Low-oxygen response is triggered by an ATP-dependent shift in oleoyl-CoA in Arabidopsis

Romy Schmidt, Martin Fulda, Melanie Paul, Max Anders, Frederic Plum, Daniel Weits, Monika Kosmacz, Tony Larson, Ian Alexander Graham, Gerrit Beemster, Francesco Licausi, Peter Gelgenberger, Jos Schippers, Joost T. van Dongen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant response to environmental stimuli involves integration of multiple signals. Upon low-oxygen stress, plants initiate a set of adaptive responses to circumvent an energy crisis. Here, we reveal how these stress responses are induced by combining (i) energy-dependent changes in the composition of the acyl-CoA pool and (ii) the cellular oxygen concentration. A hypoxia-induced decline of cellular ATP levels reduces LONG-CHAIN ACYL-COA SYNTHETASE activity, which leads to a shift in the composition of the acyl-CoA pool. Subsequently, we show that different acyl-CoAs induce unique molecular responses. Altogether, our data disclose a role for acyl-CoAs acting in a cellular signaling pathway in plants. Upon hypoxia, high oleoyl-CoA levels provide the initial trigger to release the transcription factor RAP2.12 from its interaction partner ACYL-COA BINDING PROTEIN at the plasma membrane. Subsequently, according to the N-end rule for proteasomal degradation, oxygen concentration-dependent stabilization of the subgroup VII ETHYLENE-RESPONSE FACTOR transcription factor RAP2.12 determines the level of hypoxia-specific gene expression. This research unveils a specific mechanism activating low-oxygen stress responses only when a decrease in the oxygen concentration coincides with a drop in energy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E12101–E12110
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
Early online date3 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 the Author(s)


  • ACBP
  • Acyl-CoA
  • Integrative signaling
  • Low-oxygen stress
  • Diazepam Binding Inhibitor/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Arabidopsis/genetics
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism
  • Oxygen/metabolism
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Models, Biological
  • Acyl Coenzyme A/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Arabidopsis Proteins/metabolism

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