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Physiol Plant. 2014 Jan;150(1):1-17. doi: 10.1111/ppl.12061. Epub 2013 May 16.

Nep1-like protein from Moniliophthora perniciosa induces a rapid proteome and metabolome reprogramming in cells of Nicotiana benthamiana.

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Laboratório de Proteômica, Centro de Biotecnologia e Genética, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil; Mars Center for Cocoa Science, CP 55, Itajuipe, Bahia, Brazil.


NEP1 (necrosis- and ethylene-inducing peptide 1)-like proteins (NLPs) have been identified in a variety of taxonomically unrelated plant pathogens and share a common characteristic of inducing responses of plant defense and cell death in dicotyledonous plants. Even though some aspects of NLP action have been well characterized, nothing is known about the global range of modifications in proteome and metabolome of NLP-treated plant cells. Here, using both proteomic and metabolomic approaches we were able to identify the global molecular and biochemical changes in cells of Nicotiana benthamiana elicited by short-term treatment with MpNEP2, a NLP of Moniliophthora perniciosa, the basidiomycete responsible for the witches' broom disease on cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.). Approximately 100 protein spots were collected from 2-DE gels in each proteome, with one-third showing more than twofold differences in the expression values. Fifty-three such proteins were identified by mass spectrometry (MS)/MS and mapped into specific metabolic pathways and cellular processes. Most MpNEP2 upregulated proteins are involved in nucleotide-binding function and oxidoreductase activity, whereas the downregulated proteins are mostly involved in glycolysis, response to stress and protein folding. Thirty metabolites were detected by gas spectrometry (GC)/MS and semi-quantified, of which eleven showed significant differences between the treatments, including proline, alanine, myo-inositol, ethylene, threonine and hydroxylamine. The global changes described affect the reduction-oxidation reactions, ATP biosynthesis and key signaling molecules as calcium and hydrogen peroxide. These findings will help creating a broader understanding of NLP-mediated cell death signaling in plants.

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