Metabolism and Signaling of Plant Mitochondria in Adaptation to Environmental Stresses

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The interaction of mitochondria with cellular components evolved differently in plants and mammals; in plants, the organelle contains proteins such as ALTERNATIVE OXIDASES (AOXs), which, in conjunction with internal and external ALTERNATIVE NAD(P)H DEHYDROGENASES, allow canonical oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to be bypassed. Plant mitochondria also contain UNCOUPLING PROTEINS (UCPs) that bypass OXPHOS. Recent work revealed that OXPHOS bypass performed by AOXs and UCPs is linked with new mechanisms of mitochondrial retrograde signaling. AOX is functionally associated with the NO APICAL MERISTEM transcription factors, which mediate mitochondrial retrograde signaling, while UCP1 can regulate the plant oxygen-sensing mechanism via the PRT6 N-Degron. Here, we discuss the crosstalk or the independent action of AOXs and UCPs on mitochondrial retrograde signaling associated with abiotic stress responses. We also discuss how mitochondrial function and retrograde signaling mechanisms affect chloroplast function. Additionally, we discuss how mitochondrial inner membrane transporters can mediate mitochondrial communication with other organelles. Lastly, we review how mitochondrial metabolism can be used to improve crop resilience to environmental stresses. In this respect, we particularly focus on the contribution of Brazilian research groups to advances in the topic of mitochondrial metabolism and signaling.




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International Journal of Molecular Sciences, v. 23, n. 19, 2022.

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