Temporal proteomics of Arabidopsis plasma membrane during cold- and de-acclimation

J Proteomics. 2019 Apr 15:197:71-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2018.11.008. Epub 2018 Nov 14.


Freezing stress is one of the most important limiting factors of plant survival. Plants have developed a freezing adaptation mechanism upon sensing low temperatures (cold acclimation). Compositional changes in the plasma membrane, one of the initial sites of freezing injury, is prerequisite of achieving cold acclimation and have been investigated in several plant species. Conversely, the cold dehardening process at elevated temperatures (de-acclimation) has not yet been fully characterized and few studies have addressed the importance of the plasma membrane in the de-acclimation process. In the present study, we conducted shotgun proteomics with label-free semiquantification on plasma membrane fractions of Arabidopsis leaves during cold acclimation and de-acclimation. We consequently obtained a list of 873 proteins with significantly changed proteins in response to the two processes. Although the cold-acclimation-responsive proteins were globally returned to non-acclimated levels by de-acclimation, several representative cold-acclimation-responsive proteins tended to remain at higher abundance during de-acclimation process. Taken together, our results suggest plants deharden right after cold acclimation to restart growth and development but some cold-acclimation-induced changes of the plasma membrane may be maintained under de-acclimation to cope with the threat of sudden freezing during de-acclimation process. SIGNIFICANCE: Plant freezing tolerance can be enhanced by low temperature treatment (cold acclimation), while elevated temperatures right after cold acclimation can result in the dehardening of freezing tolerance (de-acclimation). However, the de-acclimation process, particularly its relevance to the plasma membrane as the primary site of freezing injury, has not been elucidated. In the present study, a comprehensive proteomic analysis of the plasma membrane during cold acclimation and de-acclimation was carried out as a first step to elucidating how plants respond to rising temperatures. Cold acclimation induced a number of proteomic changes as reported in previous studies, but most proteins, in general, immediately returned to NA levels during de-acclimation treatment for two days. However, the abundances of stress-related proteins (e.g. LTI29, COR78 and TIL) decreased slower than other functional proteins during de-acclimation. Therefore, plants harden during cold acclimation by aborting growth and development and accumulating stress-responsive proteins but seem to deharden quickly under subsequent elevated temperature to resume these processes while guarding against the threat of sudden temperature drops.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Cold acclimation; De-acclimation; Freezing tolerance; Plasma membrane; Proteomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cold-Shock Response / physiology*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteomics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins