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, 29 (6), 681-91

Brassinosteroid Functions to Protect the Translational Machinery and Heat-Shock Protein Synthesis Following Thermal Stress

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Brassinosteroid Functions to Protect the Translational Machinery and Heat-Shock Protein Synthesis Following Thermal Stress

Sangeeta Dhaubhadel et al. Plant J.

Abstract

In addition to their essential role in plant development, brassinosteroids have the ability to protect plants from various environmental stresses. Currently it is not understood how brassinosteroids control plant stress responses at the molecular level. We have begun an investigation into the molecular mechanisms underlying 24-epibrassinolide (EBR)-mediated stress resistance. Earlier we found that treatment of Brassica napus seedlings with EBR leads to a significant increase in their basic thermotolerance, and results in higher accumulation of four major classes of heat-shock proteins (hsps) as compared to untreated seedlings. Surprisingly, previous studies have shown that while hsp levels were significantly higher in treated seedlings during the recovery period, transcripts corresponding to these hsps were present at higher levels in untreated seedlings. To understand mechanisms controlling hsp synthesis in EBR-treated and untreated seedlings, we studied protein synthesis in vivo as well as in vitro, and assessed the levels of components of the translational machinery in these seedlings. We report here that increased accumulation of hsps in EBR-treated seedlings results from higher hsp synthesis, even when the mRNA levels are lower than in untreated seedlings, and that several translation initiation and elongation factors are present at significantly higher levels in EBR-treated seedlings as compared to untreated seedlings. These results suggest that EBR treatment limits the loss of some of the components of the translational apparatus during prolonged heat stress, and increases the level of expression of some of the components of the translational machinery during recovery, which correlates with a more rapid resumption of cellular protein synthesis following heat stress and a higher survival rate.

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