Jasmonates: Synthesis, Metabolism, Signal Transduction and Action


Jasmonic acid and other fatty‐acid‐derived compounds called oxylipins are signals in stress responses and development of plants. The receptor complex, signal transduction components as well as repressors and activators in jasmonate‐induced gene expression have been elucidated. Different regulatory levels and cross‐talk with other hormones are responsible for the multiplicity of plant responses to environmental and developmental cues.

Key Concepts

  • Jasmonates are important signalling compounds in plant stress responses and development.
  • Jasmonates are lipid‐derived signals.
  • Active and inactive jasmonates are generated by metabolic conversion.
  • Key components of jasmonate perception and signalling have been elucidated.
  • There is an increasing number of repressors, co‐repressors, adaptors and activators (transcription factors) in JA‐Ile‐induced gene expression

Keywords: jasmonates; biosynthesis; metabolism; signalling; cross‐talk; activators and repressors of transcription; herbivory; development

Figure 1. Metabolic conversion of JA. Methylation to JA‐Me, JA glucosyl ester formation, decarboxylation to cis‐jasmone, hydroxylation to 12‐OH‐JA, sulfation of 12‐OH‐JA, O‐glucosylation of 12‐OH‐JA, conjugation with amino acids, preferentially isoleucine to give JA‐Ile, methylation to JA‐Me‐Ile, 12‐hydroxylation of JA‐Ile, carboxylation of 12‐OH‐JA‐Ile, O‐glucosylation of JA‐Ile and JA‐Ile glucosyl ester formation are indicated, together with the known enzymes involved: JAR1 – jasmonoyl isoleucine synthetase; JA‐Ile‐12‐hydroxylase CYP94B3, 12‐OH‐JA‐Ile carboxylase CYP94C1, amidohydrolases IAR3 and ILL6; JMT, JA methyl transferase; ST2a, 12‐OH‐JA sulfotransferase. The lactone of 12‐OH‐JA‐Ile was added even its detection for plants is missing so far. Biologically inactive compounds are outlined with solid lines (───), partially active compounds are outlined with dashed lines (‐ ‐ ‐) and active compounds are outlined with dotted lines (·····). Modified with permission from Wasternack and Strnad 2015 © Elsevier.
Figure 2. Model of JA‐Ile perception via the SCFCOI1–JAZ co‐receptor complex and regulation of JA‐induced gene expression. JA/JA‐Ile perception by the SCFCOI1–JAZ co‐receptor complex leads to JA/JA‐Ile‐induced gene expression. MYC2, which binds to the G‐box of a JA/JA‐Ile‐responsive gene, is repressed by negative regulators such as JAZs. NINJA and TOPLESS (TPL), which act via histone deacetylase6 (HDA6) and HDA19, function as co‐repressors. Jasmonate‐associated VQ motif gene 1 (JAV1) acts in addition to JAZ as a repressor (left‐hand side), whereas JAMs (jasmonate associated MYC2‐LIKE1, JAM2, JAM3) (right‐hand side) compete with MYC2 on binding to the G‐box. JAZs and JAV1 are ubiquitinylated and subjected to proteasomal degradation. MYC2 can then switch on transcription of JA/JA‐Ile‐responsive genes, including early genes such as JAZs and MYC2. MED25, subunit 25 of the mediator complex, mediates transcription. Ub, ubiquitin. E2, Rbx, Cullin, ASK1, and the F‐box protein COI1 are components of the SCF‐complex; ZIM domain (Z), Jas domain (J), EAR domain (E). Modified with permission from Wasternack and Strnad 2015 © Elsevier.
Figure 3. Scheme on cross‐talk between JA signalling and ubiquitination (a), between JA and SA (b), between JA and ET (c) and between JA and GA (d). PIFs, phytochrome interacting factors; ERF1, ET response factor1; EIN1, ET insensitive1; ETR, ET receptor; NPR1, nonexpressor of pathogenesis‐related genes; GRX, glutaredoxin; TGA, transcription factor; ICE, inducer of CBF expression‐C‐repeat binding factor1; RGLG, ring domain ligase; cf. legend of Figure for further details.


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Further Reading

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Wasternack, Claus(Jul 2016) Jasmonates: Synthesis, Metabolism, Signal Transduction and Action. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. http://www.els.net [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020138.pub2]