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Background: RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are increasingly recognized as regulatory component of post-transcriptional gene expression. RBPs interact with mRNAs via RNA-binding domains and these interactions affect RNA availability for translation, RNA stability and turn-over thus affecting both RNA and protein expression essential for developmental and stimulus specific responses. Here we investigate the effect of severe drought stress on the RNA-binding proteome to gain insights into the mechanisms that govern drought stress responses at the systems level. Results: Label-free mass spectrometry enabled the identification 567 proteins of which 150 significantly responded to the drought-induced treatment. A gene ontology analysis revealed enrichment in the "RNA binding" and "RNA processing" categories as well as biological processes such as "response to abscisic acid" and "response to water deprivation". Importantly, a large number of the stress responsive proteins have not previously been identified as RBPs and include proteins in carbohydrate metabolism and in the glycolytic and citric acid pathways in particular. This suggests that RBPs have hitherto unknown roles in processes that govern metabolic changes during stress responses. Furthermore, a comparative analysis of RBP domain architectures shows both, plant specific and common domain architectures between plants and animals. The latter could be an indication that RBPs are part of an ancient stress response. Conclusion: This study establishes mRNA interactome capture technique as an approach to study stress signal responses implicated in environmental changes. Our findings denote RBP changes in the proteome as critical components in plant adaptation to changing environments and in particular drought stress protein-dependent changes in RNA metabolism.
Marondedze, C., Thomas, L., Gehring, C., & Lilley, K. S. (2019). Changes in the Arabidopsis RNA-binding proteome reveal novel stress response mechanisms. BMC Plant Biology, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12870-019-1750-x