As sessile organisms, plants are exposed to persistently changing stresses and have to be able to interpret and respond to them. The stresses, drought, salinity, chemicals, cold and hot temperatures, and various pathogen attacks have interconnected effects on plants, resulting in the disruption of protein homeostasis. Maintenance of proteins in their functional native conformations and preventing aggregation of non-native proteins are important for cell survival under stress. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) functioning as molecular chaperones are the key components responsible for protein folding, assembly, translocation, and degradation under stress conditions and in many normal cellular processes. Plants respond to pathogen invasion using two different innate immune responses mediated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) or resistance (R) proteins. HSPs play an indispensable role as molecular chaperones in the quality control of plasma membrane-resident PRRs and intracellular R proteins against potential invaders. Here, we specifically discuss the functional involvement of cytosolic and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) HSPs/chaperones in plant immunity to obtain an integrated understanding of the immune responses in plant cells.
Keywords: chaperones; heat shock proteins; plant immunity.