How organisms integrate metabolism with the external environment is a central question in biology. Here, we describe a novel regulatory small molecule, a proteogenic dipeptide Tyr-Asp, which improves plant tolerance to oxidative stress by directly interfering with glucose metabolism. Specifically, Tyr-Asp inhibits the activity of a key glycolytic enzyme, glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPC), and redirects glucose toward pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) and NADPH production. In line with the metabolic data, Tyr-Asp supplementation improved the growth performance of both Arabidopsis and tobacco seedlings subjected to oxidative stress conditions. Moreover, inhibition of Arabidopsis phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) activity by a group of branched-chain amino acid-containing dipeptides, but not by Tyr-Asp, points to a multisite regulation of glycolytic/gluconeogenic pathway by dipeptides. In summary, our results open the intriguing possibility that proteogenic dipeptides act as evolutionarily conserved small-molecule regulators at the nexus of stress, protein degradation, and metabolism.
Keywords: Arabidopsis; GAPDH; NADPH; central carbon metabolism; dipeptides.
© 2021 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY NC ND 4.0 license.