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2-C-Methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclodiphosphate (MEcDP) is an intermediate of the plastid-localized 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway which supplies isoprenoid precursors for photosynthetic pigments, redox co-factor side chains, plant volatiles, and phytohormones. The Arabidopsis hds-3 mutant, defective in the 1-hydroxy-2-methyl-2-(E)-butenyl-4-diphosphate synthase step of the MEP pathway, accumulates its substrate MEcDP as well as the free tetraol 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol (ME) and glucosylated ME metabolites, a metabolic diversion also occurring in wild type plants. MEcDP dephosphorylation to the free tetraol precedes glucosylation, a process which likely takes place in the cytosol. Other MEP pathway intermediates were not affected in hds-3. Isotopic labeling, dark treatment, and inhibitor studies indicate that a second pool of MEcDP metabolically isolated from the main pathway is the source of a signal which activates salicylic acid induced defense responses before its conversion to hemiterpene glycosides. The hds-3 mutant also showed enhanced resistance to the phloem-feeding aphid Brevicoryne brassicae due to its constitutively activated defense response. However, this MEcDP-mediated defense response is developmentally dependent and is repressed in emerging seedlings. MEcDP and ME exogenously applied to adult leaves mimics many of the gene induction effects seen in the hds-3 mutant. In conclusion, we have identified a metabolic shunt from the central MEP pathway that diverts MEcDP to hemiterpene glycosides via ME, a process linked to balancing plant responses to biotic stress.
- plant defensin gene
- isoprenoid biosynthesis
- mep pathway
Gonzalez-Cabanelas, D., Wright, L. P., Paetz, C., Onkokesung, N., Gershenzon, J., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M., & Phillips, M. A. (2015). The diversion of 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-2,4-cyclodiphosphate from the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway to hemiterpene glycosides mediates stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. The Plant Journal, 82(1), 122-137. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.12798