Heat stress transcription factor HsfA5 as specific repressor of HsfA4
Sanjeev Kumar Baniwal
- Compared to all other organisms with 1 to 3 heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) or Hsf-related factors, plants have extraordinarily large Hsf families with more than 20 Hsfs. Plant Hsfs are classified into three classes according to their oligomerization domains which is built of hydrophobic heptad repeats (HR) in two parts, HR-A and HR-B. Both parts may be immediately adjacent (class B), or they are separated by insertion of 21 (class A) and 7 amino acid residues (class C). In plant Hsf family, detailed investigations are so far limited to Hsfs A1a, A2, A3, A4d, A9, and B1. They strongly indicate functional diversification to be the main reason for the coexistence of multiple Hsfs. As an example the functional triad of HsfA1a, HsfA2, and HsfB1 is essential for all three phases of the hs response, (i) the triggering of the response by HsfA1a as master regulator, (ii) the maintenance and high efficiency of hs gene transcription by cooperation of HsfA1a with Hsfs A2 and B1, and finally, (iii) the restoration of house-keeping gene transcription during the recovery phase mediated by HsfB1 in cooperation with house-keeping transcription factors. The results presented in this thesis for Hsfs A4 and A5 open completely different aspects of functional diversification and cooperation of Hsfs. HsfA4 and HsfA5 homooligomerize and bind to corresponding HSE motifs. But in contrast to the highly active HsfA4, HsfA5 is completely inactive as transcriptional activator. Yeast two hybrid and GST pull-down techniques showed that both Hsfs have strong tendency for heterooligomerization. Using fluorescence microscopy the HsfA4/A5 heterooligomers were found to localize in the nucleus. These complexes are transcriptionally inactive due to the impairment of DNA binding. The repressor function of HsfA5 requires only its OD and no additional factors, e.g. a putative co-repressor recruited by the C-terminal domain, are involved. Evidently, the repressor effect mainly results from the interference with the oligomeric state of HsfA4b, which is essential for efficient DNA binding and activator functions. EST database search revealed that plants have a single HsfA5 and usually two A4-type Hsfs. Using bioinformatics tools, Hsfs A4 and A5 were found to be phylogenetically closely related and clearly distinct from the other members of the Hsf family. On the basis of RT-PCR and Microarray data the representatives of the A4/A5 group are well expressed in different plant tissues albeit at very different levels which change with the developmental stages and stress conditions In rice and Arabidopsis, HsfA4 functions as an anti-apoptotic factor for stress induced oxidative damages. Based on my results, I hypothesize that HsfA5 functions as a novel type of selective repressor, regulating the function of A4-type Hsfs in plants. Considering the high sequence conservation with in plant Hsf family, it is tempting to speculate that this role of Hsf4/A5 pair is a fundamental feature of the Hsf system in plants.
Molecular mechanisms affecting expression of the NO receptor soluble Guanylyl Cyclase (sGC)
- Soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC) is a cytosolic enzyme producing the intracellular messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) on activation with nitric oxide (NO) which leads to the activation of GMP dependent protein kinases and to vasodilation. NO signaling may be affected by altered expression of sGC subunits, as has been shown in different pathological and physiological conditions and developmental stages. The molecular mechanisms underlying altered sGC expression in these and other conditions have not yet been revealed. Gene expression can also be regulated at the level of mRNA through alterations in translational efficiency and in mRNA stability. HuR (Human R) is a ubiquitously expressed member of the embryonic lethal abnormal vision (ELAV) family of RNA-binding proteins. Among other RNAs, there has been recent evidence that the expression of sGC is subject to post-transcriptional regulation by HuR. It has been shown that chronic hypertension induces changes in HuR expression and activity, which account for decreased sGC expression and activity in the aorta of hypertensive rats. This thesis should study was performed in an effort to provide some insight to the transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation of sGC expression in a mammal, the rat. We investigated rat sGC alpha-1 transcriptional regulation in rat lung fibroblast (RLF-6) cells. The 3000bp 5' upstream region of the alpha-1 sGC gene was isolated and analyzed for promoter activity by using luciferase reporter constructs- Alpha3000 (with -2794 bp), Alpha1100 (-1092 bp), Alpha350 (-346 bp) and Alpha200 (-200 bp). The promoter activity was the highest in the 200bp construct (about 6-fold higher than Alpha3000) suggesting that this fragment contains all the crucial elements necessary to support basal transcription of the alpha-1 sGC gene. Analysis of the 200 bp of the 5’ UTR of the alpha-1 gene was performed using the MATINSPECTOR V2.2 software for putative transcription factors. The constructs containing the deleted sites for NFY and Sp1 showed a significant decrease in constitutive promoter activity by almost 80% and 60% respectively, implying that these transcription factors are crucial elements in the basal expression of the of sGC alpha-1 subunit. Treatment of RLF-6 cells with genistein 50 microM and mithramycinA 100 nM, known to inhibit the NFY and Sp1 binding to DNA respectively, reflected the same effects. Furthermore the cGMP content of the cells was significantly reduced by both inhibitors, almost completely by genistein, and by about 40 % by mithramycinA. Electrophoretic mobility-shift assay (EMSA) clearly showed the formation of multiple complexes with the biotinylated ODN (decoy oligodeoxynucleotide) probes for NFY and Sp1 when incubated with RLF-6 nuclear extract. A “supershift” observed in the presence of antibodies to the individual transcription factors confirmed that these factors were present in the shifted band, indeed. NFY and Sp1 are instrumental in several physiological and pathophysiological effects mediated by several growth factors in smooth muscle cells. Thus the regulation of the promoter, in response to serum, was also analysed. 10% foetal calf serum led to decreased alpha-1 sGC level as shown by western blots performed with rat aorta. Decreased sGC alpha-1 mRNA expression was observed in RLF-6 cells and cultured rat aortic smooth muscle cells incubated with FCS for 24 hours. This decrease was reflected in the promoter activity in RLF-6 cells using both Alpha3000 and Alpha200 constructs confirming that the regulation took place at promoter level. EMSA performed with nuclear extracts from FCS treated RLF-6 cells led to diminished binding to NFY, but to an enhanced binding to Sp1 site. We concluded that the factors Sp1 and NFY (the sites overlapping) compete for binding, and in the presence of FCS, it is Sp1 that binds stronger, and hence results in diminishing promoter activity. In order to delineate the post-transcriptional regulation of sGC alpha-1 subunit, studies were performed to demonstrate the regulation of expression of the mRNA stabilizing protein HuR. It has been observed that exposure of isolated rat aortic segments to the activator of adenylyl cyclase, forskolin, strongly reduced sGC alpha-1/beta-1 and HuR protein and mRNA expression in a time-dependent and actinomycin D-sensitive fashion. Transcription factor decoy approach proved that the cAMP-induced down-regulation of HuR is mediated by the activation of AP-1. It has been established that HuR stabilises the sGC alpha-1 and beta-1 mRNA. However the pathway underlying this regulation remains unknown. In order to identify the mechanism of this regulation, we looked for HuR interacting proteins employing the yeast two hybrid assay. The enzyme of the polyamine catabolic pathway spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) was found to interact with the hinge region of HuR. This interaction was confirmed by performing immunoprecipitation and GST-pulldown experiments. A direct effect of these proteins on each other’s biological activity was not visible as tested through the SSAT activity assay and HuR gel shift. It might be possible that SSAT-mediated modulation of local polyamine concentrations enhances/reduces HuR activity and sGC expression to affect cell proliferation. In summary, this study represents an analysis of the rat sGC alpha-1 promoter regulation in rat fibroblast cells and identifies NFY and Sp1 as important factors in sGC alpha-1 expression. It also gives first evidence of sGC regulation at the transcriptional level in response to an external stimulus, and proposes the possible mechanism. It also identifies SSAT as a HuR interacting protein. These might have implications in the various pathophysiological conditions where sGC plays an important role.
Expression synaptischer Proteine in Astrocyten in vitro und in situ
Die Rolle der vier UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenasen in Arabidosis thaliana bei der Synthese von Zellwandzuckern
Michaela Katharina Karla Klinghammer
- Die Zellwand von Arabidopsis thaliana enthält große Menge an Hemicellulosen und Pektinen, deren Bestandteile sich hauptsächlich von UDP-Glucuronsäure ableiten. Die Bildung von UDP-Glucuronsäure wird in Pflanzen überwiegend durch die UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenase (UGD) katalysiert, die UDP-Glucose unter der Bildung von NADH in UDP-Glucuronsäure umwandelt. Arabidopsis thaliana besitzt vier UGD-Gene und ein Pseudogen, welche starke Homologien zu Genen anderer bekannter pflanzlicher UDP-Glucose Dehydrogenasen zeigen. Mit Hilfe von Promotor::GUS-Reportergenpflanzen und real time-PCR-Analysen konnte in dieser Arbeit gezeigt werden, dass die vier UGD-Gene nicht nur in verschiedenen Geweben und zu unterschiedlichen Zeitpunkten der Morphogenese exprimiert werden, sondern auch in unterschiedlicher Stärke. Dabei scheint jedoch zu jedem Zeitpunkt der Morphogenese, bis auf die Samenentwicklung, eine der vier UGD-Isoformen in Arabidopsis thaliana exprimiert zu werden. Eine biochemische Charakterisierung der verschiedenen Isoformen zeigte einen sehr ähnlichen Km-Wert von ca. 43 µM für NAD+, während sich die Km-Werte für UDP-Glucose deutlich voneinander unterschieden (123 - 335µM). Alle Isoformen unterlagen einer feedback-Hemmung durch UDP-Xylose. Dabei war eine starke Hemmung durch UDP-Xylose korreliert mit einer hohen Affinität zu UDP-Glucose. Neben NAD+ konnten alle untersuchten Isoformen in geringem Maße auch NADP+ als Cofaktor verwenden. Allerdings verringerte sich die Enzymaktivität dadurch um etwa 80%. Alternative Zuckersubstrate konnten dagegen nicht umgesetzt werden. Die biochemischen Unterschiede zwischen den UGD-Isoformen und die differentielle Expression ihrer entsprechenden Genekönnten eine wichtige Rolle bei der Regulation der Zellwandbiosynthese spielen. Denn die irreversible Oxidation von UDP-Glucose zu UDP-Glucuronsäure durch UGD fungiert als eine der Schaltstellen, an welcher der Kohlenstofffluss derpflanzlichen Zelle in Richtung Zellwandbiosynthese gesteuert werden kann. Die im Rahmen dieser Arbeit durchgeführten Analysen von Einfach-oder Doppel-knock out-Mutanten, bei denen durch eine T-DNA-Insertion ein oder zwei UGD-Gene ausgeschaltet waren, zeigte dementsprechend auch eine veränderte Zellwandzusammensetzung bei den Mutanten deltaUGD2, deltaUGD3 und deltaUGD1x deltaUGD4 und eine veränderte Funktion der Stomata bei deltaUGD1x deltaUGD4. Insgesamt waren die Phänotypänderungen gegenüber dem Wildtyp bei der Doppelmutante deltaUGD1x deltaUGD4 wesentlich ausgeprägter als bei den Einfachmutanten, was daran liegen könnte, dass der Ausfall eines UGD-Gens durch ein anderes kompensiert wird. Dafür sprechen auch die Ergebnisse der real time-PCR-Analyse, in der die Expression von UGD1, 2, 3 und 4 in sechs Tage alten Keimlingen des Wildtyps und der knock out-Mutanten untersucht wurde. Dort konnte nachgewiesen werden, dass sich das Ausschalten eines oder mehrerer UGD-Gene auf die Expression der übrigen UGD-Gene auswirkt.