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Yang C.-Q.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Fang X.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Wu X.-M.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Mao Y.-B.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology | Year: 2012

Plant secondary metabolites play critical roles in plant-environment interactions. They are synthesized in different organs or tissues at particular developmental stages, and in response to various environmental stimuli, both biotic and abiotic. Accordingly, corresponding genes are regulated at the transcriptional level by multiple transcription factors. Several families of transcription factors have been identified to participate in controlling the biosynthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites. These regulators integrate internal (often developmental) and external signals, bind to corresponding cis-elements - which are often in the promoter regions - to activate or repress the expression of enzyme-coding genes, and some of them interact with other transcription factors to form a complex. In this review, we summarize recent research in these areas, with an emphasis on newly-identified transcription factors and their functions in metabolism regulation. © 2012 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Yang C.-Q.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | Wu X.-M.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | Ruan J.-X.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | Hu W.-L.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | And 4 more authors.
Phytochemistry | Year: 2013

Cotton plants accumulate gossypol and related sesquiterpene aldehydes, which function as phytoalexins against pathogens and feeding deterrents to herbivorous insects. However, to date little is known about the biosynthesis of volatile terpenes in this crop. Herein is reported that 5 monoterpenes and 11 sesquiterpenes from extracts of a glanded cotton cultivar, Gossypium hirsutum cv. CCRI12, were detected by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). By EST data mining combined with Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE), full-length cDNAs of three terpene synthases (TPSs), GhTPS1, GhTPS2 and GhTPS3 were isolated. By in vitro assays of the recombinant proteins, it was found that GhTPS1 and GhTPS2 are sesquiterpene synthases: the former converted farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) into β-caryophyllene and α-humulene in a ratio of 2:1, whereas the latter produced several sesquiterpenes with guaia-1(10),11-diene as the major product. By contrast, GhTPS3 is a monoterpene synthase, which produced α-pinene, β-pinene, β-phellandrene and trace amounts of other monoterpenes from geranyl pyrophosphate (GPP). The TPS activities were also supported by Virus Induced Gene Silencing (VIGS) in the cotton plant. GhTPS1 and GhTPS3 were highly expressed in the cotton plant overall, whereas GhTPS2 was expressed only in leaves. When stimulated by mechanical wounding, Verticillium dahliae (Vde) elicitor or methyl jasmonate (MeJA), production of terpenes and expression of the corresponding synthase genes were induced. These data demonstrate that the three genes account for the biosynthesis of volatile terpenes of cotton, at least of this Upland cotton. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Yu Z.-X.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | Yu Z.-X.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Li J.-X.,CAS Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology | Li J.-X.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Plant | Year: 2012

Plants of Artemisia annua produce artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone widely used in malaria treatment. Amorpha-4,11-diene synthase (ADS), a sesquiterpene synthase, and CYP71AV1, a P450 monooxygenase, are two key enzymes of the artemisinin biosynthesis pathway. Accumulation of artemisinin can be induced by the phytohormone jasmonate (JA). Here, we report the characterization of two JA-responsive AP2 family transcription factors - AaERF1 and AaERF2 - from A. annua L. Both genes were highly expressed in inflorescences and strongly induced by JA. Yeast one-hybrid and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) showed that they were able to bind to the CRTDREHVCBF2 (CBF2) and RAV1AAT (RAA) motifs present in both ADS and CYP71AV1 promoters. Transient expression of either AaERF1 or AaERF2 in tobacco induced the promoter activities of ADS or CYP71AV1, and the transgenic A. annua plants overexpressing either transcription factor showed elevated transcript levels of both ADS and CYP71AV1, resulting in increased accumulation of artemisinin and artemisinic acid. By contrast, the contents of these two metabolites were reduced in the RNAi transgenic lines in which expression of AaERF1 or AaERF2 was suppressed. These results demonstrate that AaERF1 and AaERF2 are two positive regulators of artemisinin biosynthesis and are of great value in genetic engineering of artemisinin production. © 2011 The Author Published by the Molecular Plant Shanghai Editorial Office in association with Oxford University Press on behalf of CSPB and IPPE, SIBS, CAS.

Hong G.-J.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Hong G.-J.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Xue X.-Y.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Xue X.-Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2012

Arabidopsis thaliana flowers emit volatile terpenes, which may function in plant-insect interactions. Here, we report that Arabidopsis MYC2, a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, directly binds to promoters of the sesquiterpene synthase genes TPS21 and TPS11 and activates their expression. Expression of TPS21 and TPS11 can be induced by the phytohormones gibberellin (GA) and jasmonate (JA), and both inductions require MYC2. The induction of TPS21 and TPS11 results in increased emission of sesquiterpene, especially (E)-β-caryophyllene. DELLAs, the GA signaling repressors, negatively affect sesquiterpene biosynthesis, as the sesquiterpene synthase genes were repressed in plants overaccumulating REPRESSOR OF GA1-3 (RGA), one of the Arabidopsis DELLAs, and upregulated in a penta DELLA-deficient mutant. Yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that DELLAs, represented by RGA, directly interact with MYC2. In yeast cells, the N terminus of MYC2 was responsible for binding to RGA. MYC2 has been proposed as a major mediator of JA signaling and crosstalk with abscisic acid, ethylene, and light signaling pathways. Our results demonstrate that MYC2 is also connected to GA signaling in regulating a subset of genes. In Arabidopsis inflorescences, it integrates both GA and JA signals into transcriptional regulation of sesquiterpene synthase genes and promotes sesquiterpene production. © 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

Li J.-X.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Li J.-X.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Fang X.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Zhao Q.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | And 11 more authors.
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2013

Most TPSs (terpene synthases) contain plasticity residues that are responsible for diversified terpene products and functional evolution, which provide a potential for improving catalytic efficiency. Artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone from Artemisia annua L., is widely used for malaria treatment and progress has been made in engineering the production of artemisinin or its precursors. In the present paper, we report a new sesquiterpene synthase from A. annua, AaBOS (A. annua α-bisabolol synthase), which has high sequence identity with AaADS (A. annua amorpha-4, 11-diene synthase), a key enzyme in artemisinin biosynthesis. Comparative analysis of the two enzymes by domain-swapping and structure-based mutagenesis led to the identification of several plasticity residues, whose alteration changed the product profile of AaBOS to include γ -humulene as the major product. To elucidate the underlying mechanisms, we solved the crystal structures of AaBOS and a γ-humulene-producing AaBOS mutant (termed AaBOS-M2). Among the plasticity residues, position 399, located in the substrate-binding pocket, is crucial for both enzymes. In AaBOS, substitution of threonine for leucine (AaBOSL339T) is required for γ-humulene production; whereas in AaADS, replacing the threonine residue with serine (AaADST399S) resulted in a substantial increase in the activity of amorpha-4, 11-diene production, probably as a result of accelerated product release. The present study demonstrates that substitution of plasticity residues has potential for improving catalytic efficiency of the enzyme. © 2013 Biochemical Society.

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