Heavy metal stress and leaf senescence induce the barley gene HvC2d1 encoding a calcium-dependent novel C2 domain-like protein

Authors

  • Akli Ouelhadj,

    1. Institute of Plant Physiology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Weinbergweg 10, D-06120 Halle, Germany;
    2. Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Bioremediation, Permoser Str. 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
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  • Peter Kuschk,

    1. Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Department of Bioremediation, Permoser Str. 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany
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  • Klaus Humbeck

    1. Institute of Plant Physiology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Weinbergweg 10, D-06120 Halle, Germany;
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Author for correspondence: Klaus Humbeck Tel: (+49) 345 55 26 410 Fax: (+49) 345 55 27245 Email: klaus.humbeck@pflanzenphys.uni-halle.de

Summary

  • • By comparing cDNA populations derived from chromium-stressed primary leaves of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) with controls, differentially expressed cDNA fragments could be identified. The deduced amino acid sequence of one of these cDNAs [named ‘C2 domain 1’ (HvC2d1)] exhibits a motif that is similar to the known C2 domain and a nuclear localization signal (NLS).
  • • Expression of this member of a novel class of plant C2 domain-like proteins was studied using real-time PCR, and subcellular localization was investigated using green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion constructs. Calcium binding was analysed using a 45Ca2+ overlay assay.
  • • HvC2d1 was transiently induced after exposure to different heavy metals and its mRNA accumulated during the phase of leaf senescence. HvC2d1 expression responded to changes in calcium levels caused by the calcium ionophore A23187 and to treatment with methylviologen resulting in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Using overexpressed and purified HvC2d1, the binding of calcium could be confirmed. Chimeric HvC2d1-GFP protein was localized in onion epidermal cells at the plasma membrane, cytoplasm and the nucleus. After addition of calcium ionophore A23187 green fluorescence was only visible in the nucleus.
  • • The data suggest a calcium-dependent translocation of HvC2d1 to the nucleus. A possible role of HvC2d1 in stress- and development-dependent signalling in the nucleus is discussed.

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