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The plant N‐degron pathways of ubiquitin‐mediated proteolysis

Holdsworth, Michael John; Vicente, Jorge; Sharma, Gunjan; Abbas, Mohamad; Zubrycka, Agata


Michael John Holdsworth

Jorge Vicente

Gunjan Sharma

Mohamad Abbas

Agata Zubrycka


The amino‐terminal residue of a protein (or amino‐terminus of a peptide following protease cleavage) can be an important determinant of its stability, through the Ubiquitin‐Proteasome‐System associated N‐degron pathways. Plants contain a unique combination of N‐degron pathways (previously called the N‐end rule pathways) E3 ligases, PROTEOLYSIS (PRT)6 and PRT1, recognising non‐overlapping sets of amino‐terminal residues, and others remain to be identified. Although only very few substrates of PRT1 or PRT6 have been identified, substrates of the oxygen and nitric oxide sensing branch of the PRT6 N‐degron pathway include key nuclear‐located transcription factors (ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR VIIs and LITTLE ZIPPER 2) and the histone‐modifying Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 component VERNALISATION 2. In response to reduced oxygen or nitric oxide levels (and other mechanisms that reduce pathway activity) these stabilised substrates regulate diverse aspects of growth and development, including response to flooding, salinity, vernalisation (cold‐induced flowering) and shoot apical meristem function. The N‐degron pathways show great promise for use in the improvement of crop performance and for biotechnological applications. Upstream proteases, components of the different pathways and associated substrates still remain to be identified and characterised to fully appreciate how regulation of protein stability through the amino‐terminal residue impacts plant biology.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2020-01
Journal Journal of Integrative Plant Biology
Print ISSN 1672-9072
Electronic ISSN 1744-7909
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 62
Issue 1
Pages 70-89
APA6 Citation Holdsworth, M. J., Vicente, J., Sharma, G., Abbas, M., & Zubrycka, A. (2020). The plant N‐degron pathways of ubiquitin‐mediated proteolysis. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 62(1), 70-89.
Keywords Plant Science; General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology; Biochemistry
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Holdsworth, M. J., Vicente, J. , Sharma, G. , Abbas, M. and Zubrycka, A. (2019), The plant N‐degron pathways of ubiquitin‐mediated proteolysis. J. Integr. Plant Biol. Accepted Author Manuscript, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


This file is under embargo until Oct 23, 2020 due to copyright restrictions.

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