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Application of yeast-two hybrid assay to chemical genomic screens: a high-throughput system to identify novel molecules modulating plant hormone receptor complexes

Methods Mol Biol. 2014; 1056 :35-43.

Chini A.

Methods Mol Biol. 2014; 1056 :35-43Phytohormones are endogenous signalling molecules that regulate plant development, adaptation to the environment, and survival. Upon internal or external stimuli, hormones are quickly accumulated and perceived, which in turn activates specific signalling cascades regulating the appropriate physiological responses. In the last decade, great advances in understanding plant hormone perception mechanisms have been achieved.

Among different methodological approaches, yeast-two hybrid (Y2H) assays played a pivotal role in the identification and analysis of plant hormone perception complexes. The Y2H assay is a rapid and straightforward technique that can be easily employed to identify small molecules directly modulating plant hormone perception complexes in a high-throughput manner. However, an Y2H chemical screen tends to isolate false positive molecules, and therefore a secondary in planta screen is required to confirm the genuine bioactivity of putative positive hits. This two-step screening approach can substantially save time and manual labor.

This chapter focuses on the prospects of Y2H-based chemical genomic high-throughput screens applied to plant hormone perception complexes. Specifically, the method employed to carry out a chemical genomic screen to identify agonist and antagonist molecules of the phytohormone jasmonic acid in its conjugated form jasmonic acid-isoleucine (JA-Ile) is described. An easy in planta confirmation assay is also illustrated. However, this methodology can be easily extended to detect novel chemical compounds perturbing additional plant hormone receptor complexes. Finally, the high-throughput approach described here can also be implemented for the identification of molecules interfering with protein-protein interaction of plant complexes other than hormone receptors.

A Blk-p190RhoGAP signalling module downstream of activated Gα13 functionally opposes CXCL12-stimulated RhoA activation and cell invasion

Cell Signal. 2014;. pii: S0898-6568(14)00227-7.

Bartolomé RA, Díaz-Martínez M, Coló GP, Arellano-Sánchez N, Torres-Ayuso P, Kleinovink JW, Mérida I, Teixidó J.

Cell Signal. 2014;. pii: S0898-6568(14)00227-7Activation of the GTPase RhoA linked to cell invasion can be tightly regulated following Gα13 stimulation. We have used a cellular model displaying Gα13-dependent inhibition of RhoA activation associated with defective cell invasion to the chemokine CXCL12 to characterize the molecular players regulating these processes.

Using both RNAi transfection approaches and protein overexpression experiments here we show that the Src kinase Blk is involved in Gα13-activated tyrosine phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP, which causes RhoA inactivation and ultimately leads to deficient cell invasion. Characterization of molecular interplays between Gα13, Blk and p190RhoGAP revealed that Blk binds Gα13, and that Blk-mediated p190RhoGAP phosphorylation upon Gα13 activation correlates with weakening of Gα13-Blk association connected to increased Blk-p190RhoGAP assembly.

These results place Blk upstream of the p190RhoGAP-RhoA pathway in Gα13-activated cells, overall representing an opposing signaling module during CXCL12-triggered invasion. In addition, analyses with Blk- or Gα13-knockdown cells indicated that Blk can also mediate CXCL12-triggered phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP independently of Gα13. However, even if CXCL12 induces the Blk-mediated GAP phosphorylation, the simultaneous stimulation of the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor Vav1 by the chemokine, as earlier reported, leads to a net increase in RhoA activation. Therefore, when Gα13 is concurrently stimulated with CXCL12 there appears to be sufficient Blk activity to promote adequate levels of p190RhoGAP tyrosine phosphorylation to inactivate RhoA and to impair cell invasiveness.

Crystallization of the carboxy-terminal region of the bacteriophage T4 proximal long tail fibre protein gp34

Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 2014; 70 (Pt 7): 970-975.

Granell M, Namura M, Alvira S, Garcia-Doval C, Singh AK, Gutsche I, van Raaij MJ, Kanamaru S.

Acta Crystallogr F Struct Biol Commun. 2014; 70 (Pt 7): 970-975The phage-proximal part of the long tail fibres of bacteriophage T4 consists of a trimer of the 1289 amino-acid gene product 34 (gp34). Different carboxy-terminal parts of gp34 have been produced and crystallized.

Crystals of gp34(726-1289) diffracting X-rays to 2.9 Å resolution, crystals of gp34(781-1289) diffracting to 1.9 Å resolution and crystals of gp34(894-1289) diffracting to 3.0 and 2.0 Å resolution and belonging to different crystal forms were obtained. Native data were collected for gp34(726-1289) and gp34(894-1289), while single-wavelength anomalous diffraction data were collected for selenomethionine-containing gp34(781-1289) and gp34(894-1289). For the latter, high-quality anomalous signal was obtained.

Experimental evolution of an oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus with increased selectivity for p53-deficient cells

PLoS One. 2014; 9 (7): e102365.

Garijo R, Hernández-Alonso P, Rivas C, Diallo JS, Sanjuán R.

PLoS One. 2014; 9 (7): e102365Experimental evolution has been used for various biotechnological applications including protein and microbial cell engineering, but less commonly in the field of oncolytic virotherapy. Here, we sought to adapt a rapidly evolving RNA virus to cells deficient for the tumor suppressor gene p53, a hallmark of cancer cells.

To achieve this goal, we established four independent evolution lines of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in p53-knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts (p53−/− MEFs) under conditions favoring the action of natural selection. We found that some evolved viruses showed increased fitness and cytotoxicity in p53−/− cells but not in isogenic p53+/+ cells, indicating gene-specific adaptation. However, full-length sequencing revealed no obvious or previously described genetic changes associated with oncolytic activity. Half-maximal effective dose (EC50) assays in mouse p53-positive colon cancer (CT26) and p53-deficient breast cancer (4T1) cells indicated that the evolved viruses were more effective against 4T1 cells than the parental virus or a reference oncolytic VSV (MΔ51), but showed no increased efficacy against CT26 cells. In vivo assays using 4T1 syngeneic tumor models showed that one of the evolved lines significantly delayed tumor growth compared to mice treated with the parental virus or untreated controls, and was able to induce transient tumor suppression. Our results show that RNA viruses can be specifically adapted typical cancer features such as p53 inactivation, and illustrate the usefulness of experimental evolution for oncolytic virotherapy.

Rational design of a ligand-based antagonist of jasmonate perception

Nat Chem Biol. 2014; doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1575.

Monte I, Hamberg M, Chini A, Gimenez-Ibanez S, García-Casado G, Porzel A, Pazos F, Boter M, Solano R.

Nat Chem Biol. 2014; doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1575(+)-7-iso-Jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile) regulates developmental and stress responses in plants. Its perception involves the formation of a ternary complex with the F-box COI1 and a member of the JAZ family of co-repressors and leads to JAZ degradation.

Coronatine (COR) is a bacterial phytotoxin that functionally mimics JA-Ile and interacts with the COI1-JAZ co-receptor with higher affinity than JA-Ile. On the basis of the co-receptor structure, we designed ligand derivatives that spatially impede the interaction of the co-receptor proteins and, therefore, should act as competitive antagonists. One derivative, coronatine-O-methyloxime (COR-MO), has strong activity in preventing the COI1-JAZ interaction, JAZ degradation and the effects of JA-Ile or COR on several JA-mediated responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Moreover, it potentiates plant resistance, preventing the effect of bacterially produced COR during Pseudomonas syringae infections in different plant species.

In addition to the utility of COR-MO for plant biology research, our results underscore its biotechnological potential for safer and sustainable agriculture.