Redox regulation of free amino acid levels in Arabidopsis thaliana

Physiol Plant. 2017 Mar;159(3):264-276. doi: 10.1111/ppl.12510. Epub 2016 Sep 29.


Abiotic stresses induce oxidative stress, which modifies the level of several metabolites including amino acids. The redox control of free amino acid profile was monitored in wild-type and ascorbate or glutathione deficient mutant Arabidopsis thaliana plants before and after hydroponic treatment with various redox agents. Both mutations and treatments modified the size and redox state of the ascorbate (AsA) and/or glutathione (GSH) pools. The total free amino acid content was increased by AsA, GSH and H2 O2 in all three genotypes and a very large (threefold) increase was observed in the GSH-deficient pad2-1 mutant after GSH treatment compared with the untreated wild-type plants. Addition of GSH reduced the ratio of amino acids belonging to the glutamate family on a large scale and increased the relative amount of non-proteinogenic amino acids. The latter change was because of the large increase in the content of alpha-aminoadipate, an inhibitor of glutamatic acid (Glu) transport. Most of the treatments increased the proline (Pro) content, which effect was due to the activation of genes involved in Pro synthesis. Although all studied redox compounds influenced the amount of free amino acids and a mostly positive, very close (r > 0.9) correlation exists between these parameters, a special regulatory role of GSH could be presumed due to its more powerful effect. This may originate from the thiol/disulphide conversion or (de)glutathionylation of enzymes participating in the amino acid metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Glutathione / metabolism*
  • Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Amino Acids
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Glutathione
  • Ascorbic Acid