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Plant Cell Environ. 2010 Mar;33(3):418-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.02093.x. Epub 2009 Nov 25.

MtPM25 is an atypical hydrophobic late embryogenesis-abundant protein that dissociates cold and desiccation-aggregated proteins.

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1
Université d'Angers, INRA, Agrocampus-Ouest, UMR1191 Physiologie Moléculaire des Semences, 16 Bd Lavoisier, F-49045 Angers, France.

Abstract

Late embryogenesis-abundant (LEA) proteins are one of the components involved in desiccation tolerance (DT) by maintaining cellular structures in the dry state. Among them, MtPM25, a member of the group 5 is specifically associated with DT in Medicago truncatula seeds. Its function is unknown and its classification as a LEA protein remains elusive. Here, evidence is provided that MtPM25 is a hydrophobic, intrinsically disordered protein that shares the characteristics of canonical LEA proteins. Screening protective activities by testing various substrates against freezing, heating and drying indicates that MtPM25 is unable to protect membranes but able to prevent aggregation of proteins during stress. Prevention of aggregation was also found for the water soluble proteome of desiccation-sensitive radicles. This inhibition was significantly higher than that of MtEM6, one of the most hydrophilic LEA protein associated with DT. Moreover, when added after the stress treatment, MtPM25 is able to rapidly dissolve aggregates in a non-specific manner. Sorption isotherms show that when it is unstructured, MtPM25 absorbs up to threefold more water than MtEM6. MtPM25 is likely to act as a protective molecule during drying and plays an additional role as a repair mechanism compared with other LEA proteins.

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