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Höwing, Timo; Dann, Marcel; Höfle, Caroline; Hückelhoven, Ralph; Gietl, Christine (2017): Involvement of Arabidopsis thaliana endoplasmic reticulum KDEL-tailed cysteine endopeptidase 1 (AtCEP1) in powdery mildew-induced and AtCPR5-controlled cell death.
In: PLOS One 12(8), e0183870


Programmed cell death (PCD) is a prerequisite for successful development and it limits the spread of biotrophic pathogens in a rapid hypersensitive response at the site of infection. KDEL-tailed cysteine endopeptidases (KDEL CysEP) are a subgroup of papain-type cysteine endopeptidases expressed in tissues undergoing PCD. In Arabidopsis, three KDEL CysEPs (AtCEP1, AtCEP2, and AtCEP3) are expressed. We have previously shown that AtCEP1 is a factor of basal resistance to powdery mildew caused by the biotrophic ascomycete Erysiphe cruciferarum, and is expressed in spatiotemporal association with the late fungal development on Arabidopsis leaves. The endoplasmic reticulum-localized proenzyme of AtCEP1 was further visualized at the haustorial complex encased with callose. The AtCPR5 gene (CONSTITUTIVE EXPRESSION OF PR GENES 5) is a regulator of expression of pathogenesis related genes. Loss of AtCPR5 leads to spontaneous expression of chlorotic lesions which was associated with enhanced expression of AtCEP1. We used the atcpr5-2 mutant plants and the atcep1 atcpr5-2 double mutants harboring a non-functional reporter (PCEP1:: pre-pro-3xHA-EGFP-KDEL) for visualization of AtCEP1 promoter activity. We found the specific up-regulation of AtCEP1 in direct neighborhood of spreading leaf lesions thus likely representing cells undergoing PCD. Furthermore, we found a strong resistance of atcpr5 mutant plants against infection with E. cruciferarum. Loss of AtCEP1 had no obvious influence on the strong resistance of atcpr5-2 mutant plants against infection with E. cruciferarum. However, the area of necrotic leaf lesions associated with E. cruciferarum colonies was significantly larger in atcpr5-2 as compared to atcep1 atcpr5-2 double mutant plants. The presence of AtCEP1 thus contributes to AtCPR5-controlled PCD at the sites of powdery mildew infection.