1887

Abstract

-Proline is a widely used compatible solute and is employed by , through both synthesis and uptake, as an osmostress protectant. Here, we assessed the stress-protective potential of the plant-derived -proline derivatives -methyl--proline, -proline betaine (stachydrine), -4--hydroxproline and -4-hydroxy--proline betaine (betonicine) for cells challenged by high salinity or extremes in growth temperature. -Proline betaine and betonicine conferred salt stress protection, but -4--hydroxyproline and -methyl--proline was unable to do so. Except for -proline, none of these compounds served as a nutrient for . -Proline betaine was a considerably better osmostress protectant than betonicine, and its import strongly reduced the -proline pool produced by under osmotic stress conditions, whereas a supply of betonicine affected the -proline pool only modestly. Both compounds downregulated the transcription of the osmotically inducible operon, albeit to different extents. Mutant studies revealed that -proline betaine was taken up via the ATP-binding cassette transporters OpuA and OpuC, and the betaine-choline-carnitine-transporter-type carrier OpuD; betonicine was imported only through OpuA and OpuC. -Proline betaine and betonicine also served as temperature stress protectants. A striking difference between these chemically closely related compounds was observed: -proline betaine was an excellent cold stress protectant, but did not provide heat stress protection, whereas the reverse was true for betonicine. Both compounds were primarily imported in temperature-challenged cells via the high-capacity OpuA transporter. We developed an model for the OpuAC–betonicine complex based on the crystal structure of the OpuAC solute receptor complexed with -proline betaine.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • LOEWE Program of the State of Hessen
  • Fonds der Chemischen Industrie
  • Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst
  • Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
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2014-10-01
2021-10-18
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