Chemical genetics approach identifies ABNORMAL INFLORESCENCE MERISTEM 1 as a putative target of a novel sulfonamide that protects Arabidopsis against photorespiratory stress

  • Tom van der Meer (Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University) (Creator)
  • Pavel Kerchev (Creator)
  • Frank Van Breusegem (Creator)
  • Christian V. Stevens (Creator)
  • Arno Verlee (Creator)
  • Patrick Willems (Creator)
  • Francis Impens (Creator)
  • Kris Gevaert (Creator)
  • Christa Testerink (Creator)



Alterations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels have a profound impact on numerous signaling cascades orchestrating stress responses, plant growth and development, including programmed cell death. To expand the repertoire of known molecular mechanisms implicated in H2O2 signaling, we performed a forward chemical screen to identify small molecules that could alleviate the photorespiratory-induced cell death phenotype of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants lacking H2O2 scavenging capacity by peroxisomal CATALASE2. Here, we report the characterization of pakerine, a m-sulfamoyl benzamide from the sulfonamide family. Pakerine alleviates the cell death phenotype of cat2 mutants exposed to photorespiration-promoting conditions and delays dark-induced senescence in wild type Arabidopsis leaves. By using a combination of transcriptomics, metabolomics and affinity purification we identified ABNORMAL INFLORESCENCE MERISTEM 1 (AIM1) as a putative protein target of pakerine. AIM1 is a 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase involved in β-fatty acid oxidation that contributes to jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) biosynthesis. Whereas intact JA biosynthesis was not required for pakerine bioactivity, our results point towards a role for β-oxidation-dependent SA production in execution of H2O2-mediated cell death.
Date made available3 Sept 2020
PublisherWageningen University


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Expression profiling by array

Accession numbers

  • GSE155026
  • PRJNA648247

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