J Integr Plant Biol ›› 2011, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (1): 7-13.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.01004.x

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Regulation of Thermogenesis in Plants: The Interaction of Alternative Oxidase and Plant Uncoupling Mitochondrial Protein

Yan Zhu1, Jianfei Lu1, Jing Wang2, Fu Chen3, Feifan Leng1 and Hongyu Li1*   

  1. 1MOE Key Laboratory of Arid and Grassland Ecology, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2College of Food Science and Engineering, Gansu Agriculture University, Lanzhou 730070, China
    3Institute of Potato, Gansu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Lanzhou 730070, China
  • Received:2010-09-02 Accepted:2010-10-28 Published:2010-11-10
  • About author:*Corresponding author Tel: +86 931 891 0560; Fax: +86 931 891 2561; E-mail: lihy@lzu.edu.cn


Thermogenesis is a process of heat production in living organisms. It is rare in plants, but it does occur in some species of angiosperm. The heat is generated via plant mitochondrial respiration. As possible involvement in thermogenesis of mitochondrial factors, alternative oxidases (AOXs) and plant uncoupling mitochondrial proteins (PUMPs) have been well studied. AOXs and PUMPs are ubiquitously present in the inner membrane of plant mitochondria. They serve as two major energy dissipation systems that balance mitochondrial respiration and uncoupled phosphorylation by dissipating the H+ redox energy and proton electrochemical gradient (ΔμH+) as heat, respectively. AOXs and PUMPs exert similar physiological functions during homeothermic heat production in thermogenic plants. AOXs have five isoforms, while PUMPs have six. Both AOXs and PUMPs are encoded by small nuclear multigene families. Multiple isoforms are expressed in different tissues or organs. Extensive studies have been done in the area of thermogenesis in higher plants. In this review, we focus on the involvement and regulation of AOXs and PUMPs in thermogenesis.

Zhu Y, Lu J, Wang J, Chen F, Leng F, Li H (2011) Regulation of thermogenesis in plants: the interaction of alternative oxidase and plant uncoupling mitochondrial protein. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(1), 7–13.

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