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      1-Aminocyclopropane-1-Carboxylic Acid Oxidase (ACO): The Enzyme That Makes the Plant Hormone Ethylene


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          The volatile plant hormone ethylene regulates many plant developmental processes and stress responses. It is therefore crucial that plants can precisely control their ethylene production levels in space and time. The ethylene biosynthesis pathway consists of two dedicated steps. In a first reaction, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) is converted into 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) by ACC-synthase (ACS). In a second reaction, ACC is converted into ethylene by ACC-oxidase (ACO). Initially, it was postulated that ACS is the rate-limiting enzyme of this pathway, directing many studies to unravel the regulation of ACS protein activity, and stability. However, an increasing amount of evidence has been gathered over the years, which shows that ACO is the rate-limiting step in ethylene production during certain dedicated processes. This implies that also the ACO protein family is subjected to a stringent regulation. In this review, we give an overview about the state-of-the-art regarding ACO evolution, functionality and regulation, with an emphasis on the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and post-translational control. We also highlight the importance of ACO being a prime target for genetic engineering and precision breeding, in order to control plant ethylene production levels.

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          A high-resolution root spatiotemporal map reveals dominant expression patterns.

          Transcriptional programs that regulate development are exquisitely controlled in space and time. Elucidating these programs that underlie development is essential to understanding the acquisition of cell and tissue identity. We present microarray expression profiles of a high-resolution set of developmental time points within a single Arabidopsis root and a comprehensive map of nearly all root cell types. These cell type-specific transcriptional signatures often predict previously unknown cellular functions. A computational pipeline identified dominant expression patterns that demonstrate transcriptional similarity between disparate cell types. Dominant expression patterns along the root's longitudinal axis do not strictly correlate with previously defined developmental zones, and in many cases, we observed expression fluctuation along this axis. Both robust co-regulation of gene expression and potential phasing of gene expression were identified between individual roots. Methods that combine these profiles demonstrate transcriptionally rich and complex programs that define Arabidopsis root development in both space and time.
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            The oxylipin signal jasmonic acid is activated by an enzyme that conjugates it to isoleucine in Arabidopsis.

            Despite its importance in a variety of plant defense responses, our understanding of how jasmonic acid (JA) functions at the biochemical level is limited. Several amino acid conjugates of JA were tested for their ability to complement the JA-insensitive Arabidopsis thaliana mutant jar1-1. Unlike free JA, JA-Ile inhibited root growth in jar1-1 to the same extent as in the wild type, whereas JA-Val, JA-Leu, and JA-Phe were ineffective inhibitors in both genotypes. Thin-layer chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis of products produced in vitro by recombinant JAR1 demonstrated that this enzyme forms JA-amido conjugates with several amino acids, including JA-Ile. JA-Val, -Leu, -Ile, and -Phe were each quantified in Arabidopsis seedlings by GC-MS. JA-Ile was found at 29.6 pmole g(-1) fresh weight (FW) in the wild type but was more than sevenfold lower in two jar1 alleles. JA-Leu, -Val, and -Phe were present at only low levels in both genotypes. Expression of wild-type JAR1 in transgenic jar1-1 plants restored sensitivity to JA and elevated JA-Ile to the same level as in the wild type. The ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) conjugated to JA was also found in plant tissue at 18.4 pmole g(-1) FW. JA-ACC was determined not be an effective jasmonate root inhibitor, and surprisingly, was twofold higher in the mutants than in the wild type. This suggests that another JA-conjugating enzyme(s) is present in Arabidopsis. Synthesis of JA-ACC might provide a mechanism to coregulate the availability of JA and ACC for conversion to the active hormones JA-Ile and ethylene, respectively. We conclude that JAR1 is a JA-amino synthetase that is required to activate JA for optimal signaling in Arabidopsis. Plant hormone activation by conjugation to amino acids and the enzymes involved in their formation were previously unknown.
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              Ethylene-inducible DNA binding proteins that interact with an ethylene-responsive element.

              We demonstrated that the GCC box, which is an 11-bp sequence (TAAGAGCCGCC) conserved in the 5' upstream region of ethylene-inducible pathogenesis-related protein genes in Nicotiana spp and in some other plants, is the sequence that is essential for ethylene responsiveness when incorporated into a heterologous promoter. Competitive gel retardation assays showed DNA binding activities to be specific to the GCC box sequence in tobacco nuclear extracts. Four different cDNAs encoding DNA binding proteins specific for the GCC box sequence were isolated, and their products were designated ethylene-responsive element binding proteins (EREBPs). The deduced amino acid sequences of EREBPs exhibited no homology with those of known DNA binding proteins or transcription factors; neither did the deduced proteins contain a basic leucine zipper or zinc finger motif. The DNA binding domain was identified within a region of 59 amino acid residues that was common to all four deduced EREBPs. Regions highly homologous to the DNA binding domain of EREBPs were found in proteins deduced from the cDNAs of various plants, suggesting that this domain is evolutionarily conserved in plants. RNA gel blot analysis revealed that accumulation of mRNAs for EREBPs was induced by ethylene, but individual EREBPs exhibited different patterns of expression.

                Author and article information

                Front Plant Sci
                Front Plant Sci
                Front. Plant Sci.
                Frontiers in Plant Science
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                29 May 2019
                : 10
                : 695
                Molecular Plant Hormone Physiology Laboratory, Division of Crop Biotechnics, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven , Leuven, Belgium
                Author notes

                Edited by: Caren Chang, University of Maryland, College Park, United States

                Reviewed by: Gyeong Mee Yoon, Purdue University, United States; Donald Grierson, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

                *Correspondence: Bram Van de Poel, Bram.vandepoel@ 123456kuleuven.be

                This article was submitted to Plant Physiology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Plant Science

                Copyright © 2019 Houben and Van de Poel.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 08 April 2019
                : 09 May 2019
                Page count
                Figures: 5, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 135, Pages: 15, Words: 0
                Funded by: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek 10.13039/501100003130
                Award ID: SB/1S18717N
                Award ID: G0G0219N
                Funded by: KU Leuven 10.13039/501100004040
                Award ID: STGBF/16/005
                Award ID: C14/18/056
                Plant Science

                Plant science & Botany
                ethylene biosynthesis,1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidase,transcriptional and post-translation regulation,phylogeny,physiology


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