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  • 1. Bottin, Armaud
    et al.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Mélida, Hugo
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    The phytopathogenic oomycete Aphanomyces euteiches contains two distinct N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase activities that form chitin-like saccharides in vitroManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 2.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Characterization of specific domains of the cellulose and chitin synthases from pathogenic oomycetes2015Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Some oomycetes species are severe pathogens of fish or crops. As such, they are responsible for important losses in the aquaculture industry as well as in agriculture. Saprolegnia parasitica is a major concern in aquaculture as there is currently no method available for controlling the diseases caused by this microorganism. The cell wall is an extracellular matrix composed essentially of polysaccharides, whose integrity is required for oomycete viability. Thus, the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of cell wall components, such as cellulose and chitin synthases, represent ideal targets for disease control. However, the biochemical properties of these enzymes are poorly understood, which limits our capacity to develop specific inhibitors that can be used for blocking the growth of pathogenic oomycetes.

    In our work, we have used Saprolegnia monoica as a model species for oomycetes to characterize two types of domains that occur specifically in oomycete carbohydrate synthases: the Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain of a cellulose synthase and the so-called ‘Microtubule Interacting and Trafficking’ (MIT) domain of chitin synthases. In addition, the chitin synthase activity of the oomycete phytopathogen Aphanomyces euteiches was characterized in vitro using biochemical approaches.

    The results from our in vitro investigations revealed that the PH domain of the oomycete cellulose synthase binds to phosphoinositides, microtubules and F-actin. In addition, cell biology approaches were used to demonstrate that the PH domain co-localize with F-actin in vivo. The structure of the MIT domain of chitin synthase (CHS) 1 was solved by NMR. In vitro binding assays performed on recombinant MIT domains from CHS 1 and CHS 2 demonstrated that both proteins strongly interact with phosphatidic acid in vitro. These results were further supported by in silico data where biomimetic membranes composed of different phospholipids were designed for interaction studies. The use of a yeast-two-hybrid approach suggested that the MIT domain of CHS 2 interacts with the delta subunit of Adaptor Protein 3, which is involved in protein trafficking. These data support a role of the MIT domains in the cellular targeting of CHS proteins. Our biochemical data on the characterization of the chitin synthase activity of A. euteiches suggest the existence of two distinct enzymes responsible for the formation of water soluble and insoluble chitosaccharides, which is consistent with the existence of two putative CHS genes in the genome of this species.

    Altogether our data support a role of the PH domain of cellulose synthase and MIT domains of CHS in membrane trafficking and cellular location.

  • 3.
    Brown, Christian
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Leijon, Felicia
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Bulone, Vincent
    Radiometric and spectrophotometric in vitro assays of glycosyltransferases involved in plant cell wall carbohydrate biosynthesis2012In: Nature Protocols, ISSN 1754-2189, E-ISSN 1750-2799, Vol. 7, no 9, p. 1634-1650Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most of the glycosyltransferases (GTs) that catalyze the formation of plant cell wall carbohydrates remain to be biochemically characterized. This can be achieved only if specific assays are available for these enzymes. Here we present a protocol for in vitro assays of processive and nonprocessive membrane-bound GTs. The assays are either based on the use of radioactive nucleotide sugars (NDP sugars; e.g., UDP-[U-C-14] glucose) and the quantification of the radiolabeled monosaccharides incorporated into soluble or insoluble carbohydrates, or on the coupling of the GT reaction with that of pyruvate kinase (PK) and the oxidation of NADH by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). The radiometric assays are more suitable for exploratory work on poorly characterized enzymes, whereas the spectrophotometric assays require the availability of highly enriched GTs. Both assays can be performed within 1 d, depending on the number of fractions to be assayed or reaction mixtures to be tested.

  • 4.
    Brown, Christian
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Szpryngie, Scarlett
    Kuang, Guanglin
    Srivastava, Vaibhav
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Ye, Weihua
    McKee, Lauren S.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Tu, Yaoquan
    Mäler, Lena
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Structural and functional characterization of the “Microtubule Interacting and Trafficking": domains of two oomycetes chitin synthasesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 5. Butchosa, Nria
    et al.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Berglund, Lars A.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Zhou, Qi
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Antimicrobial activity of biocomposites based on bacterial cellulose and chitin nanoparticles2012In: Abstract of Papers of the American Chemical Society, ISSN 0065-7727, Vol. 243Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 6.
    Butchosa, Nuria
    et al.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Larsson, Per Tomas
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Berglund, Lars A.
    KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Biocomposites. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Zhou, Qi
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Centres, Wallenberg Wood Science Center.
    Nanocomposites of bacterial cellulose nanofibers and chitin nanocrystals: fabrication, characterization and bactericidal activity2013In: Green Chemistry, ISSN 1463-9262, E-ISSN 1463-9270, Vol. 15, no 12, p. 3404-3413Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An environmentally friendly approach was implemented for the production of nanocomposites with bactericidal activity, using bacterial cellulose (BC) nanofibers and chitin nanocrystals (ChNCs). The antibacterial activity of ChNCs prepared by acid hydrolysis, TEMPO-mediated oxidation or partial deacetylation of a-chitin powder was assessed and the structure of the ChNC nanoparticles was characterized by X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and solid-state C-13-NMR. The partially deacetylated ChNCs (D-ChNC) showed the strongest antibacterial activity, with 99 +/- 1% inhibition of bacterial growth compared to control samples. Nanocomposites were prepared from BC nanofibers and D-ChNC by (i) in situ biosynthesis with the addition of D-ChNC nanoparticles in the culture medium of Acetobacter aceti, and (ii) post-modification by mixing D-ChNC with disintegrated BC in an aqueous suspension. The structure and mechanical properties of the BC/D-ChNC nanocomposites were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, elemental analysis, field-emission scanning electron microscopy, and an Instron universal testing machine. The bactericidal activity of the nanocomposites increased with the D-ChNC content, with a reduction in bacterial growth by 3.0 log units when the D-ChNC content was 50%. D-ChNC nanoparticles have great potential as substitutes for unfriendly antimicrobial compounds such as heavy metal nanoparticles and synthetic polymers to introduce antibacterial properties to cellulosic materials.

  • 7.
    Fugelstad, Johanna
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Hukasova, Elvira
    Sundqvist, Gustav
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Lindqvist, Arne
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Functional characterization of the pleckstrin homology domain of a cellulose synthase from the Oomycete Saprolegnia monoica2012In: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications - BBRC, ISSN 0006-291X, E-ISSN 1090-2104, Vol. 417, no 4, p. 1248-1253Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some oomycetes, for instance Saprolegnia parasitica, are severe fish pathogens that cause important economic losses worldwide. Cellulose biosynthesis is a vital process for this class of microorganisms, but the corresponding molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Of all cellulose synthesizing enzymes known, only some oomycete cellulose synthases contain a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Some human PH domains bind specifically to phosphoinositides, but most PH domains bind phospholipids in a non-specific manner. In addition, some PH domains interact with various proteins. Here we have investigated the function of the PH domain of cellulose synthase 2 from the oomycete Saprolegnia monoica (SmCesA2), a species closely related to S. parasitica. The SmCesA2 PH domain is similar to the C-terminal PH domain of the human protein TAPP1. It binds in vitro to phosphoinositides, F-actin and microtubules, and co-localizes with F-actin in vivo. Our results suggest a role of the SmCesA2 PH domain in the regulation, trafficking and/or targeting of the cell wall synthesizing enzyme.

  • 8.
    Kuang, Guanglin
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.
    Liang, Lijun
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology. Zhejiang University, China.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Wang, Qi
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. Univ Adelaide, Australia.
    Tu, Yaoquan
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.
    Insight into the adsorption profiles of the Saprolegnia monoica chitin synthase MIT domain on POPA and POPC membranes by molecular dynamics simulation studies2016In: Physical Chemistry, Chemical Physics - PCCP, ISSN 1463-9076, E-ISSN 1463-9084, Vol. 18, no 7, p. 5281-5290Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The critical role of chitin synthases in oomycete hyphal tip growth has been established. A microtubule interacting and trafficking (MIT) domain was discovered in the chitin synthases of the oomycete model organism, Saprolegnia monoica. MIT domains have been identified in diverse proteins and may play a role in intracellular trafficking. The structure of the Saprolegnia monoica chitin synthase 1 (SmChs1) MIT domain has been recently determined by our group. However, although our in vitro assay identified increased strength in interactions between the MIT domain and phosphatidic acid (PA) relative to other phospholipids including phosphatidylcholine (PC), the mechanism used by the MIT domain remains unknown. In this work, the adsorption behavior of the SmChs1 MIT domain on POPA and POPC membranes was systematically investigated by molecular dynamics simulations. Our results indicate that the MIT domain can adsorb onto the tested membranes in varying orientations. Interestingly, due to the specific interactions between MIT residues and lipid molecules, the binding affinity to the POPA membrane is much higher than that to the POPC membrane. A binding hotspot, which is critical for the adsorption of the MIT domain onto the POPA membrane, was also identified. The lower binding affinity to the POPC membrane can be attributed to the self-saturated membrane surface, which is unfavorable for hydrogen-bond and electrostatic interactions. The present study provides insight into the adsorption profile of SmChs1 and additionally has the potential to improve our understanding of other proteins containing MIT domains.

  • 9.
    Kuang, Guanglin
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.
    Liang, Lijun
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.
    Brown, Christian
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Wang, Qi
    Tu, Yaoquan
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience.
    Tu, Yaoquan
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Theoretical Chemistry and Biology.
    Insight into the adsorption profiles of the Saprolegnia practica chitin synthase MIT domain on POPA and POPC membranes by molecular dynamics simulation studiesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Rajangam, Alex S.
    et al.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Kumar, Manoj
    Aspeborg, Henrik
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Guerriero, Gea
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Arvestad, Lars
    KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Computational Biology, CB.
    Pansri, Podjamas
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Brown, Christian J. L.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Hober, Sophia
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Proteomics (closed 20130101).
    Blomqvist, Kristina
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Divne, Christina
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Ezcurra, Inés
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Mellerowicz, Ewa
    Sundberg, Bjorn
    Bulone, Vincent
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    Teeri, Tuula T.
    KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Glycoscience. KTH, School of Biotechnology (BIO), Centres, Swedish Center for Biomimetic Fiber Engineering, BioMime.
    MAP20, a Microtubule-Associated Protein in the Secondary Cell Walls of Hybrid Aspen, Is a Target of the Cellulose Synthesis Inhibitor 2,6-Dichlorobenzonitrile2008In: Plant Physiology, ISSN 0032-0889, E-ISSN 1532-2548, Vol. 148, no 3, p. 1283-1294Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We have identified a gene, denoted PttMAP20, which is strongly up-regulated during secondary cell wall synthesis and tightly coregulated with the secondary wall-associated CESA genes in hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x tremuloides). Immunolocalization studies with affinity-purified antibodies specific for PttMAP20 revealed that the protein is found in all cell types in developing xylem and that it is most abundant in cells forming secondary cell walls. This PttMAP20 protein sequence contains a highly conserved TPX2 domain first identified in a microtubule-associated protein (MAP) in Xenopus laevis. Overexpression of PttMAP20 in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) leads to helical twisting of epidermal cells, frequently associated with MAPs. In addition, a PttMAP20-yellow fluorescent protein fusion protein expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves localizes to microtubules in leaf epidermal pavement cells. Recombinant PttMAP20 expressed in Escherichia coli also binds specifically to in vitro-assembled, taxol-stabilized bovine microtubules. Finally, the herbicide 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile, which inhibits cellulose synthesis in plants, was found to bind specifically to PttMAP20. Together with the known function of cortical microtubules in orienting cellulose microfibrils, these observations suggest that PttMAP20 has a role in cellulose biosynthesis.

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