Plant Cell Environ.: co-auth.: M.Quadroni

Plant Cell Environ. 2020 Dec 12. doi: 10.1111/pce.13975. Online ahead of print.

Quantitative proteomic analysis to capture the role of heat-accumulated proteins in moss plant acquired thermotolerance

Anthony Guihur 1Bruno Fauvet 1Andrija Finka 2Manfredo Quadroni 3Pierre Goloubinoff 1Affiliations expand


At dawn of a scorching summer day, land plants must anticipate upcoming extreme midday temperatures by timely establishing molecular defences that can keep heat-labile membranes and proteins functional. A gradual morning pre-exposure to increasing sub-damaging temperatures induces heat-shock proteins (HSPs) that are central to the onset of plant acquired thermotolerance (AT). To gain knowledge on the mechanisms of AT in the model land plant Physcomitrium patens, we used label-free LC-MS/MS proteomics to quantify the accumulated and depleted proteins before and following a mild heat-priming treatment. High protein crowding is thought to promote protein aggregation, whereas molecular chaperones prevent and actively revert aggregation. Yet, we found that heat priming (HP) did not accumulate HSP chaperones in chloroplasts, although protein crowding was six times higher than in the cytosol. In contrast, several HSP20s strongly accumulated in the cytosol, yet contributing merely 4% of the net mass increase of heat-accumulated proteins. This is in poor concordance with their presumed role at preventing the aggregation of heat-labile proteins. The data suggests that under mild HP unlikely to affect protein stability. Accumulating HSP20s leading to AT, regulate the activity of rare and specific signalling proteins, thereby preventing cell death under noxious heat stress.

Keywords: HSP20s-heat-shock proteins; Physcomitrium patens; RNA-Seq; heat-priming; heat-shock proteins; heat-shock response; molecular crowding; proteomics; thermotolerance.