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Paper of the month

NADPH thioredoxin reductase C and thioredoxins act concertedly in seedling development


V. Ojeda, J.M. Pérez-Ruiz, M.C. González, V.A. Nájera, M. Sahrawy, A.J. Serrato, P. Geigenberger, F.J. Cejudo Plant Physiology 2017, Vol. 174,

Thiol-dependent redox regulation of enzyme activity plays a central role in the rapid acclimation of chloroplast metabolism to ever fluctuating light availability. This regulatory mechanism relies on ferredoxin (Fdx) reduced by the photosynthetic electron transport chain, which fuels reducing power to thioredoxins (Trxs) via a Fdx-dependent Trx reductase (FTR). In addition, chloroplasts harbour an NADPH-dependent Trx reductase, which has a joint Trx domain at the C-terminus, termed NTRC. Thus, a relevant issue concerning chloroplast function is to establish the relationship between these two redox systems and its impact on plant development. To address this issue we generated Arabidopsis thaliana mutants combining the deficiency of NTRC with those of Trxs f, which participate in metabolic redox regulation, and Trx x, which has antioxidant function. The ntrc-trxf1f2 and, to a lower extent, the ntrc-trxx mutants showed severe growth retarded phenotypes, decreased photosynthesis performance and almost abolished light-dependent reduction of fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase. Moreover, the combined deficiency of both redox systems provokes aberrant chloroplast ultrastructure. Remarkably, both the ntrc-trxf1f2 and the ntrc-trxx mutants showed high mortality at the seedling stage, which was overcome by addition of an exogenous carbon source. Based on these results, we propose that NTRC plays a pivotal role in chloroplast redox regulation, being necessary for the activity of diverse Trxs with unrelated functions. The interaction between the two thiol-redox systems is indispensable to sustain photosynthesis performed by cotyledons chloroplasts, which is essential for early plant development.