- Herbicide-resistance traits are the most widely used agriculture biotechnology products. Yet, to maintain their effectiveness and to mitigate selection of herbicide-resistant weeds, the discovery of new resistance traits that use different chemical modes of action is essential. In plants, the Gretchen Hagen 3 (GH3) acyl acid amido synthetases catalyze the conjugation of amino acids to jasmonate and auxin phytohormones. This reaction chemistry has not been explored as a possible approach for herbicide modification and inactivation.
- Phosphocholine (pCho) is a precursor for phosphatidylcholine and osmoprotectants in plants. In plants, de novo synthesis of pCho relies on the phosphobase methylation pathway. Phosphoethanolamine methyltransferase (PMT) catalyzes the triple methylation of phosphoethanolamine (pEA) to pCho. The plant PMTs are di-domain methyltransferases that divide the methylation of pEA in one domain from subsequent methylations in the second domain. To understand the molecular basis of this architecture, we examined the biochemical properties of three Arabidopsis thaliana PMTs (AtPMT1–3) and determined the X-ray crystal structures of AtPMT1 and AtPMT2.
- Isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH) and 3-(2′-methylthio)ethylmalate dehydrogenase catalyze the oxidative decarboxylation of different β-hydroxyacids in the leucine- and methionine-derived glucosinolate biosynthesis pathways, respectively, in plants. Evolution of the glucosinolate biosynthetic enzyme from IPMDH results from a single amino acid substitution that alters substrate specificity. Here, we present the x-ray crystal structures of Arabidopsis thaliana IPMDH2 (AtIPMDH2) in complex with either isopropylmalate and Mg2+ or NAD+.
- Background: In the plant sulfur assimilation pathway, APS kinase is a redox-regulated branch point enzyme.Results: Structural and biochemical analysis of the cyanobacterial APSK reveals an unregulated precursor of the plant enzyme.Conclusion: Protein engineering of cyanobacterial APSK recapitulates the structural development of redox control in the plant enzyme.Significance: Understanding the evolution of biochemical regulation provides insight for engineering metabolic controls.
- Metabolic engineering approaches are increasingly employed for environmental applications. Because phytochelatins (PC) protect plants from heavy metal toxicity, strategies directed at manipulating the biosynthesis of these peptides hold promise for the remediation of soils and groundwaters contaminated with heavy metals. Directed evolution of Arabidopsis thaliana phytochelatin synthase (AtPCS1) yields mutants that confer levels of cadmium tolerance and accumulation greater than expression of the wild-type enzyme in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis, or Brassica juncea.
- Background:Phox/Bem1p domains are universal domains that organize cellular signaling scaffolds.Results:Biophysical analyses reveal driving forces and core residues involved in PB1 interaction.Conclusion:Electrostatic interactions focused around two complementary prongs.Significance:These results provide the first in-depth analysis of the factors driving self-interaction of a type I/II PB1 domain.