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The Robert H. Smith Institute of
Plant Sciences and Genetics
in Agriculture
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Publications

2019
Tamary, E. ; Nevo, R. ; Naveh, L. ; Levin-Zaidman, S. ; Kiss, V. ; Savidor, A. ; Levin, Y. ; Eyal, Y. ; Reich, Z. ; Adam, Z. Chlorophyll catabolism precedes changes in chloroplast structure and proteome during leaf senescence. Plant Direct 2019, 3 e00127.Abstract
The earliest visual changes of leaf senescence occur in the chloroplast as chlorophyll is degraded and photosynthesis declines. Yet, a comprehensive understanding of the sequence of catabolic events occurring in chloroplasts during natural leaf senescence is still missing. Here, we combined confocal and electron microscopy together with proteomics and biochemistry to follow structural and molecular changes during Arabidopsis leaf senescence. We observed that initiation of chlorophyll catabolism precedes other breakdown processes. Chloroplast size, stacking of thylakoids, and efficiency of PSII remain stable until late stages of senescence, whereas the number and size of plastoglobules increase. Unlike catabolic enzymes, whose level increase, the level of most proteins decreases during senescence, and chloroplast proteins are overrepresented among these. However, the rate of their disappearance is variable, mostly uncoordinated and independent of their inherent stability during earlier developmental stages. Unexpectedly, degradation of chlorophyll-binding proteins lags behind chlorophyll catabolism. Autophagy and vacuole proteins are retained at relatively high levels, highlighting the role of extra-plastidic degradation processes especially in late stages of senescence. The observation that chlorophyll catabolism precedes all other catabolic events may suggest that this process enables or signals further catabolic processes in chloroplasts.
Adam, Z. ; Aviv-Sharon, E. ; Keren-Paz, A. ; Naveh, L. ; Rozenberg, M. ; Savidor, A. ; Chen, J. The Chloroplast Envelope Protease FTSH11 - Interaction With CPN60 and Identification of Potential Substrates. Front Plant Sci 2019, 10, 428.Abstract
FTSH proteases are membrane-bound, ATP-dependent metalloproteases found in bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts. The product of one of the 12 genes encoding FTSH proteases in Arabidopsis, FTSH11, has been previously shown to be essential for acquired thermotolerance. However, the substrates of this protease, as well as the mechanism linking it to thermotolerance are largely unknown. To get insight into these, the FTSH11 knockout mutant was complemented with proteolytically active or inactive variants of this protease, tagged with HA-tag, under the control of the native promoter. Using these plants in thermotolerance assay demonstrated that the proteolytic activity, and not only the ATPase one, is essential for conferring thermotolerance. Immunoblot analyses of leaf extracts, isolated organelles and sub-fractionated chloroplast membranes localized FTSH11 mostly to chloroplast envelopes. Affinity purification followed by mass spectrometry analysis revealed interaction between FTSH11 and different components of the CPN60 chaperonin. In affinity enrichment assays, CPN60s as well as a number of envelope, stroma and thylakoid proteins were found associated with proteolytically inactive FTSH11. Comparative proteomic analysis of WT and knockout plants, grown at 20°C or exposed to 30°C for 6 h, revealed a plethora of upregulated chloroplast proteins in the knockout, some of them might be candidate substrates. Among these stood out TIC40, which was stabilized in the knockout line after recovery from heat stress, and three proteins that were found trapped in the affinity enrichment assay: the nucleotide antiporter PAPST2, the fatty acid binding protein FAP1 and the chaperone HSP70. The consistent behavior of these four proteins in different assays suggest that they are potential FTSH11 substrates.
2018
Dalal, V. ; Dagan, S. ; Friedlander, G. ; Aviv, E. ; Bock, R. ; Charuvi, D. ; Reich, Z. ; Adam, Z. Transcriptome analysis highlights nuclear control of chloroplast development in the shoot apex. Sci Rep 2018, 8 8881. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In dicots, the key developmental process by which immature plastids differentiate into photosynthetically competent chloroplasts commences in the shoot apical meristem (SAM), within the shoot apex. Using laser-capture microdissection and single-cell RNA sequencing methodology, we studied the changes in the transcriptome along the chloroplast developmental pathway in the shoot apex of tomato seedlings. The analysis revealed the presence of transcripts for different chloroplast functions already in the stem cell-containing region of the SAM. Thereafter, an en masse up-regulation of genes encoding for various proteins occurs, including chloroplast ribosomal proteins and proteins involved in photosynthesis, photoprotection and detoxification of reactive oxygen species. The results highlight transcriptional events that operate during chloroplast biogenesis, leading to the rapid establishment of photosynthetic competence.
Swid, N. ; Nevo, R. ; Kiss, V. ; Kapon, R. ; Dagan, S. ; Snir, O. ; Adam, Z. ; Falconet, D. ; Reich, Z. ; Charuvi, D. Differential impacts of FtsZ proteins on plastid division in the shoot apex of Arabidopsis. Dev Biol 2018, 441, 83-94.Abstract
FtsZ proteins of the FtsZ1 and FtsZ2 families play important roles in the initiation and progression of plastid division in plants and green algae. Arabidopsis possesses a single FTSZ1 member and two FTSZ2 members, FTSZ2-1 and FTSZ2-2. The contribution of these to chloroplast division and partitioning has been mostly investigated in leaf mesophyll tissues. Here, we assessed the involvement of the three FtsZs in plastid division at earlier stages of chloroplast differentiation. To this end, we studied the effect of the absence of specific FtsZ proteins on plastids in the vegetative shoot apex, where the proplastid-to-chloroplast transition takes place. We found that the relative contribution of the two major leaf FtsZ isoforms, FtsZ1 and FtsZ2-1, to the division process varies with cell lineage and position within the shoot apex. While FtsZ2-1 dominates division in the L1 and L3 layers of the shoot apical meristem (SAM), in the L2 layer, FtsZ1 and FtsZ2-1 contribute equally toward the process. Depletion of the third isoform, FtsZ2-2, generally resulted in stronger effects in the shoot apex than those observed in mature leaves. The implications of these findings, along with additional observations made in this work, to our understanding of the mechanisms and regulation of plastid proliferation in the shoot apex are discussed.
Knopf, R. R. ; Adam, Z. Lumenal exposed regions of the D1 protein of PSII are long enough to be degraded by the chloroplast Deg1 protease. Sci Rep 2018, 8 5230.Abstract
Degradation of the D1 protein of photosystem II (PSII) reaction center is a pre-requisite for the repair cycle from photoinhibition. Two types of thylakoid proteases, FtsH and Deg, have been demonstrated to participate in this process. However, the location of the proteolytic sites of the lumenal Deg1 protease within its internal sphere raised the question whether the lumenal-exposed regions of D1 are indeed long enough to reach these sites. Implanting these regions into the stable GFP rendered it sensitive to the presence of Deg1 in vitro, demonstrating that the flexible regions of D1 that protrude into the lumen can penetrate through the three side-openings of Deg1 and reach its internal proteolytic sites. This mode of action, facilitating cooperation between proteases on both sides of the thylakoid membranes, should be applicable to the degradation of other integral thylakoid membrane proteins as well.
Butenko, Y. ; Lin, A. ; Naveh, L. ; Kupervaser, M. ; Levin, Y. ; Reich, Z. ; Adam, Z. Differential Roles of the Thylakoid Lumenal Deg Protease Homologs in Chloroplast Proteostasis. Plant Physiol 2018, 178, 1065-1080.Abstract
Deg proteases are involved in protein quality control in prokaryotes. Of the three Arabidopsis () homologs, Deg1, Deg5, and Deg8, located in the thylakoid lumen, Deg1 forms a homohexamer, whereas Deg5 and Deg8 form a heterocomplex. Both Deg1 and Deg5-Deg8 were shown separately to degrade photosynthetic proteins during photoinhibition. To investigate whether Deg1 and Deg5-Deg8 are redundant, a full set of Arabidopsis knockout mutants were generated and their phenotypes were compared. Under all conditions tested, mutants were affected more than the wild type and and mutants. Moreover, overexpression of Deg5-Deg8 could only partially compensate for the loss of Deg1. Comparative proteomics of mutants revealed moderate up-regulation of thylakoid proteins involved in photoprotection, assembly, repair, and housekeeping and down-regulation of those that form photosynthetic complexes. Quantification of protein levels in the wild type revealed that Deg1 was 2-fold more abundant than Deg5-Deg8. Moreover, recombinant Deg1 displayed higher in vitro proteolytic activity. Affinity enrichment assays revealed that Deg1 was precipitated with very few interacting proteins, whereas Deg5-Deg8 was associated with a number of thylakoid proteins, including D1, OECs, LHCBs, Cyt , and NDH subunits, thus implying that Deg5-Deg8 is capable of binding substrates but is unable to degrade them efficiently. This work suggests that differences in protein abundance and proteolytic activity underlie the differential importance of Deg1 and Deg5-Deg8 protease complexes observed in vivo.
2017
Ouyang, M. ; Li, X. ; Zhao, S. ; Pu, H. ; Shen, J. ; Adam, Z. ; Clausen, T. ; Zhang, L. The crystal structure of Deg9 reveals a novel octameric-type HtrA protease. Nature Plants 2017, 3 973 - 982. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The high temperature requirement A (HtrA) proteases (also termed Deg proteases) play important roles in diverse organisms by regulating protein quality and quantity. One of the 16 Arabidopsis homologs, Deg9, is located in the nucleus where it modulates cytokinin- and light-mediated signalling via degrading the ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR 4 (ARR4). To uncover the structural features underlying the proteolytic activity of Deg9, we determined its crystal structure. Unlike the well-established trimeric building block of HtrAs, Deg9 displays a novel octameric structure consisting of two tetrameric rings that have distinct conformations. Based on the structural architecture, we generated several mutant variants of Deg9, determined their structure and tested their proteolytic activity towards ARR4. The results of the structural and biochemical analyses allowed us to propose a model for a novel mechanism of substrate recognition and activity regulation of Deg9. In this model, protease activation of one tetramer is mediated by en-bloc reorientation of the protease domains to open an entrance for the substrate in the opposite (inactive) tetramer. This study provides the structural basis for understanding how the levels of nuclear signal components are regulated by a plant protease.
2015
Charuvi, D. ; Nevo, R. ; Shimoni, E. ; Naveh, L. ; Zia, A. ; Adam, Z. ; Farrant, J. M. ; Kirchhoff, H. ; Reich, Z. Photoprotection conferred by changes in photosynthetic protein levels and organization during dehydration of a homoiochlorophyllous resurrection plant. Plant Physiol 2015, 167, 1554-65.Abstract
During desiccation, homoiochlorophyllous resurrection plants retain most of their photosynthetic apparatus, allowing them to resume photosynthetic activity quickly upon water availability. These plants rely on various mechanisms to prevent the formation of reactive oxygen species and/or protect their tissues from the damage they inflict. In this work, we addressed the issue of how homoiochlorophyllous resurrection plants deal with the problem of excessive excitation/electron pressures during dehydration using Craterostigma pumilum as a model plant. To investigate the alterations in the supramolecular organization of photosynthetic protein complexes, we examined cryoimmobilized, freeze-fractured leaf tissues using (cryo)scanning electron microscopy. These examinations revealed rearrangements of photosystem II (PSII) complexes, including a lowered density during moderate dehydration, consistent with a lower level of PSII proteins, as shown by biochemical analyses. The latter also showed a considerable decrease in the level of cytochrome f early during dehydration, suggesting that initial regulation of the inhibition of electron transport is achieved via the cytochrome b6f complex. Upon further dehydration, PSII complexes are observed to arrange into rows and semicrystalline arrays, which correlates with the significant accumulation of sucrose and the appearance of inverted hexagonal lipid phases within the membranes. As opposed to PSII and cytochrome f, the light-harvesting antenna complexes of PSII remain stable throughout the course of dehydration. Altogether, these results, along with photosynthetic activity measurements, suggest that the protection of retained photosynthetic components is achieved, at least in part, via the structural rearrangements of PSII and (likely) light-harvesting antenna complexes into a photochemically quenched state.