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Plant Mol Biol. 2007 Dec;65(6):711-8. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Systemic wound signaling in tomato leaves is cooperatively regulated by systemin and hydroxyproline-rich glycopeptide signals.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6340, USA.


Hydroxyproline-rich glycopeptides (HypSys peptides) have been isolated recently from tobacco and tomato leaves that are powerful activators of protease inhibitor synthesis. The peptides are processed from polyprotein precursors, two from a single tobacco precursor and three from a single tomato precursor. The precursor genes are expressed in response to wounding and methyl jasmonate, similar to the expression of the systemin precursor prosystemin in tomato leaves. Here we investigate the relationships between systemin and the tomato HypSys peptides in regulating wound signaling in tomato plants. Analysis of transgenic tomato plants over-expressing sense and antisense constructs of the tomato HypSys precursor under the 35S CaMV promoter show that the transgenic plants regulate protease inhibitor gene expression in response to wounding in a manner similar to prosystemin. The evidence indicates that the expression of both the tomato HypSys precursor gene and the prosystemin gene in response to wounding are necessary for strong systemic signaling. The data supports a role for both genes in an amplification loop that up-regulates the octadecanoid pathway and the synthesis of jasmonates to effect strong systemic signaling of defense genes. This report provides the first demonstration of the involvement of two plant peptides derived from two unrelated genes in regulating long distance wound signaling in plants.

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