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Discovery and Characterization of Fluopipamine, a Putative Cellulose Synthase 1 Antagonist within Arabidopsis...

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Date
Page Numbers
3171 to 3179

Herbicide-resistant weeds are increasingly a problem in crop fields when exposed to similar chemistry over time. To avoid future yield losses, identifying herbicidal chemistry needs to be accelerated. We screened 50,000 small molecules using a liquid-handling robot and light microscopy focusing on pre-emergent herbicides in the family of cellulose biosynthesis inhibitors. Through phenotypic, chemical, genetic, and in silico methods we uncovered 6-{[4-(2-fluorophenyl)-1-piperazinyl]methyl}-N-(2-methoxy-5-methylphenyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine (fluopipamine). Symptomologies support fluopipamine as a putative antagonist of cellulose synthase enzyme 1 (CESA1) from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Ectopic lignification, inhibition of etiolation, phenotypes including loss of anisotropic cellular expansion, swollen roots, and live cell imaging link fluopipamine to cellulose biosynthesis inhibition. Radiolabeled glucose incorporation of cellulose decreased in short-duration experiments when seedlings were incubated in fluopipamine. To elucidate the mechanism, ethylmethanesulfonate mutagenized M2 seedlings were screened for fluopipamine resistance. Two loci of genetic resistance were linked to CESA1. In silico docking of fluopipamine, quinoxyphen, and flupoxam against various CESA1 mutations suggests that an alternative binding site at the interface between CESA proteins is necessary to preserve cellulose polymerization in compound presence. These data uncovered potential fundamental mechanisms of cellulose biosynthesis in plants along with feasible leads for herbicidal uses.