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Plant Signal Behav. 2018;13(5):e1477906. doi: 10.1080/15592324.2018.1477906. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Biochemical control systems for small molecule damage in plants.

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a Plant Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology Group, Institute of Developmental and Molecular Biology of Plants , Heinrich Heine University, and Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) , Düsseldorf , Germany.
b Department of Biology and Biological engineering, Division of Systems and Synthetic Biology , Chalmers University of Technology , Gothenburg , Sweden.


As a system, plant metabolism is far from perfect: small molecules (metabolites, cofactors, coenzymes, and inorganic molecules) are frequently damaged by unwanted enzymatic or spontaneous reactions. Here, we discuss the emerging principles in small molecule damage biology. We propose that plants evolved at least three distinct systems to control small molecule damage: (i) repair, which returns a damaged molecule to its original state; (ii) scavenging, which converts reactive molecules to harmless products; and (iii) steering, in which the possible formation of a damaged molecule is suppressed. We illustrate the concept of small molecule damage control in plants by describing specific examples for each of these three categories. We highlight interesting insights that we expect future research will provide on those systems, and we discuss promising strategies to discover new small molecule damage-control systems in plants.


Abiotic stress; enzyme promiscuity; glyoxalase system; metabolic intermediates; molecule damage; reactive carbonyl species; reactive oxygen species; repair system; scavenging systems; small molecules; steering systems

[Available on 2019-06-26]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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