NADPH oxidase (NOX) is one of the sources of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that modulates the activity of proteins through modifications of their cysteine residues. In a previous study, we demonstrated the importance of NOX in both the development and pathogenicity of the phytopathogen Fusarium graminearum. In this article, comparative proteomics between the wild-type and a Nox mutant of F. graminearum was used to identify active cysteine residues on candidate redox-sensing proteins. A two-dimensional gel approach based on labelling with monobromobimane (mBBR) identified 19 candidate proteins, and was complemented with a gel-free shotgun approach based on a biotin switch method, which yielded 99 candidates. The results indicated that, in addition to temporal regulation, a large number of primary metabolic enzymes are potentially targeted by NoxAB-generated ROS. Targeted disruption of these metabolic genes showed that, although some are dispensable, others are essential. In addition to metabolic enzymes, developmental proteins, such as the Woronin body major protein (FGSG_08737) and a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored protein (FGSG_10089), were also identified. Deletion of either of these genes reduced the virulence of F. graminearum. Furthermore, changing the redox-modified cysteine (Cys325) residue in FGSG_10089 to either serine or phenylalanine resulted in a similar phenotype to the FGSG_10089 knockout strain, which displayed reduced virulence and altered cell wall morphology; this underscores the importance of Cys325 to the function of the protein. Our results indicate that NOX-generated ROS act as intracellular signals in F. graminearum and modulate the activity of proteins affecting development and virulence in planta.

Giberella zea, NADPH oxidase, redox proteomics
Molecular Plant Pathology
Department of Biology

Fernando, U. (Ursla), Chatur, S. (Salima), Joshi, M. (Manisha), Thomas Bonner, C. (Christopher), Fan, T. (Tao), Hubbard, K. (Keith), … Rampitsch, C. (Christof). (2018). Redox signalling from NADPH oxidase targets metabolic enzymes and developmental proteins in Fusarium graminearum. Molecular Plant Pathology. doi:10.1111/mpp.12742