Logo of plntphysLink to Publisher's site
Plant Physiol. Oct 1995; 109(2): 445–455.
PMCID: PMC157606

A potent antimicrobial protein from onion seeds showing sequence homology to plant lipid transfer proteins.


An antimicrobial protein of about 10 kD, called Ace-AMP1, was isolated from onion (Allium cepa L.) seeds. Based on the near-complete amino acid sequence of this protein, oligonucleotides were designed for polymerase chain reaction-based cloning of the corresponding cDNA. The mature protein is homologous to plant nonspecific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs), but it shares only 76% of the residues that are conserved among all known plant nsLTPs and is unusually rich in arginine. Ace-AMP1 inhibits all 12 tested plant pathogenic fungi at concentrations below 10 micrograms mL-1. Its antifungal activity is either not at all or is weakly affected by the presence of different cations at concentrations approximating physiological ionic strength conditions. Ace-AMP1 is also active on two Gram-positive bacteria but is apparently not toxic for Gram-negative bacteria and cultured human cells. In contrast to nsLTPs such as those isolated from radish or maize seeds, Ace-AMP1 was unable to transfer phospholipids from liposomes to mitochondria. On the other hand, lipid transfer proteins from wheat and maize seeds showed little or no antimicrobial activity, whereas the radish lipid transfer protein displayed antifungal activity only in media with low cation concentrations. The relevance of these findings with regard to the function of nsLTPs is discussed.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.5M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Arondel V, Kader JC. Lipid transfer in plants. Experientia. 1990 Jun 15;46(6):579–585. [PubMed]
  • Bednarek SY, Raikhel NV. The barley lectin carboxyl-terminal propeptide is a vacuolar protein sorting determinant in plants. Plant Cell. 1991 Nov;3(11):1195–1206. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bernhard WR, Thoma S, Botella J, Somerville CR. Isolation of a cDNA Clone for Spinach Lipid Transfer Protein and Evidence that the Protein Is Synthesized by the Secretory Pathway. Plant Physiol. 1991 Jan;95(1):164–170. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Broekaert WF, Mariën W, Terras FR, De Bolle MF, Proost P, Van Damme J, Dillen L, Claeys M, Rees SB, Vanderleyden J, et al. Antimicrobial peptides from Amaranthus caudatus seeds with sequence homology to the cysteine/glycine-rich domain of chitin-binding proteins. Biochemistry. 1992 May 5;31(17):4308–4314. [PubMed]
  • Cammue BP, De Bolle MF, Terras FR, Proost P, Van Damme J, Rees SB, Vanderleyden J, Broekaert WF. Isolation and characterization of a novel class of plant antimicrobial peptides form Mirabilis jalapa L. seeds. J Biol Chem. 1992 Feb 5;267(4):2228–2233. [PubMed]
  • Delort J, Dumas JB, Darmon MC, Mallet J. An efficient strategy for cloning 5' extremities of rare transcripts permits isolation of multiple 5'-untranslated regions of rat tryptophan hydroxylase mRNA. Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Aug 25;17(16):6439–6448. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Duvick JP, Rood T, Rao AG, Marshak DR. Purification and characterization of a novel antimicrobial peptide from maize (Zea mays L.) kernels. J Biol Chem. 1992 Sep 15;267(26):18814–18820. [PubMed]
  • Fernandez de Caleya R, Gonzalez-Pascual B, García-Olmedo F, Carbonero P. Susceptibility of phytopathogenic bacteria to wheat purothionins in vitro. Appl Microbiol. 1972 May;23(5):998–1000. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Fleming AJ, Mandel T, Hofmann S, Sterk P, de Vries SC, Kuhlemeier C. Expression pattern of a tobacco lipid transfer protein gene within the shoot apex. Plant J. 1992 Nov;2(6):855–862. [PubMed]
  • Grosbois M, Guerbette F, Kader JC. Changes in Level and Activity of Phospholipid Transfer Protein during Maturation and Germination of Maize Seeds. Plant Physiol. 1989 Aug;90(4):1560–1564. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Huynh QK, Hironaka CM, Levine EB, Smith CE, Borgmeyer JR, Shah DM. Antifungal proteins from plants. Purification, molecular cloning, and antifungal properties of chitinases from maize seed. J Biol Chem. 1992 Apr 5;267(10):6635–6640. [PubMed]
  • Koltunow AM, Truettner J, Cox KH, Wallroth M, Goldberg RB. Different Temporal and Spatial Gene Expression Patterns Occur during Anther Development. Plant Cell. 1990 Dec;2(12):1201–1224. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Leah R, Tommerup H, Svendsen I, Mundy J. Biochemical and molecular characterization of three barley seed proteins with antifungal properties. J Biol Chem. 1991 Jan 25;266(3):1564–1573. [PubMed]
  • Masuta C, Furuno M, Tanaka H, Yamada M, Koiwai A. Molecular cloning of a cDNA clone for tobacco lipid transfer protein and expression of the functional protein in Escherichia coli. FEBS Lett. 1992 Oct 19;311(2):119–123. [PubMed]
  • Meijer EA, de Vries SC, Sterk P, Gadella DW, Jr, Wirtz KW, Hendriks T. Characterization of the non-specific lipid transfer protein EP2 from carrot (Daucus carota L.). Mol Cell Biochem. 1993 Jun 9;123(1-2):159–166. [PubMed]
  • Molina A, García-Olmedo F. Developmental and pathogen-induced expression of three barley genes encoding lipid transfer proteins. Plant J. 1993 Dec;4(6):983–991. [PubMed]
  • Nakamura K, Matsuoka K. Protein targeting to the vacuole in plant cells. Plant Physiol. 1993 Jan;101(1):1–5. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Roberts WK, Selitrennikoff CP. Isolation and partial characterization of two antifungal proteins from barley. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1986 Feb 19;880(2-3):161–170. [PubMed]
  • Segura A, Moreno M, García-Olmedo F. Purification and antipathogenic activity of lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) from the leaves of Arabidopsis and spinach. FEBS Lett. 1993 Oct 18;332(3):243–246. [PubMed]
  • Simorre JP, Caille A, Marion D, Marion D, Ptak M. Two- and three-dimensional 1H NMR studies of a wheat phospholipid transfer protein: sequential resonance assignments and secondary structure. Biochemistry. 1991 Dec 10;30(49):11600–11608. [PubMed]
  • Smith PK, Krohn RI, Hermanson GT, Mallia AK, Gartner FH, Provenzano MD, Fujimoto EK, Goeke NM, Olson BJ, Klenk DC. Measurement of protein using bicinchoninic acid. Anal Biochem. 1985 Oct;150(1):76–85. [PubMed]
  • Sterk P, Booij H, Schellekens GA, Van Kammen A, De Vries SC. Cell-specific expression of the carrot EP2 lipid transfer protein gene. Plant Cell. 1991 Sep;3(9):907–921. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Takishima K, Watanabe S, Yamada M, Suga T, Mamiya G. Amino acid sequences of two nonspecific lipid-transfer proteins from germinated castor bean. Eur J Biochem. 1988 Nov 1;177(2):241–249. [PubMed]
  • Tchang F, This P, Stiefel V, Arondel V, Morch MD, Pages M, Puigdomenech P, Grellet F, Delseny M, Bouillon P, et al. Phospholipid transfer protein: full-length cDNA and amino acid sequence in maize. Amino acid sequence homologies between plant phospholipid transfer proteins. J Biol Chem. 1988 Nov 15;263(32):16849–16855. [PubMed]
  • Terras FR, Goderis IJ, Van Leuven F, Vanderleyden J, Cammue BP, Broekaert WF. In Vitro Antifungal Activity of a Radish (Raphanus sativus L.) Seed Protein Homologous to Nonspecific Lipid Transfer Proteins. Plant Physiol. 1992 Oct;100(2):1055–1058. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Terras FR, Schoofs HM, De Bolle MF, Van Leuven F, Rees SB, Vanderleyden J, Cammue BP, Broekaert WF. Analysis of two novel classes of plant antifungal proteins from radish (Raphanus sativus L.) seeds. J Biol Chem. 1992 Aug 5;267(22):15301–15309. [PubMed]
  • Terras FR, Torrekens S, Van Leuven F, Osborn RW, Vanderleyden J, Cammue BP, Broekaert WF. A new family of basic cysteine-rich plant antifungal proteins from Brassicaceae species. FEBS Lett. 1993 Feb 1;316(3):233–240. [PubMed]
  • Tessier DC, Brousseau R, Vernet T. Ligation of single-stranded oligodeoxyribonucleotides by T4 RNA ligase. Anal Biochem. 1986 Oct;158(1):171–178. [PubMed]
  • Thoma S, Hecht U, Kippers A, Botella J, De Vries S, Somerville C. Tissue-specific expression of a gene encoding a cell wall-localized lipid transfer protein from Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. 1994 May;105(1):35–45. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Thoma S, Kaneko Y, Somerville C. A non-specific lipid transfer protein from Arabidopsis is a cell wall protein. Plant J. 1993 Mar;3(3):427–436. [PubMed]
  • Torres-Schumann S, Godoy JA, Pintor-Toro JA. A probable lipid transfer protein gene is induced by NaCl in stems of tomato plants. Plant Mol Biol. 1992 Feb;18(4):749–757. [PubMed]

Articles from Plant Physiology are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...