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The selenium-binding protein of Theobroma cacao: A thermostable protein involved in the witches' broom disease resistance

Martins Alves A.M., Pereira Menezes S., Matos Lima E., Peres Gramacho K., Silva Andrade B., Macêdo Ferreira M., Pirovani C.P., Micheli F.. 2019. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 142 : p. 472-481.

DOI: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2019.08.005

The selenium-binding proteins are known to be inducers of apoptosis in human and animals, and have been studied as target for the treatment of various types of cancer. In plants, SBP expression has been related to abiotic and biotic stress resistance. The SBP from Theobroma cacao (TcSBP) was first identified from a cocoa-Moniliophthora perniciosa cDNA library. The present study provides details on the TcSBP gene and protein structure. Multiple alignments revealed conserved domains between SBP from plants, human and archea. Homology modeling and molecular docking were performed and showed that the TcSBP has affinity to selenite in the active CSSC site. This result was confirmed by circular dichroism of the recombinant TcSBP, which also presented thermostable behavior. RT-qPCR analysis showed that TcSBP was differentially expressed in resistant vs susceptible cacao varieties inoculated by M. perniciosa and its expression was probably due to hormone induction via cis-regulating elements present in its promotor. The presence of the CSSC domain suggested that TcSBP acted by altering oxidation/reduction of proteins during H2O2 production and programmed cell death in the final stages of the witches' broom disease. To our knowledge, this is the first in silico and in vitro analysis of the SBP from cacao.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; moniliophthora; maladie du balai de sorcière; résistance aux maladies; selenium; expression des gènes; brésil; moniliophthora perniciosa; horloge moléculaire

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