in the ER and the punctate distribution of Sec24 and Sec23 at the ER export sites is lost. These findings suggest that Golgi membrane protein distribution is maintained by the balanced action of COPI and COPII systems, and that Arf1-coatomer is most likely indirectly required for forward trafficking out of the ER due to its role in recycling components that are essential for differentiation of the ER export domains formed by the Sar1-COPII system.
A challenging task in the study of the secretory pathway is the identification and localization of new proteins to increase our understanding of the functions of different organelles. Previous proteomic studies of the endomembrane system have been hindered by contaminating proteins, making it impossible to assign proteins to organelles. Here we have used the localization of organelle proteins by the isotope tagging technique in conjunction with isotope tags for relative and absolute quantitation and 2D liquid chromatography for the simultaneous assignment of proteins to multiple subcellular compartments. With this approach, the density gradient distributions of 689 proteins from Arabidopsis thaliana were determined, enabling confident and simultaneous localization of 527 proteins to the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, vacuolar membrane, plasma membrane, or mitochondria and plastids. This parallel analysis of endomembrane components has enabled protein steady-state distributions to be determined. Consequently, genuine organelle residents have been distinguished from contaminating proteins and proteins in transit through the secretory pathway.
Attachment and adhesion of conidia of a wheat-isolate of Stagonospora nodorum to leaf and artificial surfaces was studied. Attachment of conidia was a non-viable process, separate from adhesion, that occurred rapidly and irreversibly. Attachment involved conidial-surface carbohydrates and was partially influenced by surface hydrophobicity. The subsequent adhesion, via the secretion of extracellular matrix from conidia, was a viable process that induced the complete cover of conidia in response to wheat leaf surface components containing epi-cuticular wax and to a lesser extent to barley but inducing only partial covering on glass. Results suggest that specific surface components from the compatible host promote rapid attachment and adhesion of S. nodorum conidia.
The higher plant Golgi apparatus, comprising many individual stacks of membrane bounded cisternae, is one of the most enigmatic of the cytoplasmic organelles. Not only can the stacks receive material from the endoplasmic reticulum, process it and target it to the correct cellular destination, but they can also synthesise and export complex carbohydrates and lipids and most likely act as one end point of the endocytic pathway. In many cells such processing and sorting can take place while the stacks are moving within the cytoplasm and, remarkably, the organelle manages to retain its structural integrity. This review considers some of the latest data and views on transport both to and from the Golgi and the mechanisms by which such activity is regulated.
Controversy exists in the literature over the involvement of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the delivery of membrane proteins to peroxisomes. In this study, the involvement of the ER in the trafficking of two Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) peroxisomal membrane proteins was investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy of living cells expressing fusions between enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (eYFP) and AtPEX2 and AtPEX10. The fusion proteins were always detected in peroxisomes and cytosol irrespective of the location of the eYFP tag or the level of expression. The cytosolic fluorescence was not due to cleavage of the eYFP reporter from the C-terminal fusion proteins. Blocking known ER transport routes using the fungal metabolite Brefeldin A or expressing dominant negative mutants of Sar1 or RabD2a had no effect on the trafficking of AtPEX2 and AtPEX10 to peroxisomes. We conclude that AtPEX2 and AtPEX10 are inserted into peroxisome membranes directly from the cytosol.
GRIP domain proteins are a class of golgins that have been described in yeast and animals. They locate to the trans-Golgi network and are thought to play a role in endosome-to-Golgi trafficking. The Arabidopsis GRIP domain protein, AtGRIP, fused to the green fluorescent protein (GFP), locates to Golgi stacks but does not exactly co-locate with the Golgi marker sialyl transferase (ST)-mRFP, nor with the t-SNAREs Memb11, SYP31 and BS14a. We conclude that the location of AtGRIP is further to the trans side of the stack than STtmd–mRFP. The 185-aa C-terminus of AtGRIP containing the GRIP domain targeted GFP to the Golgi, although a proportion of the fusion protein was still found in the cytosol. Mutation of a conserved tyrosine (Y717) to alanine in the GRIP domain disrupted Golgi localization. ARL1 is a small GTPase required for Golgi targeting of GRIP domain proteins in other systems. An Arabidopsis ARL1 homologue was isolated and shown to target to Golgi stacks. The GDP-restricted mutant of ARL1, AtARL1-T31N, was observed to locate partially to the cytosol, whereas the GTP-restricted mutant AtARL1-Q71L labelled the Golgi and a population of small structures. Increasing the levels of AtARL1 in epidermal cells increased the proportion of GRIP–GFP fusion protein on Golgi stacks. We show, moreover, that AtARL1 interacted with the GRIP domain in a GTP-dependent manner in vitro in affinity chromatography and in the yeast two-hybrid system. This indicates that AtGRIP and AtARL1 interact directly. We conclude that the pathway involving ARL1 and GRIP domain golgins is conserved in plants.
Distinct sets of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) are distributed to specific intracellular compartments and catalyze membrane fusion events. Although the central role of these proteins in membrane fusion is established in nonplant systems, little is known about their role in the early secretory pathway of plant cells. Analysis of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genome reveals 54 genes encoding SNARE proteins, some of which are expected to be key regulators of membrane trafficking between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi. To gain insights on the role of SNAREs of the early secretory pathway in plant cells, we have cloned the Arabidopsis v-SNAREs Sec22, Memb11, Bet11, and the t-SNARE Sed5, and analyzed their distribution in plant cells in vivo. By means of live cell imaging, we have determined that these SNAREs localize at the Golgi apparatus. In addition, Sec22 was also distributed at the ER. We have then focused on understanding the function of Sec22 and Memb11 in comparison to the other SNAREs. Overexpression of the v-SNAREs Sec22 and Memb11 but not of the other SNAREs induced collapse of Golgi membrane proteins into the ER, and the secretion of a soluble secretory marker was abrogated by all SNAREs. Our studies suggest that Sec22 and Memb11 are involved in anterograde protein trafficking at the ER-Golgi interface.
We describe the use of a secreted form of Aequoria victoria green fluorescent protein (secGFP) in a non-invasive live cell assay of membrane traffic in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that in comparison to GFP-HDEL, which accumulates in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), secGFP generates a weak fluorescence signal when transported to the apoplast. The fluorescence of secGFP in the apoplast can be increased by growth of seedlings on culture medium buffered at pH 8.1, suggesting that apoplastic pH is responsible, at least in part, for the low fluorescence intensity of seedlings expressing secGFP. Inhibition of secGFP transport between the ER and plasma membrane (PM), either by Brefeldin A (BFA) treatment or by genetic intervention results in increased intracellular secGFP accumulation accompanied by an increase in the secGFP fluorescence intensity. secGFP thus provides a valuable tool for forward and reverse genetic analysis of membrane traffic and endomembrane organisation in Arabidopsis. Using this assay for quantitative sublethal perturbation of secGFP transport, we identify a role for root hair defective 3 (RHD3) in transport of secreted and Golgi markers between the ER and the Golgi apparatus.
In contrast with animals, plant cells contain multiple mobile Golgi stacks distributed over the entire cytoplasm. However, the distribution and dynamics of protein export sites on the plant endoplasmic reticulum (ER) surface have yet to be characterized. A widely accepted model for ER-to-Golgi transport is based on the sequential action of COPII and COPI coat complexes. The COPII complex assembles by the ordered recruitment of cytosolic components on the ER membrane. Here, we have visualized two early components of the COPII machinery, the small GTPase Sar1p and its GTP exchanging factor Sec12p in live tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaf epidermal cells. By in vivo confocal laser scanning microscopy and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments, we show that Sar1p cycles on mobile punctate structures that track with the Golgi bodies in close proximity but contain regions that are physically separated from the Golgi bodies. By contrast, Sec12p is uniformly distributed along the ER network and does not accumulate in these structures, consistent with the fact that Sec12p does not become part of a COPII vesicle. We propose that punctate accumulation of Sar1p represents ER export sites (ERES). The sites may represent a combination of Sar1p-coated ER membranes, nascent COPII membranes, and COPII vectors in transit, which have yet to lose their coats. ERES can be induced by overproducing Golgi membrane proteins but not soluble bulk-flow cargos. Few punctate Sar1p loci were observed that are independent of Golgi bodies, and these may be nascent ERES. The vast majority of ERES form secretory units that move along the surface of the ER together with the Golgi bodies, but movement does not influence the rate of cargo transport between these two organelles. Moreover, we could demonstrate using the drug brefeldin A that formation of ERES is strictly
We have studied the transport of proricin and pro2S albumin to the protein storage vacuoles of developing castor bean (Ricinus communis L.) endosperm. Immunoelectron microscopy and cell fractionation reveal that both proteins travel through the Golgi apparatus and co-localize throughout their route to the storage vacuole. En route to the PSV, the proteins co-localize in large (>200 nm) vesicles, which are likely to represent developing storage vacuoles. We further show that the sequence-specific vacuolar sorting signals of both proricin and pro2SA bind in vitro to proteins that have high sequence similarity to members of the VSR/AtELP/BP-80 vacuolar sorting receptor family, generally associated with clathrin-mediated traffic to the lytic vacuole. The implications of these findings in relation to the current model for protein sorting to storage vacuoles are discussed.
Rab GTPases are universal key regulators of intracellular secretory trafficking events. In particular, Rab 5 homologues have been implicated in endocytic events and in the vacuolar pathway. In this study, we investigate the location and function of a member of this family, AtRabF2b (Ara7) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaf epidermal cells using a live cell imaging approach. Fluorescent-tagged AtRabF2b[wt] localized to the prevacuolar compartment and Golgi apparatus, as determined by coexpression studies with fluorescent markers for these compartments. Mutations that impair AtRabF2b function also alter the subcellular location of the GTPase. In addition, coexpression studies of the protein with the vacuole-targeted aleurain-green fluorescent protein (GFP) and rescue experiments with wild-type AtRabF2b indicate that the dominant-negative mutant of AtRabF2b causes the vacuolar marker to be secreted to the apoplast. Our results indicate a clear role of AtRabF2b in the vacuolar trafficking pathway.
The temporal secretion and ultra-structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM) produced by conidia and germ-tubes of Stagonospora nodorum on wheat and other surfaces during the first 6 h post inoculation was examined. To visualize the ECM, a combination of immunological, histochemical and ultra-structural methods were employed. Lectins and two monoclonal antibodies were used. One antibody specifically recognised a conidial surface protein and the other recognised a carbohydrate epitope present on an antigen in the ECM and the germ-tube cell wall. Three major phases of ECM release on the leaf surface and two on the artificial surfaces were identified: (a) commencing less than 15 min after contact of the conidium with the host, composed of a carbohydrate core and protein halo, (b) coinciding with the emergence and growth of germ-tubes, composed of proteins and carbohydrates, (c) spreading around the conidia after germ-tube production, not seen on the artificial surfaces. Results indicated that the ECM of conidia and germ-tubes differ in thickness and composition and that the intensity of conidial ECM was affected by the surface properties of the substrata in contact. In addition, maintenance of the ECM in a hydrated state was found to be essential for study of its ultra-structure highlighting the importance of using a diversity of methods to visualize the ECM.
Quality control in the secretory pathway is a fundamental step in preventing deleterious effects that may arise by the release of malfolded proteins into the cell or apoplast. Our aims were to visualise and analyse the disposal route followed by aberrant proteins within a plant cell in vivo using fluorescent protein technology. A green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion was detected in the cytosol and the nucleoplasm in spite of the presence of an N-terminal secretory signal peptide. In contrast to secreted GFP, the fusion protein was retained in the cells where it was degraded slowly, albeit at a rate much higher than that of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-retained derivative GFP-HDEL. The fusion protein could not be stabilised by inhibitors of transport or the cytosolic proteasome. However, the protein is a strong lumenal binding protein (BiP) ligand. Complete signal peptide processing even after long-term expression in virus-infected leaves rules out the possibility that the documented accumulation in the cytosol and nucleoplasm is because of the bypassing of the translocation pores. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that the fusion protein is disposed off from the ER via a retrograde translocation back to the cytosol. Moreover, accumulation in the nucleoplasm was shown to be microtubule dependent unlike the well-documented diffusion of cytosolically expressed GFP into the nucleoplasm. The apparent active transport of the GFP fusion into the nucleoplasm may indicate an as yet undiscovered feature of the ER-associated degradation (ERAD) pathway and explain the insensitivity to degradation by proteasome inhibitors.
Peroxisomes participate in many important functions in plants, including seed reserve mobilization, photorespiration, defense against oxidative stress, and auxin and jasmonate signaling. In mammals, defects in peroxisome biogenesis result in multiple system abnormalities, severe developmental delay, and death, whereas in unicellular yeasts, peroxisomes are dispensable unless required for growth of specific substrates. PEX10 encodes an integral membrane protein required for peroxisome biogenesis in mammals and yeast. To investigate the importance of PEX10 in plants, we characterized a Ds insertion mutant in the PEX10 gene of Arabidopsis (AtPEX10). Heterozygous AtPEX10::dissociation element mutants show normal vegetative phenotypes under optimal growth conditions, but produce about 20% abnormal seeds. The embryos in the abnormal seeds are predominantly homozygous for the disruption allele. They show retarded development and some morphological abnormalities. No viable homozygous mutant plants were obtained. AtPEX10 fused to yellow fluorescent protein colocalized with green fluorescent protein-serine-lysine-leucine, a well-documented peroxisomal marker, suggesting that AtPEX10 encodes a peroxisomal protein that is essential for normal embryo development and viability.
The mechanisms that control protein transport between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus are poorly characterized in plants. Here, we examine in tobacco leaves the structural relationship between Golgi and ER membranes using electron microscopy and demonstrate that Golgi membranes contain elements that are in close association and/or in direct contact with the ER. We further visualized protein trafficking between the ER and the Golgi using Golgi marker proteins tagged with green fluorescent protein. Using photobleaching techniques, we showed that Golgi membrane markers constitutively cycle to and from the Golgi in an energy-dependent and N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive manner. We found that membrane protein transport toward the Golgi occurs independently of the cytoskeleton and does not require the Golgi to be motile along the surface of the ER. Brefeldin A treatment blocked forward traffickingof Golgi proteins before their redistribution into the ER. Our results indicate that in plant cells, the Golgi apparatus is a dynamic membrane system whose components continuously traffic via membrane trafficking pathways regulated by brefeldin A- and N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive machinery.
The tonoplast was proposed as a default destination of membrane-bound proteins without specific targeting signals. To investigate the nature of this targeting, we created type I fusion proteins with green fluorescent protein followed by the transmembrane domain of the human lysosomal protein LAMP1. We varied the length of the transmembrane domain from 23 to either 20 or 17 amino acids by deletion within the hydrophobic domain. The resulting chimeras, called TM23, TM20, and TM17, were expressed either transiently or stably in tobacco. TM23 clearly accumulated in the plasmalemma, as confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. In contrast, TM17 clearly was retained in the endoplasmic reticulum, and TM20 accumulated in small mobile structures. The nature of the TM20-labeled compartments was investigated by coexpression with a marker localized mainly in the Golgi apparatus, AtERD2, fused to a yellow fluorescent protein. The strict colocalization of both fluorescent proteins indicated that TM20 accumulated in the Golgi apparatus. To further test the default destination of type I membrane proteins, green fluorescent protein was fused to the 19–amino acid transmembrane domain of the plant vacuolar sorting receptor BP-80. The resulting chimera also accumulated in the Golgi instead of in post-Golgi compartments, where native BP-80 localized. Additionally, when the transmembrane domain of BP-80 was lengthened to 22 amino acids, the reporter escaped the Golgi and accumulated in the plasma membrane. Thus, the tonoplast apparently is not a favored default destination for type I membrane proteins in plants. Moreover, the target membrane where the chimera concentrates is not unique and depends at least in part on the length of the membrane-spanning domain.
We have fused the signal anchor sequences of a rat sialyl transferase and a human galactosyl transferase along with the Arabidopsis homologue of the yeast HDEL receptor (AtERD2) to the jellyfish green fluorescent protein (GFP) and transiently expressed the chimeric genes in tobacco leaves. All constructs targeted the Golgi apparatus and co-expression with DsRed fusions along with immunolabelling of stably transformed BY2 cells indicated that the fusion proteins located all Golgi stacks. Exposure of tissue to brefeldin A (BFA) resulted in the reversible redistribution of ST-GFP into the endoplasmic reticulum. This effect occurred in the presence of a protein synthesis inhibitor and also in the absence of microtubules or actin filaments. Likewise, reformation of Golgi stacks on removal of BFA was not dependent on either protein synthesis or the cytoskeleton. These data suggest that ER to Golgi transport in the cell types observed does not require cytoskeletal-based mechanochemical motor systems. However, expression of an inhibitory mutant of Arabidopsis Rab 1b (AtRab1b(N121I) significantly slowed down the recovery of Golgi fluorescence in BFA treated cells indicating a role for Rab1 in regulating ER to Golgi anterograde transport.
We describe a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based assay for investigating membrane traffic on the secretory pathway in plants. Expression of AtRab1b(N121I), predicted to be a dominant inhibitory mutant of the Arabidopsis Rab GTPase AtRab1b, resulted in accumulation of a secreted GFP marker in an intracellular reticulate compartment reminiscent of the endoplasmic reticulum. This accumulation was alleviated by coexpressing wild-type AtRab1b but not AtRab8c. When a Golgi-targeted and N-glycosylated variant of GFP was coexpressed with AtRab1b(N121I), the variant also accumulated in a reticulate network and an endoglycosidase H-sensitive population appeared. Unexpectedly, expression of AtRab1b(N121I), but not of the wild-type AtRab1b, resulted in a reduction or cessation of vectorial Golgi movement, an effect that was reversed by coexpression of the wild type. We conclude that AtRab1b function is required for transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus and suggest that this process may be coupled to the control of Golgi movement.
Use of the jellyfish green-fluorescent protein as an in vivo reporter is in the process of revolutionising plant cell biology. By fusing the protein to specific targeting peptides or to sequences of complete proteins, it is now possible to observe the location, structure, and dynamics of a number of intracellular organelles over extended periods of time. In this review we discuss the most recent developments and unexpected results originating from the targeting of this unique protein and its derivatives to elements of the cytoskeleton and to membrane-bounded organelles in a range of plant cell types.
Aerenchyma formation in roots of maize (Zea mays L.) involves programmed death of cortical cells that is promoted by exogenous ethylene (1 µL L−1) or by endogenous ethylene produced in response to external oxygen shortage (3%, v/v). In this study, evidence that degeneration of the cell wall accompanies apoptotic-like changes previously observed in the cytoplasm and nucleus (Gunawardena et al. Planta 212, 205–214, 2001), has been sought by examining de-esterified pectins (revealed by monoclonal antibody JIM 5), and esterified pectins (revealed by monoclonal antibody JIM 7). In controls, de-esterified wall pectins were found at the vertices of triangular junctions between cortical cells (untreated roots). Esterified pectins in control roots were present in the three walls bounding triangular cell-to-cell junctions. After treatment with 3% oxygen or 1 µL L−1 ethylene, this pattern was lost but walls surrounding aerenchyma gas spaces became strongly stained. The results showed that cell wall changes commenced within 0·5 d and evidently were initiated by ethylene in parallel with cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic events associated with classic intracellular processes of programmed cell death.
In plant cells, the organization of the Golgi apparatus and its interrelationships with the endoplasmic reticulum differ from those in mammalian and yeast cells. Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus can now be visualized in plant cells in vivo with green fluorescent protein (GFP) specifically directed to these compartments. This makes it possible to study the dynamics of the membrane transport between these two organelles in the living cells. The GFP approach, in conjunction with a considerable volume of data about proteins participating in the transport between endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi in yeast and mammalian cells and the identification of their putative plant homologues, should allow the establishment of an experimental model in which to test the involvement of the candidate proteins in plants. As a first step towards the development of such a system, we are using Sar1, a small G-protein necessary for vesicle budding from the endoplasmic reticulum. This work has demonstrated that the introduction of Sar1 mutants blocks the transport from endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi in vivo in tobacco leaf epidermal cells and has therefore confirmed the feasibility of this approach to test the function of other proteins that are presumably involved in this step of endo-membrane trafficking in plant cells.
We describe a green fluorescent protein (GFP)–based assay for investigating membrane traffic on the secretory pathway in plants. Expression ofAtRab1b(N121I), predicted to be a dominant inhibitory mutant of the Arabidopsis Rab GTPase AtRab1b, resulted in accumulation of a secreted GFP marker in an intracellular reticulate compartment reminiscent of the endoplasmic reticulum. This accumulation was alleviated by coexpressing wild-type AtRab1b but notAtRab8c. When a Golgi-targeted and N-glycosylated variant of GFP was coexpressed with AtRab1b(N121I), the variant also accumulated in a reticulate network and an endoglycosidase H–sensitive population appeared. Unexpectedly, expression of AtRab1b(N121I), but not of the wild-type AtRab1b, resulted in a reduction or cessation of vectorial Golgi movement, an effect that was reversed by coexpression of the wild type. We conclude that AtRab1b function is required for transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus and suggest that this process may be coupled to the control of Golgi movement.
Aerenchyma is a tissue type characterised by prominent intercellular spaces which enhance flooding tolerance in some plant species by facilitating gas diffusion between roots and the aerial environment. Aerenchyma in maize roots forms by collapse and death of some of the cortical cells in a process that can be promoted by imposing oxygen shortage or by ethylene treatment. Maize roots grown hydroponically in 3% oxygen, 1 μl l−1 ethylene or 21% oxygen (control) were analysed by a combination of light and electron microscopy. Use of in-situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL) suggested internucleosomal cleavage of DNA. However, chromatin condensation detectable by electron microscopy was preceded by cytoplasmic changes including plasma membrane invagination and the formation of vesicles, in contrast to mammalian apoptosis in which chromatin condensation is the first detectable event. Later, cellular condensation, condensation of chromatin and the presence of intact organelles surrounded by membrane resembling apoptotic bodies were observed. All these events were complete before cell wall degradation was apparent. Therefore, aerenchyma formation initiated by hypoxia or ethylene appears to be a form of programmed cell death that shows characteristics in part resembling both apoptosis and cytoplasmic cell death in animal cells.
For centuries, amateur botanists with access to microscopes, and latterly plant scientists, have marveled at the dynamic nature of the cytoplasm that is apparent in many diverse cell types. Many teachers have relied, and still do, on the dramatic cytoplasmic streaming displayed by the internodal cells of various members of the Characeae family to stimulate their students' interest in the plant world (9). Likewise, where would the study of mitosis and cytokinesis be without the numerous films and videos of nuclear division in Tradescantia virginianastamen hairs and Haemanthus(Scadoxus) liquid endosperm cells? Until the 1950s, the light microscope was the only instrument available for such studies. However, once the major problems associated with the preservation of biological material by fixation were overcome, the unprecedented resolution offered by the electron microscope resulted in it dominating the field of microscopy for the next two decades. It is not surprising that it was not long before all this dynamic intracellular activity was attributed to systems of filaments and tubules within the cytoplasm (10), the now well-characterized actin and microtubule cytoskeletons.
The Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) chitinase gene coding region was amplified using the polymerase chain reaction, inserted into a plasmid (pROK-2) and replicated in Escherichia coli XL1–blue. The recombinant plasmid was mobilised into Agrobacterium tumefaciens LBA 4404 and inoculated into tobacco leaf discs. The presence of the expressed chitinase in foliar tissue of kanamycin-resistant plantlets of three Nicotiana tabacum cultivars (CF80, K326 and Xanthi-nc) was inferred using immunoblotting, and enzyme activity was confirmed using a fluorometric assay. Confocal laser scanning microscopy with immunofluorescent staining of foliar sections from N. tabacum Xanthi-nc expressing the viral chitinase indicated that the enzyme was restricted to the vascular tissue. Heliothis virescens larvae fed on leaf tissue expressing chitinase were not impaired either in their development to pupation or in their feeding behaviour, in comparision with their counterparts that had consumed similar amounts of untransformed tobacco leaf tissue. By contrast, when tobacco leaves were mechanically inoculated with Alternaria alternata, very few brown spots were observed at inoculation sites in chitinase-expressing tissue, whereas large and spreading lesions formed in untransformed tobacco tissue. Of all lines that were transformed, as determined by kanamycin resistance, 59% had fewer symptoms of disease (smaller disease indices) than those for untransformed controls.
he covalent modification of cell surface proteins with N-hydroxysuccinimide esters of biotin was used to develop a strategy for following the turnover of proteins on the surface of carrot (Daucus carota L.) protoplasts. A biotinylation/internalisation assay was established which enabled the turnover of cell surface proteins to be examined by biochemical and immunocytochemical techniques. The detection of biotinylated proteins after sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blotting indicated that a variety of proteins on the surface of the protoplasts were covalently modified. Immunolocalisation of biotinylated proteins in protoplasts directly after their derivatisation, demonstrated that the proteins were initially restricted to the cell surface. Incubation of biotinylated protoplasts at 25 °C for 1 h resulted in the detection of biotin-labelled proteins on the cell surface and intracellularly. A small proportion of these proteins was associated with coated pits, the Golgi apparatus and vacuolar compartments. Biochemical analysis of internalised proteins revealed that a polypeptide of approximate Mr 100 000 was internalised by the protoplasts. Immunolabelling of a biotinylated protein of Mr 100 000 by an antibody raised against an isoform of a tobacco plasma-membrane H+-ATPase, strongly suggests that the plasma-membrane H+-ATPase is internalised by carrot protoplasts. The implications of these results are discussed within the context of endocytosis in plants.
Potato virus X (PVX) has been used as an expression vector to target the green fluorescent protein (GFP) from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of tobacco (Nicotiana clevelandii L.) leaves. Expression of free GFP resulted in strong cytoplasmic fluorescence with organelles being imaged in negative contrast. Translocation of GFP into the lumen of the ER was mediated by the use of the sporamin signal peptide. Retention of GFP in the ER was facilitated by the splicing of the ER retrieval/retention tetrapeptide, KDEL to the carboxy terminus of GFP. Fluorescence of GFP was restricted to a labile cortical network of ER tubules with occasional small lamellae and to streaming trans-vacuolar strands. Secretion of ER-targeted GFP was inhibited both by cold shock and low concentrations of the secretory inhibitor brefeldin A. However, both prolonged cold and prolonged incubation in brefeldin A resulted in the recovery of secretory capability. In leaves infected with the GFP-KDEL construct, high concentrations of brefeldin A induced the tubular network of cortical ER to transform into large lamellae or sheets which reverted to the tubular network on removal of the drug.
Eukaryotic cells are characterised by the organised distribution of membrane bounded compartments in their cytoplasm. The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus (GA) are part of this endomembrane machinery. They are involved in protein flow, and are in charge of specific functions such as the assembly, sorting and transport of newly synthesised proteins, glycoproteins or polysaccharides to their final destination, where the macromolecules are recognised either for action, storage, deposition or degradation. The structural and functional relationship between the ER and GA in higher plants is still a matter of debate. Therefore, it was essential to develop probes that would specifically label proteins or glycoproteins of the endomembrane system in situ. Here we compare two complementary approaches to probe plant endomembranes; immunocytochemistry on fixed cells, and in vivo studies using the expression of GFP tagged chimeric proteins. The structural relationship between ER and GA as based on pharmacological approaches using the two systems is explored.
We recently demonstrated the presence of a new asparagine-linked complex glycan on plant glycoproteins that harbors the Lewis a (Lea), or Galβ(1-3)[Fucα(1-4)]GlcNAc, epitope, which in mammalian cells plays an important role in cell-to-cell recognition. Here we show that the monoclonal antibody JIM 84, which is widely used as a Golgi marker in light and electron microscopy of plant cells, is specific for the Lea antigen. This antigen is present on glycoproteins of a number of flowering and non-flowering plants, but is less apparent in the Cruciferae, the family that includes Arabidopsis. Lea-containing oligosaccharides are found in the Golgi apparatus, and our immunocytochemical experiments suggest that it is synthesized in the trans-most part of the Golgi apparatus. Lea epitopes are abundantly present on extracellular glycoproteins, either soluble or membrane bound, but are never observed on vacuolar glycoproteins. Double-labeling experiments suggest that vacuolar glycoproteins do not bypass the late Golgi compartments where Lea is built, and that the absence of the Leaepitope from vacuolar glycoproteins is probably the result of its degradation by glycosidases en route to or after arrival in the vacuole.
In plants, N-linked glycans are processed in the Golgi apparatus to complex-type N-glycans of limited size containing a β(1,2)-xylose and/or an α(1,3)-fucose residue. Larger mono- and bi-antennary N-linked complex glycans have not often been described. This study has re-examined the structure of such plant N-linked glycans, and, through both immunological and structural data, it is shown that the antennae are composed of Lewis a (Lea) antigens, comprising the carbohydrate sequence Galβ1-3[Fucα1-4]GlcNAc. Furthermore, a fucosyltransferase activity involved in the biosynthesis of this antigen was detected in sycamore cells. This is the first characterization in plants of a Lewis antigen that is usually found on cell-surface glycoconjugates in mammals and involved in recognition and adhesion processes. Lea-containing N-linked glycans are widely distributed in plants and highly expressed at the cell surface, which may suggest a putative function in cell/cell communication.
Evidence for a Ca2+-pump at the nuclear envelope (NE) in plant cells has been obtained using confocal and electron microscope immunocytochemistry and antibodies raised to a plant homologue of the mammalian SERCA pump. This is the first evidence suggesting an NE Ca2+-pump in plants. In addition to being localised with the NE in interphase, the antigen was localised to membrane derived from the NE and associated ER during mitosis, correlating with known Ca2+-pools. The work suggests that a SERCA pump is present at the NE of plant as well as animal cells.
We have visualized the relationship between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi in leaf cells ofNicotiana clevelandiiby expression of two Golgi proteins fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). A fusion of thetrans-membrane domain (signal anchor sequence) of a rat sialyl transferase to GFP was targeted to the Golgi stacks. A second construct that expressed theArabidopsisH/KDEL receptor homologue aERD2, fused to GFP, was targeted to both the Golgi apparatus and ER, allowing the relationship between these two organelles to be studied in living cells for the first time. The Golgi stacks were shown to move rapidly and extensively along the polygonal cortical ER network of leaf epidermal cells, without departing from the ER tubules. Co-localization of F-actin in the GFP-expressing cells revealed an underlying actin cytoskeleton that matched precisely the architecture of the ER network, while treatment of cells with the inhibitors cytochalasin D and N-ethylmaleimide revealed the dependency of Golgi movement on actin cables. These observations suggest that the leaf Golgi complex functions as a motile system of actin-directed stacks whose function is to pick up products from a relatively stationary ER system. Also, we demonstrate for the first time in vivobrefeldin A-induced retrograde transport of Golgi membrane protein to the ER.
Confocal immunofluorescence microscopy was used to demonstrate that the Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) chitinase was localized within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of virus-infected insect cells. This was consistent with removal of the signal peptide from the chitinase and an ER localization motif (KDEL) at the carboxyl end of the protein. Chitinase release from cells, a prerequisite for liquefaction of virus-infected insect larvae, appears to be aided by synthesis of the p10 protein. Deletion of p10 from the AcMNPV genome delayed the appearance of chitinase activity in the medium of virus-infected cells by 24 h and also delayed liquefaction of virus-infected Trichoplusia ni larvae by the same period.
The localisation of maize (Zea mays L.) auxin-binding protein (ABP1) has been studied using a variety of techniques. At the whole-tissue level, tissue printing indicated that ABP1 is expressed to similar levels in all cells of the maize coleoptile and in the enclosed leaf roll. Within cells, the signals from immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling of ultrathin sections both indicated that ABP1 is confined to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), none being detected in either Golgi apparatus or cell wall. This distribution is consistent with targeting motifs in its sequence. These observations are discussed with reference to the various reports which place a population of ABP1 on the outer face of the plasma membrane, including those suggesting that it is necessary on the cell surface for rapid, auxin-mediated protoplast hyperpolarisation. We have tested one proposed model to account for release of ABP1 from the ER, namely that auxin binding induces a conformational change in ABP1 leading to concealment of the KDEL retention motif. Using double-label immunofluorescence the characteristic auxin-induced rise in Golgi-apparatus signal was found, yet no change in the distribution of the ABP1 signal was detected. Maize suspension cultures were used to assay for auxin-promoted secretion of ABP1 into the medium, but secretion was below the limit of detection. This can be ascribed at least partly to the very active acidification of the medium by these cells and the instability of ABP1 in solution below pH 5.0. In the insect-baculovirus expression system, in which cell cultures maintain pH 6.2, a small amount of ABP1 secretion, less than 1% of the total, was detected under all conditions. Insect cells were shown to take up auxin and no inactivation of added auxin was detected, but auxin did not affect the level of ABP1 in the medium. Consequently, no evidence was found to support the model for auxin promotion of ABP1 secretion. Finally, quantitative glycan analysis was used to determine what proportion of ABP1 might reach the plasma membrane in maize coleoptile tissue. The results suggest that less than 15% of ABP1 ever escapes from the ER as far as the cis-Golgi and less than 2% passes further through the secretory pathway. Such leakage rates probably do not require a specialised mechanism allowing ABP1 past the KDEL retrieval pathway, but we are not able to rule out the possibility that some ABP1 is carried through associated with other proteins. The data are consistent with the presence of ABP1 both on the plasma membrane and in the ER. The relative sizes of the two pools explain the results obtained with immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling and illustrate the high efficiency of ER retention in plants.
Proteins are co-translationally transferred into the endo-plasmic reticulum (ER) and then either retained or transported to different intracellular compartments or to the extracellular space. Various molecular signals necessary for retention in the ER or targeting to different compartments have been identified. In particular, the HDEL and KDEL signals used for retention of proteins in yeast and animal ER have also been described at the C-terminal end of soluble ER processing enzymes in plants. The fusion of a KDEL extension to vacuolar proteins is sufficient for their retention in the ER of transgenic plant cells. However, recent results obtained using the same strategy indicate that HDEL does not contain sufficient information for full retention of phaseolin expressed in tobacco. In the present study, an HDEL C-terminal extension was fused to the vacuolar or extracellular (Δpro) forms of sporamin. The resulting SpoHDEL or ΔproHDEL, as well as Spo and Δpro, were expressed at high levels in transgenic tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum cv BY2). The intracellular location of these different forms of recombinant sporamin was studied by subcellular fractionation. The results clearly indicate that addition of an HDEL extension to either Spo or Δpro induces accumulation of these sporamin forms in a compartment that co-purifies with the ER markers NADH cytochrome C reductase, binding protein (BiP) and calnexin. In addition, a significant SpoHDEL or ΔproHDEL fraction that escapes the ER retention machinery is transported to the vacuole. From these results, it may be proposed that, in addition to its function as an ER retention signal, HDEL could also act in quality control by targeting chaperones or chaperone-bound proteins that escape the ER to the plant lysosomal compartment for degradation.
A heavy-metal-accumulating Citrobacter sp. has been used for the treatment of metal-laden industrial wastes. Metal uptake is mediated via a cell-bound phosphatase that liberates inorganic phosphate which precipitates with heavy metals as cell-bound metal phosphate. A phosphatase-deficient mutant accumulated little UO2+2, while a phosphatase-overproducing mutant accumulated correspondingly more metal, with a uranium loading equivalent to the bacterial dry weight achieved after 6 h exposure of resting cells to uranyl ion in the presence of phosphatase substrate (glycerol 2-phosphate). The phosphatase, visualized by immunogold labelling in the parent and overproducing strains, but not seen in the deficient mutant, was held within the periplasmic space with, in some cells, a higher concentration at the polar regions. Enzyme was also associated with the outer membrane and found extracellularly. Accumulated uranyl phosphate was visible as cell-surface- and polar-localized deposits, identified by energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX), proton-induced X-ray emission analysis (PIXE) and X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) as polycrystalline HUO2PO4.4H2O. Nuclaation sites for initiation of biocrystallization were identified at the cytoplasmic and outer membranes, prompting consideration of an in vitro biocatalytic system for metal waste remediation. Phosphatidylcholine-based liposomes with entrapped phosphatase released phosphate comparably to whole cells, as shown by 31P NMR spectroscopy in the presence of ‘IMMR-silent’ 112Cd2+. Application of liposome-immobilized enzyme to the decontamination of uranyl solutions was, however, limited by rapid fouling of the biocatalyst by deposited uranyl phosphate. It is suggested that the architecture of the bacterial cell surface provides a means of access of uranyl ion to the inner and outer membranes and enzymically liberated phosphate in a way that minimizes fouling in whole cells.
We have synthesised the α-subunit of the chick nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) in stable, continuous insect (Spodoptera frugiperda) cell lines. A cDNA was integrated randomly into the insect cell genome under control of a baculovius immediate early gene promoter. Transformed cells were obtained by co-transfection of the insect cells with pIEK1.nAChRα, encoding the α-subunit cDNA, and pIEK1.neo, encoding the neomycin resistance gene. G-418-resistant clones were selected and expanded into continuous cell lines synthesising the chick nAChR α-subunit. Using fluorescence microscopy and ligand binding studies we were able to demonstrate efficient membrane targeting of the receptor subunit in the insect cell plasma membrane. Stable insect cell lines may thus have significant advantages over transient baculovirus vectors for the synthesis and characterisation of heterologous receptor proteins.
To achieve continuous expression of the major maize auxin-binding protein (ABP1) in insect cells, the ABP1 gene coding region was placed under control of a baculovirus immediate-early gene promoter and transfected into Spodoptera frugiperda Sf9 cells. The ABP1 gene was detected in twelve cell lines, one of which was selected for detailed analysis. Immunolocalisation demonstrated that ABP1 was targeted to and retained in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), in accordance with its signal peptide and car☐y-terminal KDEL ER-retention signal. We discuss the advantages of stable-transformation over transient expression systems for characterising proteins targeted to the secretory system of insect cells.
In the last decade “Demon”-based matching algorithms have largely demonstrated their efficiency in non-rigid registration of clinical and biomedical images. This paper present an
experimental study of a symmetrized variant of Thirion’s demons algorithm applied to the realignment of 3D images obtained by serial block face scanning electron microscopy
(SBFSEM). Because demons are sensible to local intensity difference, it is necessary to ensure that both images have matching intensity distributions. We propose to perform the
demon registration on an image intensity transformation associating total-variation denoising and modified contrastlimited adaptive histogram equalization. We compare the performance of the presented method with a B-spline based free form deformation method on a SBFSEM stack. This preliminary study shows that the demon registration applied to the proposed image intensity transformation is a fast and robust algorithm. Besides it always exhibit a better
compromise in term registration accuracy and smoothness of the transformation field than the B-spline method.
As compared with other eukaryotic cells, plants have developed an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–Golgi interface with very specific structural characteristics. ER to Golgi and Golgi to ER transport appear not to be dependent on the cytoskeleton, and ER export sites have been found closely associated with Golgi bodies to constitute entire mobile units. However, the molecular machinery involved in membrane trafficking seems to be relatively conserved among eukaryotes. Therefore, a challenge for plant scientists is to determine how these molecular machineries work in a different structural and dynamic organization. This review will focus on some aspects of membrane dynamics that involve coat proteins, SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment receptor proteins), lipids, and lipid-interacting proteins.
Components of the plant cell secretory pathway, including the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus, are in constant motion. The photoactivation of GFP has been used to determine that proteins within the membrane of the ER flow as the ER is remodelled. Measurement of the rate at which activated GFP moves away from the activation spot shows that this motion is much faster than would be expected if membrane components moved simply by diffusion. Treatment with latrunculin to depolymerize the actin cytoskeleton stops ER remodelling and reduces the rate of GFP movement to that expected from diffusion alone. This suggests that myosin binds directly or indirectly to ER membrane proteins and actively moves them around over the actin scaffold. Tracking of Golgi body movement was used to demonstrate that they move at the same rate and in the same direction as do photoactivated ER surface proteins. Golgi bodies, therefore, move with, and not over, the surface of the ER. These observations support the current theory of continuity between Golgi bodies and discrete ER exit sites in the ER membrane.
In order to achieve reliable and reproducible analysis of biological materials by SIMS, it is critical both that the chosen specimen preparation method does not modify substantially the in vivo chemistry that is the focus of the study and that any chemical information obtained can be calibrated accurately by selection of appropriate standards. In Oxford, we have been working with our new Cameca NanoSIMS50 on two very distinct classes of biological materials; the first where the sample preparation problems are relatively undemanding – human hair – but calibration for trace metal analysis is a critical issue and, the second, marine coccoliths and hyperaccumulator plants where reliable specimen preparation by rapid freezing and controlled drying to preserve the distribution of diffusible species is the first and most demanding requirement, but worthwhile experiments on tracking key elements can still be undertaken even when it is clear that some redistribution of the most diffusible ions has occurred.
The plant Golgi apparatus is composed of many separate stacks of cisternae which are often associated with the endoplasmic reticulum and which in many cell types are motile. In this review, we discuss the latest data on the molecular regulation of Golgi function. The concept of the Golgi as a distinct organelle is challenged and the possibility of a continuum between the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi is proposed
A combination of electron microscopy and fluorescence microscopy has provided us with a global picture of the structure of the plant Golgi apparatus. However, the components that shape this structure remain elusive. In other organisms, members of the golgin family of coiled-coil proteins are essential for Golgi structure and organisation. Putative Arabidopsis and rice homologues of some golgin family members can be identified using database searches. Likewise, the heterogeneous group of multi-subunit-tethering complexes is responsible for crucial transport steps that affect Golgi structure and cisternal organisation in animals and yeasts. The Arabidopsis genome harbours possible homologues for the majority of the subunits of these complexes, suggesting that they also operate in the plant kingdom
In August 2003, the plant endomembrane community gathered under the auspices of the Society for Experimental Biology to consider the latest developments in the rapidly growing field of the plant secretory pathway. The meeting was preceded by the two‐day annual gathering of the European Plant Secretory Pathway Group, during which postgraduates and postdocs presented their latest data.
Plants have homologues of the majority of the vertebrate and yeast genes that encode both the structural and the regulatory proteins of the secretory pathway. However, it is clear that plant cells are different in (1) the organization and operation of the components of the pathway, such as highly motile Golgi stacks, (2) the necessity to sort proteins into different vacuoles and (3) the need to organize a precisely orientated apparatus for cell division (Fig 1). Here we consider the highlights of the meeting and the controversies surrounding the mechanisms by which the plant cell exports material from the site of synthesis to the site of action and imports material from the external environment.
In plant cells, the Golgi apparatus is the key organelle for polysaccharide and glycolipid synthesis, protein glycosylation and protein sorting towards various cellular compartments. Protein import from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a highly dynamic process, and new data suggest that transport, at least of soluble proteins, occurs via bulk flow. In this Botanical Briefing, we review the latest data on ER/Golgi inter‐relations and the models for transport between the two organelles. Whether vesicles are involved in this transport event or if direct ER–Golgi connections exist are questions that are open to discussion. Whereas the majority of proteins pass through the Golgi on their way to other cell destinations, either by vesicular shuttles or through maturation of cisternae from the cis‐ to the trans‐face, a number of membrane proteins reside in the different Golgi cisternae. Experimental evidence suggests that the length of the transmembrane domain is of crucial importance for the retention of proteins within the Golgi. In non‐dividing cells, protein transport out of the Golgi is either directed towards the plasma membrane/cell wall (secretion) or to the vacuolar system. The latter comprises the lytic vacuole and protein storage vacuoles. In general, transport to either of these from the Golgi depends on different sorting signals and receptors and is mediated by clathrin‐coated and dense vesicles, respectively. Being at the heart of the secretory pathway, the Golgi (transiently) accommodates regulatory proteins of secretion (e.g. SNAREs and small GTPases), of which many have been cloned in plants over the last decade. In this context, we present a list of regulatory proteins, along with structural and pro
Honorary Executive Secretary of the Royal Microscopical Society, Fellow of the Society for Biology, Member of the British Society for Cell Biology, Member of the Society for Experimental Biology.