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Jena, Germany

Iven T.,University of Wurzburg | Strathmann A.,University of Wurzburg | Bottner S.,University of Wurzburg | Zwafink T.,University of Wurzburg | And 4 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2010

Expression of BZI-1ΔN, a dominant-negative form of the tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor BZI-1 leads to severe defects in pollen development which coincides with reduced transcript abundance of the stamen specific invertase gene NIN88 and decreased extracellular invertase enzymatic activity. This finding suggests a function of BZI-1 in regulating carbohydrate supply of the developing pollen. BZI-1 heterodimerises with the bZIP factors BZI-2, BZI-3 and BZI-4 in vitro and in planta. Whereas BZI-1 exhibits only weak activation properties, BZI-1/BZI-2 heterodimers strongly activate transcription. Consistently, approaches leading to reduced levels of functional BZI-1 or BZI-2 both significantly interfere with pollen development, auxin responsiveness and carbohydrate partitioning. In situ hybridisation studies for BZI-1 and BZI-2 confirmed temporal and spatial overlapping expression patterns in tapetum and pollen supporting functional cooperation of these factors during pollen development. Plants over-expressing BZI-4 produce significantly reduced amounts of intact pollen and are also impaired in NIN88 transcription and enzymatic activity. BZI-4 homodimer efficiently binds to a G-box located in the NIN88 promoter but exhibits almost no transcriptional activation capacity. As BZI-4 does not actively repress transcription, we propose that its homodimer blocks G-box mediated transcription. In summary, these data support a regulatory model in which BZI-4 homodimers and BZI-1/BZI-2 heterodimers perform opposing functions as negative or positive transcriptional regulators during pollen development. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source


Keller J.,Justus Liebig University | Ringseis R.,Justus Liebig University | Priebe S.,Hans Knoll Institute | Guthke R.,Hans Knoll Institute | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition and Metabolism | Year: 2011

Background: Carnitine has attracted scientific interest due to several health-related effects, like protection against neurodegeneration, mitochondrial decay, and oxidative stress as well as improvement of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The mechanisms underlying most of the health-related effects of carnitine are largely unknown. Methods. To gain insight into mechanisms through which carnitine exerts its beneficial metabolic effects, we fed piglets either a control or a carnitine supplemented diet, and analysed the transcriptome in the liver. Results: Transcript profiling revealed 563 genes to be differentially expressed in liver by carnitine supplementation. Clustering analysis of the identified genes revealed that most of the top-ranked annotation term clusters were dealing with metabolic processes. Representative genes of these clusters which were significantly up-regulated by carnitine were involved in cellular fatty acid uptake, fatty acid activation, fatty acid -oxidation, glucose uptake, and glycolysis. In contrast, genes involved in gluconeogenesis were down-regulated by carnitine. Moreover, clustering analysis identified genes involved in the insulin signaling cascade to be significantly associated with carnitine supplementation. Furthermore, clustering analysis revealed that biological processes dealing with posttranscriptional RNA processing were significantly associated with carnitine supplementation. Conclusion: The data suggest that carnitine supplementation has beneficial effects on lipid and glucose homeostasis by inducing genes involved in fatty acid catabolism and glycolysis and repressing genes involved in gluconeogenesis. © 2011Keller et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Barthel A.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | Kopka I.,Hans Knoll Institute | Vogel H.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | Zipfel P.,Hans Knoll Institute | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2014

Ecological immunology examines the adaptive responses of animals to pathogens in relation to other environmental factors and explores the consequences of trade-offs between investment in immune function and other life-history traits. Among species of herbivorous insects, diet breadth may vary greatly, with generalists consuming a wide variety of plant families and specialists restricted to a few species. Generalists may thus be exposed to a wider range of pathogens exerting stronger selection on the innate immune system. To examine whether this produces an increase in the robustness of the immune response, we compared larvae of the generalist herbivore Heliothis virescens and the specialist Heliothis subflexa challenged by entomopathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. Heliothis virescens larvae showed lower mortality, a lower number of recoverable bacteria, lower proliferation of haemocytes and higher phagocytic activity. These results indicate a higher tolerance to entomopathogenic bacteria by the generalist, which is associated with a more efficient cell-mediated immune response by mechanisms that differ between these closely related species. Our findings provide novel insights into the consequences of diet breadth and related environmental factors, which may be significant in further studies to understand the ecological forces and investment trade-offs that shape the evolution of innate immunity. © 2014 The Authors Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source


Barthel A.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | Kopka I.,Hans Knoll Institute | Vogel H.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology | Zipfel P.,Hans Knoll Institute | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2014

Ecological immunology examines the adaptive responses of animals to pathogens in relation to other environmental factors and explores the consequences of trade-offs between investment in immune function and other life-history traits. Among species of herbivorous insects, diet breadth may vary greatly, with generalists consuming a wide variety of plant families and specialists restricted to a few species. Generalists may thus be exposed to a wider range of pathogens exerting stronger selection on the innate immune system. To examine whether this produces an increase in the robustness of the immune response, we compared larvae of the generalist herbivore Heliothis virescens and the specialist Heliothis subflexa challenged by entomopathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. Heliothis virescens larvae showed lower mortality, a lower number of recoverable bacteria, lower proliferation of haemocytes and higher phagocytic activity. These results indicate a higher tolerance to entomopathogenic bacteria by the generalist, which is associated with a more efficient cell-mediated immune response by mechanisms that differ between these closely related species. Our findings provide novel insights into the consequences of diet breadth and related environmental factors, which may be significant in further studies to understand the ecological forces and investment trade-offs that shape the evolution of innate immunity. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source


Mehlgarten C.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Krijger J.-J.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Lemnian I.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | Gohr A.,Martin Luther University of Halle Wittenberg | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Cellular responses to starvation are of ancient origin since nutrient limitation has always been a common challenge to the stability of living systems. Hence, signaling molecules involved in sensing or transducing information about limiting metabolites are highly conserved, whereas transcription factors and the genes they regulate have diverged. In eukary-otes the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) functions as a central regulator of cellular energy homeostasis. The yeast AMPK ortholog SNF1 controls the transcriptional network that counteracts carbon starvation conditions by regulating a set of transcription factors. Among those Cat8 and Sip4 have overlapping DNA-binding specificity for so-called carbon source responsive elements and induce target genes upon SNF1 activation. To analyze the evolution of the Cat8-Sip4 controlled transcriptional network we have compared the response to carbon limitation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to that of Kluyveromyces lactis. In high glucose, S. cerevisiae displays tumor cell-like aerobic fermentation and repression of respiration (Crabtree-positive) while K. lactis has a respiratory-fermentative life-style, respiration being regulated by oxygen availability (Crabtree-negative), which is typical for many yeasts and for differentiated higher cells. We demonstrate divergent evolution of the Cat8-Sip4 network and present evidence that a role of Sip4 in controlling anabolic metabolism has been lost in the Saccharomyces lineage. We find that in K. lactis, but not in S. cere-visiae, the Sip4 protein plays an essential role in C2 carbon assimilation including induction of the glyoxylate cycle and the carnitine shuttle genes. Induction of KlSIP4 gene expression by KlCat8 is essential under these growth conditions and a primary function of KlCat8. Both KlCat8 and KlSip4 are involved in the regulation of lactose metabolism in K. lactis. In chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments we demonstrate binding of both, KlSip4 and KlCat8, to selected CSREs and provide evidence that KlSip4 counteracts KlCat8-mediated transcription activation by competing for binding to some but not all CSREs. The finding that the hierarchical relationship of these transcription factors differs between K. lactis and S. cerevisiae and that the sets of target genes have diverged contributes to explaining the phe-notypic differences in metabolic life-style. © 2015 Mehlgarten et al. Source

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