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The ubiquitous distribution of late embryogenesis abundant proteins across cell compartments in Arabidopsis offers tailored protection against abiotic stress

Abstract : Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are hydrophilic, mostly intrinsically disordered proteins, which play major roles in desiccation tolerance. In Arabidopsis thaliana, 51 genes encoding LEA proteins clustered into nine families have been inventoried. To increase our understanding of the yet enigmatic functions of these gene families, we report the subcellular location of each protein. Experimental data highlight the limits of in silico predictions for analysis of subcellular localization. Thirty-six LEA proteins localized to the cytosol, with most being able to diffuse into the nucleus. Three proteins were exclusively localized in plastids or mitochondria, while two others were found dually targeted to these organelles. Targeting cleavage sites could be determined for five of these proteins. Three proteins were found to be endoplasmic reticulum (ER) residents, two were vacuolar, and two were secreted. A single protein was identified in pexophagosomes. While most LEA protein families have a unique subcellular localization, members of the LEA_4 family are widely distributed (cytosol, mitochondria, plastid, ER, and pexophagosome) but share the presence of the class A a-helix motif. They are thus expected to establish interactions with various cellular membranes under stress conditions. The broad subcellular distribution of LEA proteins highlights the requirement for each cellular compartment to be provided with protective mechanisms to cope with desiccation or cold stress.
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Adrien Candat, Gaël Paszkiewicz, Martine Neveu, Romain Gautier, David Logan, et al.. The ubiquitous distribution of late embryogenesis abundant proteins across cell compartments in Arabidopsis offers tailored protection against abiotic stress. The Plant cell, American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), 2014, 26 (7), pp.3148-3166. ⟨10.1105/tpc.114.127316⟩. ⟨hal-01209997⟩

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