CEP Peptide Hormones: Key Players in Orchestrating Nitrogen-Demand Signalling, Root Nodulation, and Lateral Root Development

J Exp Bot. 2018 Apr 9;69(8):1829-1836. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ery037.


Secreted peptide hormones play pivotal roles in plant growth and development. So far, CEPs (C-TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDEs) have been shown to act through CEP receptors (CEPRs) to control nitrogen (N)-demand signalling, nodulation, and lateral root development. Secreted CEP peptides can enter the xylem stream to act as long-distance signals, but evidence also exists for CEPs acting in local circuits. Recently, CEP peptide species varying in sequence, length, and post-translational modifications have been identified. A more comprehensive understanding of CEP biology requires insight into the in planta function of CEP genes, CEP peptide biogenesis, the components of CEP signalling cascades and, finally, how CEP peptide length, amino-acid composition, and post-translational modifications affect biological activity. In this review, we highlight recent studies that have advanced our understanding in these key areas and discuss some future directions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Peptide Hormones / metabolism*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Root Nodules, Plant / genetics
  • Root Nodules, Plant / growth & development
  • Root Nodules, Plant / metabolism*


  • Peptide Hormones
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Nitrogen