, Volume 32, Issue 7, pp 1053-1065

Protein SUMOylation and plant abiotic stress signaling: in silico case study of rice RLKs, heat-shock and Ca2+-binding proteins

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Abstract

Plants respond to stress conditions through early stress-response factors (ESRF), which serve the function of stress sensing and/or signal transduction. These mainly comprise qualitative and/or quantitative flux in the redox molecules, calcium ions (Ca2+), phosphatidic acid, hexose sugars and phytohormones. The role of resident proteins such as phytohormone receptors and G-proteins as first messengers under stress is well established. Yet, within the modern omics context, most of the stress response at the protein level is injudiciously attributed to substantial up- or down-regulation of expression measured at the RNA or protein level. Proteins such as kinases and transcription factors (TFs) that exhibit cascade effects are primary candidates for studies in plant stress tolerance. However, resident-protein post-translational modification (PTM), specifically in response to particular conditions such as stress, is a candidate for immediate and potent ‘quick reaction force’ (QRF) kind of effects. Stress-mediated SUMOylation of TFs and other proteins have been observed. SUMOylation can change the rate of activity, function or location of the modified protein. Early SUMOylation of resident proteins can act in the stress signal transduction or in adaptive response. Here, we consider brief background information on ESRFs to establish the crosstalk between these factors that impinge on PTMs. We then illustrate connections of protein SUMOylation to phytohormones and TFs. Finally, we present results of an in silico analysis of rice Receptor-Like Kinases, heat-shock and calcium-binding proteins to identify members of these gene families, whose basal expression under drought but potential SUMOylation presents them as QRF candidates for roles in stress signaling/response.

Communicated by P. Kumar.
A contribution to the Special Issue: Plant Hormone Signaling.