Oxidative post-translational modifications of cysteine residues in plant signal transduction
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
In plants, fluctuation of the redox balance by altered levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can affect many aspects of cellular physiology. ROS homeostasis is governed by a diversified set of antioxidant systems. Perturbation of this homeostasis leads to transient or permanent changes in the redox status and is exploited by plants in different stress signalling mechanisms. Understanding how plants sense ROS and transduce these stimuli into downstream biological responses is still a major challenge. ROS can provoke reversible and irreversible modifications to proteins that act in diverse signalling pathways. These oxidative post-translational modifications (Ox-PTMs) lead to oxidative damage and/or trigger structural alterations in these target proteins. Characterization of the effect of individual Ox-PTMs on individual proteins is the key to a better understanding of how cells interpret the oxidative signals that arise from developmental cues and stress conditions. This review focuses on ROS-mediated Ox-PTMs on cysteine (Cys) residues. The Cys side chain, with its high nucleophilic capacity, appears to be the principle target of ROS. Ox-PTMs on Cys residues participate in various signalling cascades initiated by plant stress hormones. We review the mechanistic aspects and functional consequences of Cys Ox-PTMs on specific target proteins in view of stress signalling events.