Investigating the role and activity of CC-Type glutaredoxins in the redox regulation of TGA1/TGA4 in Arabidopsis thaliana
Plants respond to and defend themselves against a wide range of disease-causing microbes. In order to do so, massive reprogramming of cellular protein expression patterns, which underpin various defense pathways, must occur. A family of basic leucine zipper transcription factors, called TGA factors, has been implicated in mediating this response. The TGA factors themselves are subject to complex regulation; of note, TGA1 and TGA4 are regulated via a reduction of conserved cysteines after treatment with the phenolic signaling molecular salicylic acid, which accumulates following pathogen challenge. Previous studies indicate that TGA factors physically interact in the yeast two-hybrid system with the plant-specific CC-type of glutaredoxin (Grx)-like proteins. Grx are a family of oxidoreductases that are important for maintaining the cellular redox status and often are required to modulate protein activity. The goal of this study was to ascertain the role of these Grx-like proteins in regulating TGA1 redox state. To this end, the expression patterns of several Grx genes were analyzed. Quantitative-reverse-transcriptase PCR (q-RT-PCR) experiments indicated that TGA1 and TGA4 may be involved in down-regulating levels Grx-like gene transcripts after exposure to pathogens or salicylic acid (SA). Furthermore, qRT-PCR experiments also indicated that expression of some Grx-like genes is induced by SA, jasmonic acid (JA), and Pseudomonas syringae. Overexpression of the Grx-like protein, CXXC9, in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that it is a regulatory factor in the cross-talk between vi theSA/JA pathways as it is able to suppress expression of PDF1.2, a marker for the JA defense pathway, as determined by qRT-PCR. The â-hydroxy ethyl disulfide (HED) assay was utilized to determine if the CC-type of Grx-like proteins have oxidoreductase activity in vitro. These studies revealed that that the Grx-like proteins do not exhibit oxidoreductase activity in this assay.
TGA transcription factors, glutaredoxin, gene regulation, Arabidopsis, quantitative real-time PCR, protein expression, transcription factors
Master of Science (M.Sc.)