Study of Ca2+-Mediated Signal Transduction During Embryogenesis In Sandalwood (Santalurm Album L.) And Characterization Of An Early Development-Specific CDPK
Calcium ion plays a pivotal role as second messenger during signal/response coupling in plant cells (Trewavas, 1999). Elevations of cytosolic Ca2+ occur in plants as a consequence of abiotic and biotic stresses, environmental and hormonal stimuli. However, the molecular mechanism by which changes in cytosolic calcium are sensed and transduced in the plant cell has not been completely elucidated. The detection of Ca2+-binding proteins, especially Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) in plants led to drawing analogy with animal systems wherein the Ca2+-message is perceived and transduced by proteins that bind Ca2+. CDPKs are stimulated by the direct binding of Ca2+ to their endogenous calmodulin (CaM) -like domain (Harper et al, 1991). CDPKs exist as multiple isoforms in a single species, and show tissue-specific and developmentally regulated expression. Furthermore, the diversity among different CDPK isoforms with respect to Ca2+-binding properties, activation, substrate specificity, regulatory mechanisms and other kinetic properties suggest their specialization in the regulation of distinct signaling pathways. These observations therefore have led to the speculation that most of the Ca2+-mediated signal transduction in plants occurs via the mediation of CDPKs (Harmon et al, 2000). Over the last 15 years there has been a dramatic unfolding of information on Ca2+-mediated signaling in plants. Nevertheless, little is known about the environmental/hormonal signals and the signaling events that regulate early plant developmental processes such as embryogenesis, seed development and germination. The present investigation was initiated with the objectives 1) to determine the role of Ca2+ during embryogenesis, 2) to examine the involvement of a CDPK during early developmental processes in sandalwood plant (Santalum album L.) and 3) to purify and biochemically characterize this CDPK. The study initially investigated the possible involvement of calcium-mediated signaling in the induction/regulation of somatic embryogenesis from proembryogenic cells of sandalwood. 45 Ca + uptake studies and fura-2 fluorescence ratio photometry were used to measure changes in [Ca2+]cyt of proembryogenic cells in response to culture conditions conducive for embryo development. Sandalwood proembryogenic cell masses (PEMs) were obtained in the callus proliferation medium that contains the auxin 2,4-D. Subculture of PEMs into the embryo differentiation medium which lacks 2,4-D and has higher osmoticum resulted in a 4-fold higher 45Ca2+ incorporation into the symplast. Fura-2 based ratiometric analysis also showed a 10-16- fold increase in the [Ca2+]cyt of PEMs under identical culture conditions, increasing from a resting concentration of 30-50 nM to 650-800 nM. Chelation of exogenous Ca2+ with EGTA arrested such an elevation in [Ca2+]cyt. Exogenous Ca2+ when chelated or deprived also arrested embryo development and inhibited the accumulation of a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase (swCDPK) in embryogenic cultures. However, such culture conditions did not cause cell death as the PEMs continued to proliferate to form larger cell clumps. Culture treatment with W7 reduced embryogenic frequency by 85%, indicating that blockage of Ca2+-mediated signaling pathway(s) involving swCDPK and/or CaM caused inhibition of embryogenesis. These observations suggest a second messenger role for exogenous Ca2+ and the existence of Ca2+-mediated signaling pathway(s) during sandalwood somatic embryogenesis. The detection of a 55 kD protein showing cross reactivity with polyclonal antisoybean CDPK and the detection of Ca2+-dependent protein kinase activity in protein extracts from somatic embryos, prompted investigation on the spatio-temporal accumulation and activity of a CDPK in different developmental stages of sandalwood. Western blot analysis and protein kinase assays identified a Ca2+-dependent protein kinase (swCDPK) of 55 kD in soluble protein extracts of different developmental stages of sandalwood somatic embryos. However, swCDPK was not detected in plantlets regenerated from somatic embryos. swCDPK exhibited differential expression and activity in the developmental stages of sandalwood. Zygotic embryos, endosperm and seedlings showed high accumulation of swCDPK. However, the enzyme was not detected in the soluble proteins of shoots and flowers of sandalwood tree. swCDPK exhibited a temporal pattern of expression in endosperm, showing high accumulation and activity in mature fruit and germinating stages, the enzyme being localized strongly in the storage bodies of the endosperm cells. Interestingly, these storage bodies were thereafter identified as oil bodies, suggesting that a Ca2+-mediated regulation of oil hydrolysis and/or mobilization might be operative during seed germination. swCDPK in the zygotic embryo was found to be inactive during seed dormancy and early stages of germination, indicating a possible post-translational hibition/inactivation of the enzyme during these stages. The temporal expression of swCDPK during somatic/zygotic embryogenesis, seed maturation and germination thus suggests involvement of the enzyme in these early developmental processes. In view of the diversity exhibited by members of the CDPK family, characterization of swCDPK, the early development specific CDPK from sandalwood was undertaken. Purification of swCDPK was achieved by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, hydroxyapatite and Blue-Sepharose. The purified enzyme resolved into a single band on 10 % polyacrylamide gels, both under denaturing and non-denaturing conditions. swCDPK was strictly dependent on Ca2+, K0.5 (apparent binding constant) for Ca2+-activation of substrate phosphorylation activity being 0.7 μM and for autophosphorylation activity —50 nM. Ca2+-dependence for activation, CaM-independence, inhibition by CaM-antagonist (IC50 for W7 = 6 μM, for W5 = 46 μM) and cross-reaction with polyclonal antibodies directed against the CaM-like domain of soybean CDPK, confirmed the presence of an endogenous CaM-like domain in the purified enzyme. Kinetic studies revealed a Km value of 13 mg/mL for histone III-S and a Vmax of 0.1 nmolmin-1rng-1. The enzyme exhibited high specificity for ATP with a Km value of 10 nM. Titration with Ca2+ resulted in enhancement of the intrinsic emission fluorescence of swCDPK and a shift in the λmax emission from tryptophan residues. A reduction in the efficiency of non-radiative energy transfer from tyrosine to tryptophan residues was also observed. These are taken as evidence for the occurrence of Ca2+-induced conformational change in swCDPK. The emission spectral properties of swCDPK in conjunction with Ca2+ levels required for autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation help elucidate the possible mode of Ca2+ activation of this enzyme.
- Biochemistry (BC)