Retrograde signaling in plants: from simple to complex scenarios.

Plant Molecular Biology (Botany), Department Biology I, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.
Frontiers in Plant Science (Impact Factor: 3.64). 01/2012; 3:135. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00135
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The concept of retrograde signaling posits that signals originating from chloroplasts or mitochondria modulate the expression of nuclear genes. A popular scenario assumes that signaling factors are generated in, and exported from the organelles, then traverse the cytosol, and act in the nucleus. In this scenario, which is probably over-simplistic, it is tacitly assumed that the signal is transferred by passive diffusion and consequently that changes in nuclear gene expression (NGE) directly reflect changes in the total cellular abundance of putative retrograde signaling factors. Here, this notion is critically discussed, in particular in light of an alternative scenario in which a signaling factor is actively exported from the organelle. In this scenario, NGE can be altered without altering the total concentration of the signaling molecule in the cell as a whole. Moreover, the active transport scenario would include an additional level of complexity, because the rate of the export of the signaling molecule has to be controlled by another signal, which might be considered as the real retrograde signal. Additional alternative scenarios for retrograde signaling pathways are presented, in which the signaling molecules generated in the organelle and the factors that trigger NGE are not necessarily identical. Finally, the diverse consequences of signal integration within the organelle or at the level of NGE are discussed. Overall, regulation of NGE at the nuclear level by independent retrograde signals appears to allow for more complex regulation of NGE than signal integration within the organelle.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Metabolic configuration and adaptation under a range of abiotic stresses, including drought, heat, salinity, cold, and nutrient deprivation, are subjected to an intricate span of molecular pathways that work in parallel in order to enhance plant fitness and increase stress tolerance. In recent years, unprecedented advances have been made in identifying and linking different abiotic stresses, and the current challenge in plant molecular biology is deciphering how the signaling responses are integrated and transduced throughout metabolism. Metabolomics have often played a fundamental role in elucidating the distinct and overlapping biochemical changes that occur in plants. However, a far greater understanding and appreciation of the complexity in plant metabolism under specific stress conditions have become apparent when combining metabolomics with other-omic platforms. This review focuses on recent advances made in understanding the global changes occurring in plant metabolism under abiotic stress conditions using metabolite profiling as an integrated discovery platform.
    Metabolites. 09/2013; 3(3):761-86.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this review, we consider a selection of recent advances in chloroplast biology. These include new findings concerning chloroplast evolution, such as the identification of Chlamydiae as a third partner in primary endosymbiosis, a second instance of primary endosymbiosis represented by the chromatophores found in amoebae of the genus Paulinella, and a new explanation for the longevity of captured chloroplasts (kleptoplasts) in sacoglossan sea slugs. The controversy surrounding the three-dimensional structure of grana, its recent resolution by tomographic analyses, and the role of the CURVATURE THYLAKOID1 (CURT1) proteins in supporting grana formation are also discussed. We also present an updated inventory of photosynthetic proteins and the factors involved in the assembly of thylakoid multiprotein complexes, and evaluate findings that reveal that cyclic electron flow involves NADPH dehydrogenase (NDH)- and PGRL1/PGR5-dependent pathways, both of which receive electrons from ferredoxin. Other topics covered in this review include new protein components of nucleoids, an updated inventory of the chloroplast proteome, new enzymes in chlorophyll biosynthesis and new candidate messengers in retrograde signaling. Finally, we discuss the first successful synthetic biology approaches that resulted in chloroplasts in which electrons from the photosynthetic light reactions are fed to enzymes derived from secondary metabolism.
    F1000prime reports. 06/2014; 6:40.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Plants rely on a sophisticated light sensing and signaling system that allows them to respond to environmental changes. Photosensory protein systems -phytochromes, cryptochromes, phototropins, and ultraviolet (UV)-B photoreceptors- have evolved to let plants monitor light conditions and regulate different levels of gene expression and developmental processes. However, even though photoreceptor proteins are best characterized and deeply studied, it is also known that chloroplasts are able to sense light conditions and communicate the variations to the nucleus that adjust its transcriptome to the changing environment. The redox state of components of the photosynthetic electron transport chain works as a sensor of photosynthetic activity and can affect nuclear gene expression by a retrograde signaling pathway. Recently, our group showed that a retrograde signaling pathway can modulate the alternative splicing process, revealing a novel layer of gene expression control by chloroplast retrograde signaling.
    Plant signaling & behavior 10/2014;


Available from