ABA is a major phytohormone that regulates a broad range of plant traits and is especially important for adaptation to environmental conditions. Our understanding of the molecular basis of ABA responses in plants improved dramatically in 2009 and 2010, banner years for ABA research. There are three major components; PYR/PYL/ RCAR (an ABA receptor), type 2C protein phosphatase (PP2C; a negative regulator) and SNF1-related protein kinase 2 (SnRK2; a positive regulator), and they offer a double negative regulatory system, [PYR/PYL/RCAR—| PP2C—| SnRK2]. In the absence of ABA, PP2C inactivates SnRK2 by direct dephosphorylation. In response to environmental or developmental cues, ABA promotes the interaction of PYR/PYL/RCAR and PP2C, resulting in PP2C inhibition and SnRK2 activation. This signaling complex can work in both the nucleus and cytosol, as it has been shown that SnRK2 phosphorylates basic-domain leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors or membrane proteins. Several structural analyses of PYR/PYL/RCAR have provided the mechanistic basis for this ‘core signaling’ model, by elucidating the mechanism of ABA binding of receptors, or the ‘gate–latch–lock’ mechanism of interaction with PP2C in inhibiting activity. On the other hand, intercellular ABA transport had remained a major issue, as had intracellular ABA signaling. Recently, two plasma membrane-type ABC transporters were identified and shed light on the influx/efflux system of ABA, resolving how ABA is transported from cell to cell in plants. Our knowledge of ABA responses in plants has been greatly expanded from intracellular signaling to intercellular transport of ABA.
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) mediates the adaptation of plants to environmental stresses such as drought and regulates developmental signals such as seed maturation. Within plants, the PYR/PYL/RCAR family of START proteins receives ABA to inhibit the phosphatase activity of the group-A protein phosphatases 2C (PP2Cs), which are major negative regulators in ABA signalling. Here we present the crystal structures of the ABA receptor PYL1 bound with (+)-ABA, and the complex formed by the further binding of (+)-ABA-bound PYL1 with the PP2C protein ABI1. PYL1 binds (+)-ABA using the START-protein-specific ligand-binding site, thereby forming a hydrophobic pocket on the surface of the closed lid. (+)-ABA-bound PYL1 tightly interacts with a PP2C domain of ABI1 by using the hydrophobic pocket to cover the active site of ABI1 like a plug. Our results reveal the structural basis of the mechanism of (+)-ABA-dependent inhibition of ABI1 by PYL1 in ABA signalling.
Strigolactones (SLs) are phytohormones that inhibit shoot branching and function in the rhizospheric communication with symbiotic fungi and parasitic weeds. An a/b-hydrolase protein, DWARF14 (D14), has been recognized to be an essential component of plant SL signalling, although its precise function remains unknown. Here we present the SL-dependent interaction of D14 with a gibberellin signalling repressor SLR1 and a possible mechanism of phytohormone perception in D14-mediated SL signalling. D14 functions as a cleavage enzyme of SLs, and the cleavage reaction induces the interaction with SLR1. The crystal structure of D14 shows that 5-hydroxy-3-methylbutenolide (D-OH), which is a reaction product of SLs, is trapped in the catalytic cavity of D14 to form an altered surface. The D14 residues recognizing D-OH are critical for the SL-dependent D14 À SLR1 interaction. These results provide new insight into crosstalk between gibberellin and SL signalling pathways.
BackgroundAging results in a progressive loss of skeletal muscle, a condition known as sarcopenia. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations accumulate with aging in skeletal muscle and correlate with muscle loss, although no causal relationship has been established.Methodology/Principal FindingsWe investigated the relationship between mtDNA mutations and sarcopenia at the gene expression and biochemical levels using a mouse model that expresses a proofreading-deficient version (D257A) of the mitochondrial DNA Polymerase γ, resulting in increased spontaneous mtDNA mutation rates. Gene expression profiling of D257A mice followed by Parametric Analysis of Gene Set Enrichment (PAGE) indicates that the D257A mutation is associated with a profound downregulation of gene sets associated with mitochondrial function. At the biochemical level, sarcopenia in D257A mice is associated with a marked reduction (35–50%) in the content of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I, III and IV, all of which are partly encoded by mtDNA. D257A mice display impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics associated with compromised state-3 respiration, lower ATP content and a resulting decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm). Surprisingly, mitochondrial dysfunction was not accompanied by an increase in mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) production or oxidative damage.Conclusions/SignificanceThese findings demonstrate that mutations in mtDNA can be causal in sarcopenia by affecting the assembly of functional ETC complexes, the lack of which provokes a decrease in oxidative phosphorylation, without an increase in oxidative stress, and ultimately, skeletal muscle apoptosis and sarcopenia.
Only two polyethylene glycol terephthalate (PET)-degrading enzymes have been reported, and their mechanism for the biochemical degradation of PET remains unclear. To identify a novel PET-degrading enzyme, a putative cutinase gene (cut190) was cloned from the thermophile Saccharomonospora viridis AHK190 and expressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta-gami B (DE3). Mutational analysis indicated that substitution of Ser226 with Pro and Arg228 with Ser yielded the highest activity and thermostability. The Ca(2+) ion enhanced the enzyme activity and thermostability of the wild-type and mutant Cut190. Circular dichroism suggested that the Ca(2+) changes the tertiary structure of the Cut190 (S226P/R228S), which has optimal activity at 65-75 °C and pH 6.5-8.0 in the presence of 20 % glycerol. The enzyme was stable over a pH range of 5-9 and at temperatures up to 65 °C for 24 h with 40 % activity remaining after incubation for 1 h at 70 °C. The Cut190 (S226P/R228S) efficiently hydrolyzed various aliphatic and aliphatic-co-aromatic polyester films. Furthermore, the enzyme degraded the PET film above 60 °C. Therefore, Cut190 is the novel-reported PET-degrading enzyme with the potential for industrial applications in polyester degradation, monomer recycling, and PET surface modification. Thus, the Cut190 will be a useful tool to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the PET degradation, Ca(2+) activation, and stabilization.
In this paper, we report a (1)H and (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based comprehensive analysis of coffee bean extracts of different degrees of roast. The roasting process of coffee bean extracts was chemically characterized using detailed signal assignment information coupled with multivariate data analysis. A total of 30 NMR-visible components of coffee bean extracts were monitored simultaneously as a function of the roasting duration. During roasting, components such as sucrose and chlorogenic acids were degraded and components such as quinic acids, N-methylpyridinium, and water-soluble polysaccharides were formed. Caffeine and myo-inositol were relatively thermally stable. Multivariate data analysis indicated that some components such as sucrose, chlorogenic acids, quinic acids, and polysaccharides could serve as chemical markers during coffee bean roasting. The present composition-based quality analysis provides an excellent holistic method and suggests useful chemical markers to control and characterize the coffee-roasting process.
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