Dynamics of the plant mitochondrial proteome: towards the understanding of metabolic networks

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[Truncated abstract] The mitochondrion is the energy powerhouse that provide energy to many metabolic functions in the form of ATP. Mitochondria in plants are also known to carry out a variety of other important biochemical processes within the cell, including the anaplerotic function of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, one-carbon metabolism and portions of photorespiration. Dynamics of the mitochondrial proteome in plants underlies fundamental differences in the roles of these organelles under different developmental and environmental conditions. A quantitative comparative proteomic approach was carried out to analyze mitochondria isolated from non-photosynthetic models, cell culture and root, and compared them to mitochondria isolated from photosynthetic shoots. The glycinedependent respiration rate and the protein abundance of the photorespiratory apparatus was found to be higher in shoot than cell culture and root mitochondria. Also, there were major differences in the abundance and/or activities of enzymes in the TCA cycle between the three systems examined. The metabolic pathways that relied on the supply of intermediates from TCA cycle and photorespiration were also altered, namely cysteine, formate and one-carbon metabolism, as well as amino acid metabolism focused on 2-oxoglutarate generation, and branched-chain amino acids degradation. To further provide insight into the extent of mitochondrial heterogeneity in plants, mitochondria isolated from six organ/cell types, leaf, root, cell culture, flower, stem and silique were analyzed. Of the 251 protein spots on a 2D-gel of the mitochondrial soluble/matrix fraction, the abundance of 213 spots were significantly varied between different samples. Identification of these spots revealed a non-redundant set of 79 proteins which were differentially expressed between organ/cell types. ... Importantly, posttranslational modifications played a significant role in the dynamics of the leaf mitochondrial proteome during the diurnal cycle. Overall, these findings indicated that the mitochondrial proteome is dynamic in order to fulfil different functional and physiological requirements in response to organspecific growth and changes in the external environments. These results also indicated that the majority of the changes in the mitochondrial proteome occurred in the matrix and suggested differences in substrate choice/availability in various plant organs and during the diurnal cycle. Further, these analyses demonstrate that, while mitochondrial proteins are regulated transcriptionally by the nucleus, post-transcriptional regulation and/or post-translational modifications play a vital role in modulating the activation state and/or regulation of proteins in key biochemical pathways in plant mitochondria. The integration of proteomics data with respiratory measurements, enzyme assays and transcript datasets will allow the identification of organ-enhanced and/or light/darkresponsive metabolic pathways as well as providing potential targets for reverse genetic approaches for further functional analysis of plant mitochondria.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2009

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