Retrograde signaling and plant stress: plastid signals initiate cellular stress responses

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Oct;11(5):509-13. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.06.002. Epub 2008 Jul 17.


Retrograde signaling coordinates the expression of nuclear genes encoding organellar proteins with the metabolic and developmental state of the organelle. These plastid signals are essential not only for coordinating photosynthetic gene expression in both the nucleus and in the chloroplasts but also for mediating plant stress responses. The chloroplasts therefore act as sensors of environmental changes and complex networks of plastid signals coordinate cellular activities and assist the cell during plant stress responses. Recent work suggests that information from both cytosolic-signaling and plastid-signaling networks must be integrated for the plant cell to respond optimally to environmental stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Chloroplasts / radiation effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • ABI4 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GUN1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Transcription Factors