How Jujube Proteins Respond to Stress

Jim Crocker
16th May, 2024

How Jujube Proteins Respond to Stress

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Hebei Agricultural University studied how jujube trees respond to phytoplasma infection
  • They found that two protein modifications, lysine crotonylation (Kcr) and lysine succinylation (Ksu), change significantly in infected jujube trees
  • These modifications affect proteins involved in transcription, metabolism, and stress responses, suggesting they help the plant defend against the infection
Protein posttranslational modifications (PTMs) are crucial for plants to rapidly respond to environmental changes, including pathogen attacks. Jujube witches’ broom (JWB) is a disease caused by phytoplasma that results in significant economic losses in jujube production. Researchers at Hebei Agricultural University have conducted a study to investigate PTMs in jujube, particularly focusing on lysine crotonylation (Kcr) and lysine succinylation (Ksu), which have gained attention in recent years for their roles in plant stress responses[1]. Plants have evolved complex molecular defense strategies against pathogens, with PTMs playing a central role in regulating immune responses. PTMs involve the addition of chemical groups to proteins after they are made, which can alter protein function, localization, or interactions. These modifications enable plants to quickly adjust their immune responses to effectively combat pathogens[2]. In this study, researchers aimed to understand how Kcr and Ksu function in jujube's response to phytoplasma infection. These specific PTMs have been identified in other plants and organisms, but their roles in jujube under phytoplasma stress were previously unknown. The study builds on existing knowledge of PTMs, such as lysine 2-hydroxyisobutyrylation (Khib) in rice, which has been shown to play a role in gene transcription and disease resistance[3]. The researchers employed advanced proteomics techniques to identify and quantify Kcr and Ksu modifications in jujube. Using mass spectrometry, they were able to detect these modifications on proteins and analyze how their levels changed in response to phytoplasma infection. This approach is similar to previous studies that identified various histone modifications, including lysine crotonylation, which marks active promoters and enhancers in mammalian cells[4]. The findings revealed that both Kcr and Ksu levels were significantly altered in jujube following phytoplasma infection. Specifically, proteins involved in transcription, metabolism, and stress responses exhibited changes in these PTMs. This suggests that Kcr and Ksu play important roles in modulating the plant's defense mechanisms against phytoplasma. One notable discovery was the downregulation of Kcr on histones, which are proteins that help package DNA in the cell nucleus. This is reminiscent of the reduction in Khib levels on histones observed in rice flowers during fungal infection, indicating a potential common strategy among different plants to regulate gene expression in response to pathogen stress[3]. Additionally, the study identified specific enzymes, such as histone deacetylases, that may be involved in removing these PTM marks, further highlighting the dynamic nature of these modifications. The study also draws parallels with the identification of lysine glutarylation (Kglu) in metabolic enzymes and mitochondrial proteins, which has been shown to impact enzymatic activity and cellular metabolism[5]. Similarly, the alterations in Kcr and Ksu in jujube suggest that these modifications could affect various metabolic pathways, aiding the plant's adaptation to phytoplasma infection. By providing a comprehensive analysis of Kcr and Ksu in jujube, this research enhances our understanding of how PTMs contribute to plant immunity. The findings suggest that manipulating these PTMs could potentially improve disease resistance in jujube and other crops, offering new avenues for agricultural biotechnology. In conclusion, the study by Hebei Agricultural University sheds light on the critical roles of lysine crotonylation and lysine succinylation in jujube's response to phytoplasma infection. By integrating knowledge from previous studies on PTMs in plants and other organisms, this research advances our understanding of plant immune responses and opens up possibilities for developing disease-resistant crops through targeted manipulation of PTMs.

FruitsBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) The crotonylated and succinylated proteins of jujube involved in phytoplasma-stress responses

Published 15th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Post-translational regulation of plant immunity.

3) Ustilaginoidea virens modulates lysine 2-hydroxyisobutyrylation in rice flowers during infection.

4) Identification of 67 histone marks and histone lysine crotonylation as a new type of histone modification.

5) Lysine glutarylation is a protein posttranslational modification regulated by SIRT5.

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