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Role of the Arginyl-Glycyl-Aspartic Motif in the Action of Ptr Toxa Produced by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis

Steven W. Meinhardt, Weijun Cheng, Chil Y. Kwon, Christine M. Donohue and Jack B. Rasmussen
Plant Physiology
Vol. 130, No. 3 (Nov., 2002), pp. 1545-1551
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4280783
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Role of the Arginyl-Glycyl-Aspartic Motif in the Action of Ptr Toxa Produced by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis
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Abstract

A fundamental problem of plant science is to understand the biochemical basis of plant/pathogen interactions. The foliar disease tan spot of wheat (Triticum aestivum), caused by Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, involves Ptr ToxA, a proteinaceous host-selective toxin that causes host cell death. The fungal gene ToxA encodes a 17.2-kD pre-pro-protein that is processed to produce the mature 13.2-kD toxin. Amino acids 140 to 142 of the pre-pro-protein form an arginyl-glycyl-aspartic (RGD) sequence, a motif involved in the binding of some animal proteins and pathogens to transmembrane receptor proteins called integrins. Integrin-like proteins have been identified in plants recently, but their role in plant biology is unclear. Our model for Ptr ToxA action predicts that toxin interacts with a putative host receptor through the RGD motif. Mutant clones of a ToxA cDNA, created by polymerase chain reaction such that the RGD in the pro-toxin was changed to arginyl-alanyl-aspartic or to arginyl-glycyl-glutamic, were expressed in Escherichia coli. Extracts containing mutated forms of toxin failed to cause host cell death, but extracts from E. coli expressing both a wild-type pro-protein cDNA and a control mutation away from RGD were active in cell death development. In competition experiments, 2 mM RGD tripeptide reduced the level of electrolyte leakage from wheat leaves by 63% when co-infiltrated with purified Ptr ToxA (15 μg mL-1) obtained from the fungus, but the control peptide arginyl-glycyl-glutamyl-serine provided no protection. These experiments indicate that the RGD motif of Ptr ToxA is involved with toxin action, possibly by interacting with a putative integrin-like receptor in the host.

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