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Affinity chromatography revealed insights into unique functionality of two 14-3-3 protein species in developing maize kernels

Dou, Yao, Liu, Xiangguo, Yin, Yuejia, Han, Siping, Lu, Yang, Liu, Yang, Hao, Dongyun
Journal of proteomics 2015 v.114 pp. 274-286
Zea mays, affinity chromatography, cell structures, corn, gene expression, gene expression regulation, metabolism, multigene family, proteomics, regulatory proteins, seed development, seeds, transcription (genetics)
The 14-3-3 proteins are a group of regulatory proteins of divergent functions in plants. However, little is known about their roles in maize kernel development. Using publically available gene expression profiling data, we found that two 14-3-3 species genes, zmgf14-4 and zmgf14-6, exhibited prominent expression profiles over other 14-3-3 protein genes during maize kernel development. More than 5000 transcripts of these two genes were identified accounting for about 1/10 of the total transcripts of genes correlating to maize kernel development. We constructed a proteomics pipeline based on the affinity chromatography, in combination with 2-DE and LC-MS/MS technologies to identify the specific client proteins of the two proteins for their functional characterization. Consequently, we identified 77 specific client proteins from the developing kernels of the inbred maize B73. More than 60% of the client proteins were commonly affinity-identified by the two 14-3-3 species and are predicted to be implicated in the fundamental functions of metabolism, protein destination and storage. In addition, we found ZmGF14-4 specifically bound to the disease- or defense-relating proteins, whilst ZmGF14-6 tended to interact with the proteins involving metabolism and cell structure. Our findings provide primary insights into the functional roles of 14-3-3 proteins in maize kernel development.Maize kernel development is a complicated physiological process for its importance in both genetics and cereal breeding. 14-3-3 proteins form a multi-gene family participating in regulations of developmental processes in plants. However, the correlation between this protein family and maize kernel development has hardly been studied. We have for the first time found 12 14-3-3 protein genes from maize genome and studied in silico the gene transcription profiling of these genes. Comparative studies revealed that maize kernel development aroused a great number of gene expression, among which 14-3-3 protein genes took a significant proportion. We applied affinity chromatographic approach, in combination with 2-DE and LC-MS/MS, to explore the specific client proteins of two crucial 14-3-3 protein species that exhibit prominent gene expression over other members in the family during the kernel development. Assessments of the identified client proteins resulted in important information toward understanding the functional mechanism of 14-3-3 protein family in maize kernel development.