Research Article

NAD+ cleavage activity by animal and plant TIR domains in cell death pathways

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Science  23 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6455, pp. 793-799
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1911

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NAD depletion as pathogen response

One way that plants respond to pathogen infection is by sacrificing the infected cells. The nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat immune receptors responsible for this hypersensitive response carry Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domains. In two papers, Horsefield et al. and Wan et al. report that these TIR domains cleave the metabolic cofactor nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) as part of their cell-death signaling in response to pathogens. Similar signaling links mammalian TIR-containing proteins to NAD+ depletion during Wallerian degeneration of neurons.

Science, this issue p. 793, p. 799

Abstract

SARM1 (sterile alpha and TIR motif containing 1) is responsible for depletion of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide in its oxidized form (NAD+) during Wallerian degeneration associated with neuropathies. Plant nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) immune receptors recognize pathogen effector proteins and trigger localized cell death to restrict pathogen infection. Both processes depend on closely related Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domains in these proteins, which, as we show, feature self-association–dependent NAD+ cleavage activity associated with cell death signaling. We further show that SARM1 SAM (sterile alpha motif) domains form an octamer essential for axon degeneration that contributes to TIR domain enzymatic activity. The crystal structures of ribose and NADP+ (the oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) complexes of SARM1 and plant NLR RUN1 TIR domains, respectively, reveal a conserved substrate binding site. NAD+ cleavage by TIR domains is therefore a conserved feature of animal and plant cell death signaling pathways.

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