Discovery identifies elaborate G-protein network in plants

Apr 21, 2011
An elaborate heterotirmeric G-protein family from soybean expands the diversity of G-protein networks. Credit: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

The most elaborate heterotrimeric G-protein network known to date in the plant kingdom has been identified by Dr. Sona Pandey, principal investigator at the Danforth Plant Science Center. The results of this research are published in the recent article, "An elaborate heterotirmeric G-protein family from soybean expands the diversity of G-protein networks," in the New Phytologist.

G-proteins are signaling proteins that direct a plant's response to various environmental signals including abiotic and biotic stresses such as drought and . Prior to Dr. Pandey's discovery, it was assumed that had only one Ga protein based on previous research using Arabidopsis and rice, in contrast to 23 Ga proteins present in humans. Using , Dr. Pandey's group was able to identify four Ga proteins. In addition, they demonstrated that two of these proteins can react faster than was previously assumed.

Mammals have many G-proteins. These proteins bind GTP (small molecules) and hydrolyze it to GDP. The G-proteins are active only when GTP bound. Binding is a key process because that is when the signaling can occur. Mammals' G-proteins are very quick to hydrolyze bound GTP and thus cycle fast between the GDP bound and GTP bound states. The sole Ga protein of the is very slow to hydrolyze bound GTP. In this research Dr. Pandey's group also demonstrated that soybean has two types of G-proteins, two that hydrolyze GTP slowly and two that work more quickly similar to those found in .

"The next step will be to try and engineer plants to express altered amounts of these G-proteins to see how they affect their overall growth and can enable them to better respond to stresses that may be involved in limiting crop yield," Pandey said.

Explore further: Molecular gate that could keep cancer cells locked up

Provided by Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Yale scientists map cell signaling network

Nov 30, 2005

Yale University scientists have mapped, for the first time, the proteins and kinase signaling network that control how cells of higher organisms operate.

Researchers JAZ(zed) about plant resistance discovery

Jul 18, 2007

The mystery of how a major plant hormone works to defend plants against invaders has been revealed, thanks to collaborative research efforts by Michigan State University and Washington State University.

Nitric oxide regulates plants as well as people

Apr 28, 2008

Nitric oxide has emerged as an important signaling molecule in plants - as in mammals including people. In studies of a tropical medicinal herb as a model plant, researchers have found that nitric oxide targets a number of ...

Female plant 'communicates' rejection or acceptance of male

Oct 23, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Without eyes or ears, plants must rely on the interaction of molecules to determine appropriate mating partners and avoid inbreeding. In a new study, University of Missouri researchers have identified pollen ...

Recommended for you

Molecular gate that could keep cancer cells locked up

5 hours ago

In a study published today in Genes & Development, Dr Christian Speck from the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre's DNA Replication group, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), New York, ...

The 'memory' of starvation is in your genes

8 hours ago

During the winter of 1944, the Nazis blocked food supplies to the western Netherlands, creating a period of widespread famine and devastation. The impact of starvation on expectant mothers produced one of the first known ...

Sugar mimics guide stem cells toward neural fate

Jul 30, 2014

Embryonic stem cells can develop into a multitude of cells types. Researchers would like to understand how to channel that development into the specific types of mature cells that make up the organs and other structures of ...

User comments : 0