Image_2_Dynamic Modeling of Indole Glucosinolate Hydrolysis and Its Impact on Auxin Signaling.TIF

Plants release chemicals to deter attackers. Arabidopsis thaliana relies on multiple defense compounds, including indol-3-ylmethyl glucosinolate (I3G), which upon hydrolysis initiated by myrosinase enzymes releases a multitude of bioactive compounds, among others, indole-3-acetonitrile and indole-3-acetoisothiocyanate. The highly unstable isothiocyanate rapidly reacts with other molecules. One of the products, indole-3-carbinol, was reported to inhibit auxin signaling through binding to the TIR1 auxin receptor. On the contrary, the nitrile product of I3G hydrolysis can be converted by nitrilase enzymes to form the primary auxin molecule, indole-3-acetic acid, which activates TIR1. This suggests that auxin signaling is subject to both antagonistic and protagonistic effects of I3G hydrolysis upon attack. We hypothesize that I3G hydrolysis and auxin signaling form an incoherent feedforward loop and we build a mathematical model to examine the regulatory network dynamics. We use molecular docking to investigate the possible antagonistic properties of different I3G hydrolysis products by competitive binding to the TIR1 receptor. Our simulations reveal an uncoupling of auxin concentration and signaling, and we determine that enzyme activity and antagonist binding affinity are key parameters for this uncoupling. The molecular docking predicts that several I3G hydrolysis products strongly antagonize auxin signaling. By comparing a tissue disrupting attack – e.g., by chewing insects or necrotrophic pathogens that causes rapid release of I3G hydrolysis products – to sustained cell-autonomous I3G hydrolysis, e.g., upon infection by biotrophic pathogens, we find that each scenario gives rise to distinct auxin signaling dynamics. This suggests that plants have different defense versus growth strategies depending on the nature of the attack.