Biotechnology Letters

, Volume 29, Issue 10, pp 1605–1610

Expression of a ribosome-inactivating protein gene in bitter melon is induced by Sphaerotheca fuliginea and abiotic stimuli

Original Research Paper


The gene encoding a single-chain, ribosome-inactivating protein (SCRIP) was cloned from bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) leaves infected with the fungus, Sphaerotheca fuliginea, by RT-PCR. The ORF was 861 bp. The ribosome-inactivating protein was expressed in E. coli and, when purified, it inhibited the growth of the Sphaerotheca fuliginea in vitro. Northern blot analysis revealed that RIP transcripts rapidly accumulated in leaves 1-day post inoculation with Sphaerotheca fuliginea and reached a peak at 3 d. The expression pattern of RIP induced by methyl jasmonate and salicylic acid were different from that of pathogen-induced expression. Mechanical wounding, silver nitrate and osmotic stress stimulated only a slight accumulation of RIP transcripts. Abscisic acid also induced transcription of RIPs. The signal compounds, ethylene and okadaic acid, induced a moderate accumulation of RIP transcripts.


Bitter melon Fungal infection Momordica charantia Ribosome-inactivating protein  Sphaerotheca 


  1. Barbieri L, Battelli MG, Stirpe F (1993) Ribosome-inactivating proteins from plants. Biochim Biophys Acta 1154:237–282PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bowles DJ (1990) Defense-related proteins in higher plants. Annu Rev Biochem 59:873–907PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Church GM, Gilbert W (1984) Genomic sequence. Proc Natl Acad Sci 81:1991–1995PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dong X (1998) SA, JA, ethylene, and disease resistance in plants. Curr Opin Plant Biol 1:316–323PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hong Y, Saunders K, Hartley MR, Stanley J (1996) Resistance to geminivirus infection by virus-induced expression of dianthin in transgenic plants. Virology 220:119–127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hunter T, Karin M (1992) The regulation of transcription by phosphorylation. Cell 70:375–387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Iuchi S, Kobayashi M, Taji T, Naramoto M, Seki M, Kato T, Tabata S, Kakubari Y, Yamaguchi-Shinozaki K, Shinozaki K (2001) Regulation of drought tolerance by gene manipulation of 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, a key enzyme in abscisic acid biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Plant J 27:325–333PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Chen H-C, Huang PL, Bourinbaiar A, Huang HI, Kung H-F (1995) Anti-HIV and anti-tumor activities of recombinant MAP30 from bitter melon. Gene 161:151–156PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Leon J, Rojo E, Sanchez-Serrano JJ (2001) Wound signaling in plants. J Exp Bot 52:1–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Liu JJ, Ekramoddoullah AKM, Yu X (2003) Differential expression of multiple PR10 proteins in western white pine following wounding, fungal infection and cold-hardening. Physiol Plant 119:544–553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mohamed Y, Bardin M, Nicot P (1995) Causal agents of powdery mildew of cucurbits in Sudan. Plant Disease 79:634–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Moon YH, Song SK, Choi KW, Lee JS (1997) Expression of a cDNA encoding Phytolacca insularis antiviral protein confers virus resistance on transgenic potato plants. Mol Cells 7:807–815PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Pan R, More T (1996) Screening of melon (Cucumis melo L.) germplasm for multiple disease resistance. Euphytica 88:125–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Peumans WJ, Hao Q, Van Damme EJ (2001) Ribosome-inactivating proteins from plants: more than RNA N-glycosidases? FASEB J 15:1493–1506PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Reinbothe S, Reinbothe C, Parthier B (1994) Methyl jasmonate represses translation initiation of a specific set of mRNAs in barley. Plant J 4:459–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Reinbothe S, Reinbothe C, Lehmann J, Becker W, Apel K, Parthier B (1994b) JIP60, a methyl jasmonate-induced ribosome-inactivating protein involved in plant stress reactions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 91:7012–7016Google Scholar
  17. Reymond P, Farmer EE (1998) Jasmonate and salicylateas global signals for defense gene expression. Curr Opin Plant Biol 1:404–411PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rippmann JF, Michalowski CB, Nelson DE, Bohnert HJ (1997) Induction of a ribosome-inactivating protein upon environmental stress. Plant Mol Biol 35:701–709PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ryals JA, Neuenschwander UH, Willits MG, Molina A, Steiner HY, Hunt MD (1996) Systemic acquired resistance. Plant Cell 8:1809–1819PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Song SK, Choi Y, Moon YH, Kim SG, Choi YD, Lee JS (2000) Systemic induction of a Phytolacca insularis antiviral protein gene by mechanical wounding, jasmonic acid, and abscisic acid. Plant Mol Biol 43:439–450PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Stirpe F, Barbieri L, Gorini P, Valbonesi P, Bolognesi A, Polito L (1996) Activities associated with the presence of ribosome-inactivating proteins increase in senescent and stressed leaves. FEBS Lett 382:309–312PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Stirpe F (2004) Ribosome-inactivating proteins. Toxicon 44:371–383PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Vries OMH, Wessels JGH (1972) Release of protoplasts from Schizophyllum commune by a lytic enzyme preparation from Trichoderma viride. J Gen Microbiol 73:13–22Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of VirologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.The Laboratory of Toxicology, College of Public HealthZheng Zhou UniversityZheng ZhouChina

Personalised recommendations