The hypersensitive response (HR) is one of the most critical defense systems in higher plants. In order to understand its molecular basis, we have screened tobacco genes that are transcriptionally activated during the early stage of the HR by the differential display method. Among six genes initially identified, one was found encoding a 57 kDa polypeptide with 497 amino acids not showing significant similarity to any reported proteins except for the AAA domain (ATPase associated with various cellular activities) spanning over 230 amino acids. The bacterially expressed protein exhibited ATP hydrolysis activity, and a green fluorescent protein-fusion protein localized in the cytoplasm of onion epidermis cells. The protein was subsequently designated as NtAAA1 (Nicotiana tabacum AAA1). NtAAA1 transcripts were induced 6 h after HR onset not only by TMV but also by incompatiblePsuedomonas syringae, indicating that NtAAA1 is under the control of the N-gene with a common role in pathogen responses. Expression of NtAAA1 was induced by jasmonic acid and ethylene, but not by salicylic acid (SA). It also occurred at a high level in SA-deficient tobacco plants upon TMV infection. When NtAAA1 was silenced by the RNAi method, accumulation of transcripts for PR-1a significantly increased during the HR. Treatments with SA induced higher expression of PR-1a and acidic PR-2 in RNAi transgenic plants than in wild-type counterparts. These results suggest that NtAAA1 mitigates the SA signaling pathway, and therefore that NtAAA1 modulates the pathogen response of the host plants by adjusting the HR to an appropriate level.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 7, 2005
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