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Trends Plant Sci. 2004 Aug;9(8):378-84.

Learning the lipid language of plant signalling.

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  • 1Section of Plant Physiology, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Kruislaan 318, NL-1098 SM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Plant cells respond to different biotic and abiotic stresses by producing various uncommon phospholipids that are believed to play key roles in cell signalling. We can predict how they work because animal and yeast proteins have been shown to have specific lipid-binding domains, which act as docking sites. When such proteins are recruited to the membrane locations where these phospholipids are synthesized, the phospholipids activate them directly, by inducing a conformational change, or indirectly, by juxtaposing them with an activator protein. The same lipid-binding domains are present in Arabidopsis proteins. We believe that they represent an untapped well of information about plant lipid signalling.

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