J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2013, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (1): 40-53.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12017

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Roles of Ubiquitination in the Control of Phosphate Starvation Responses in Plants

Mónica Rojas-Triana, Regla Bustos, Ana Espinosa-Ruiz, Salomé Prat, Javier Paz-Ares and Vicente Rubio*   

  1. Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (CNB-CSIC), Darwin, 3. 28049 Madrid, Spain
  • Received:2012-10-22 Accepted:2012-11-21 Published:2013-01-01
  • About author:Present address: The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Department of Plant Biology, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, Oklahoma 73401, USA
    Present address: CBGP (INIA-UPM), Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria, Campus de Montegancedo, 28223 Madrid, Spain
    *Corresponding author Tel: +34 91 585 4700; Fax: +34 91 585 4506; E-mail: vrubio@cnb.csic.es


Throughout evolution, plants have evolved sophisticated adaptive responses that allow them to grow with a limited supply of phosphate, the preferential form in which the essential macronutrient phosphorus is absorbed by plants. Most of these responses are aimed to increase phosphate availability and acquisition through the roots, to optimize its usage in metabolic processes, and to protect plants from the deleterious effects of phosphate deficiency stress. Regulation of these adaptive responses requires fine perception of the external and internal phosphate levels, and a complex signal transduction pathway that integrates information on the phosphate status at the whole-plant scale. The molecular mechanisms that participate in phosphate homeostasis include transcriptional control of gene expression, RNA silencing mediated by microRNAs, regulatory non-coding RNAs of miRNA activity, phosphate transporter trafficking, and post-translational modification of proteins, such as phosphorylation, sumoylation and ubiquitination. Such a varied regulatory repertoire reflects the complexity intrinsic to phosphate surveying and signaling pathways. Here, we describe these regulatory mechanisms, emphasizing the increasing importance of ubiquitination in the control of phosphate starvation responses.

Key words: Phosphate homeostasis, phosphate signaling, phosphate starvation, post-translational control, ubiquitin

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