Chloroplasts as source and target of cellular redox regulation: a discussion on chloroplast redox signals in the context of plant physiology
Baier M, Dietz KJ – 2005
During the evolution of plants, chloroplasts have lost the exclusive genetic control over redox regulation and antioxidant gene expression. Together with many other genes, all genes encoding antioxidant enzymes and enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of low molecular weight antioxidants were transferred to the nucleus. On the other hand, photosynthesis bears a high risk for photo-oxidative damage. Concomitantly, an intricate network for mutual regulation by anthero- and retrograde signals has emerged to co-ordinate the activities of the different genetic and metabolic compartments. A major focus of recent research in chloroplast regulation addressed the mechanisms of redox sensing and signal transmission, the identification of regulatory targets, and the understanding of adaptation mechanisms. In addition to redox signals communicated through signalling cascades also used in pathogen and wounding responses, specific chloroplast signals control nuclear gene expression. Signalling pathways are triggered by the redox state of the plastoquinone pool, the thioredoxin system, and the acceptor availability at photosystem I, in addition to control by oxolipins, tetrapyrroles, carbohydrates, and abscisic acid. The signalling function is discussed in the context of regulatory circuitries that control the expression of antioxidant enzymes and redox modulators, demonstrating the principal role of chloroplasts as the source and target of redox regulation.