Bleogens : cactus-derived anti-candida cysteine-rich peptides with three different precursor arrangements
Tam, James P.
Date of Issue2017
School of Biological Sciences
Cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) play important host-defense roles in plants. However, information concerning CRPs in the Cactaceae (cactus) family is limited, with only a single cactus-derived CRP described to date. Here, we report the identification of 15 novel CRPs with three different precursor architectures, bleogens pB1-15 from Pereskia bleo of the Cactaceae family. By combining proteomic and transcriptomic methods, we showed that the prototype, bleogen pB1, contained 36 amino acid residues, a six-cysteine motif typical of the six-cysteine-hevein-like peptide (6C-HLP) family, and a type I two-domain precursor consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and a mature domain. In contrast, the precursors of the other 14 bleogens contained a type II three-domain architecture with a propeptide domain inserted between the ER and the mature bleogen domain. Four of these 14 bleogens display a third type of architecture with a tandemly repeating bleogen domain. A search of the Onekp database revealed that <1% plant species possess three different precursor architectures for the biosynthesis of 6C-HLPs, including Lophophora williamsii, Pereskia aculeate, Portulaca cryptopetala, Portulaca oleracea, Portulaca suffruticosa, and Talinum sp. NMR analysis confirmed that bleogen pB1 has cystine-knot disulfide connectivity as well as a two-beta-sheet and a four-loop structural fold that is similar to other 6C-HLPs. Sequence analysis, structural studies, and in silico modeling revealed that bleogen pB1 has a cation-polar-cation motif, a signature heparin-binding motif that was confirmed by heparin affinity chromatography. Cell-based assays showed that bleogen pB1 is non-toxic to mammalian cells but functions as an anti-Candida peptide. Taken together, our findings provide insight into the occurrence, functions and precursor architectures of CRPs in the cactus family.
Frontiers in Plant Science
© 2017 Loo, Kam, Xiao and Tam. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.