Bioscience and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille
Plant Protective Proteins
Role of plastidial lipocalin in the protection of the photosynthetic apparatus
Lipocalins constitute an evolutionary conserved family of small proteins widely distributed in nature whose common feature is their ability to bind small hydrophobic molecules. Related to their ligands, lipocalins can fulfill a wide variety of functions such as transport of small molecules, regulation of developmental processes, signal transduction and response to stress. Because of their possible involvement in various diseases including lipid disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer, human and animal lipocalins are extensively studied.
Two different lipocalins, which were classified as temperature-induced lipocalin (TIL) and chloroplastic lipocalin (LCNP), have been identified in plants. Both lipocalins are involved in plant abiotic stress tolerance, however the molecular mechanisms underlying this function remain to be elucidated.
Our research work focuses on the plastid lipocalin. LCNP is induced in response to various abiotic stresses including high light, dehydration and low temperature. It contributes to protection against oxidative damage promoted by harmful conditions by preventing accumulation of hydroxy fatty acids and lipid peroxidation. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the plastid lipocalin contributes to qH, a non-photochemical quenching component, which operates under stress conditions such as cold and high light, and appears to be photoprotective.
We are in the midst of identifying LCNP ligands, an indispensable prerequisite for understanding the mechanism underlying the LCNP protective function.
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