Functional characterization of a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein 2 in Arabidopsis thaliana under abiotic stress conditions

Joo Y Kim, Su J Park, Boseung Jang, Che-Hun Jung, Sung J Ahn, Chang-Hyo Goh, Kyoungwon Cho, Oksoo Han, Hunseung Kang
Plant Journal 2007, 50 (3): 439-51
Although glycine-rich RNA-binding protein 2 (GRP2) has been implicated in plant responses to environmental stresses, the function and importance of GRP2 in stress responses are largely unknown. Here, we examined the functional roles of GRP2 in Arabidopsis thaliana under high-salinity, cold or osmotic stress. GRP2 affects seed germination of Arabidopsis plants under salt stress, but does not influence seed germination and seedling growth of Arabidopsis plants under osmotic stress. GRP2 accelerates seed germination and seedling growth in Arabidopsis plants under cold stress, and contributes to enhancement of cold and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis plants. No differences in germination between the wild-type and transgenic plants were observed following addition of abscisic acid (ABA) or glucose, implying that GRP2 affects germination through an ABA-independent pathway. GRP2 complements the cold sensitivity of an Escherichia coli BX04 mutant and exhibits transcription anti-termination activity, suggesting that it has an RNA chaperone activity during the cold adaptation process. Mitochondrial respiration and catalase and peroxidase activities were affected by expression of mitochondrial-localized GRP2 in Arabidopsis plants under cold stress. Proteome analysis revealed that expression of several mitochondrial-encoded genes was modulated by GRP2 under cold stress. These results provide new evidence indicating that GRP2 plays important roles in seed germination, seedling growth and freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis under stress conditions, and that GRP2 exerts its function by modulating the expression and activity of various classes of genes.

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