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Biochemistry (Mosc). 2003 Sep;68(9):945-51.

The plant dehydrins: structure and putative functions.

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Institute of Biochemistry and Genetics, Ufa Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Ufa 450054, Russia.


This review deals with recent data on the structure and biochemical properties of dehydrins, proteins that are normally synthesized in maturating seeds during their desiccation, and also in vegetative tissues of plants treated with abscisic acid or exposed to environmental stress factors that result in cellular dehydration. The dehydrins are considered as stress proteins involved in formation of plant protective reactions against dehydration. The generally accepted classification of dehydrins is based on their structural features, such as the presence of conserved sequences, designated as Y-, S-, and K-segments. The K-segment representing a highly conserved 15 amino acid motif (EKKGIMDKIKEKLPG) forming amphiphilic alpha-helix has been found in all dehydrins. The pathways of regulation of dehydrin gene expression, putative functions of dehydrins, and molecular mechanisms of their actions are discussed.

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