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BMB Rep. 2010 Jan;43(1):1-8.

Comparison of structure, function and regulation of plant cold shock domain proteins to bacterial and animal cold shock domain proteins.

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  • 1Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108, USA.


The cold shock domain (CSD) is among the most ancient and well conserved nucleic acid binding domains from bacteria to higher animals and plants. The CSD facilitates binding to RNA, ssDNA and dsDNA and most functions attributed to cold shock domain proteins are mediated by this nucleic acid binding activity. In prokaryotes, cold shock domain proteins only contain a single CSD and are termed cold shock proteins (Csps). In animal model systems, various auxiliary domains are present in addition to the CSD and are commonly named Y-box proteins. Similar to animal CSPs, plant CSPs contain auxiliary C-terminal domains in addition to their N-terminal CSD. Cold shock domain proteins have been shown to play important roles in development and stress adaptation in wide variety of organisms. In this review, the structure, function and regulation of plant CSPs are compared and contrasted to the characteristics of bacterial and animal CSPs. [BMB reports 2010; 43(1): 1-8].

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