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Ubiquitin Pool Modulation and Protein Degradation in Wheat Roots during High Temperature Stress

David L. Ferguson, James A. Guikema and Gary M. Paulsen
Plant Physiology
Vol. 92, No. 3 (Mar., 1990), pp. 740-746
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4272689
Page Count: 7
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Ubiquitin Pool Modulation and Protein Degradation in Wheat Roots during High Temperature Stress
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Abstract

Ubiquitin, a key component in an ATP-dependent proteolytic pathway, participates in the response of various eucaryotic organisms to high temperature stress. Our objective was to determine if ubiquitin serves a similar capacity for metabolizing altered proteins in higher plants during stress. Degradation of total proteins was measured, and ubiquitin pools (free versus conjugated) were extracted with an improved protocol from wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv Len) roots treated at 22, 27, 32, 37, and 42°C for 1 hour and assayed by western blots and radioimmunoassays. Heat-shock protein synthesis was detected by in vivo labeling and autoradiography. Mean half-life of total root proteins decreased from 51 hours at 22°C to 23 hours at 40°C. Ubiquitin pools were extracted better and proteolysis was slowed more by the improved protocol than by a conventional procedure for plant proteins. Amounts of high molecular mass conjugates were elevated and levels of low molecular mass conjugates and free ubiquitin were depressed when roots were treated at 37 or 42°C than at lower temperatures; the same high temperatures also induced synthesis of heat-shock proteins. We concluded that high temperatures increase breakdown of root proteins, which are degraded via the ubiquitin proteolytic pathway. A conjugate with an apparent molecular mass of 23 kilodaltons was tentatively identified as an ubiquitinated histone.

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