Post-translational regulation of cold acclimation response
Cold acclimation is an adaptive response whereby plants from temperate regions increase their capacity to tolerate freezing in response to low-nonfreezing temperatures. Numerous studies have unveiled the large transcriptome re-programming that takes place during cold acclimation in diverse species, and a number of proteins have been identified as important regulators of this adaptive response. Post-translational mechanisms regulating the function of proteins involved in cold acclimation have been, however, much less studied. Several components of the signal transduction pathways mediating cold response have been described to be post-translationally modified. These post-translational modifications, including protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, ubiquitination, SUMOylation, N-glycosylation and lipid modification, determine key aspects of protein function such as sub-cellular localization, stability, activity or ability to interact with other proteins. Integrating these post-translational mechanisms within the appropriate spatio-temporal context of cold acclimation is essential to develop new crops with improved cold tolerance. Here, we review available evidence regarding the post-translational regulation of cold acclimation, discuss its relevance for the accurate development of this response, and highlight significant missing data. âº Post-translational modifications regulate protein function. âº Many proteins involved in cold acclimation are post-translationally modified. âº Different kinds of post-translational modifications mediate cold acclimation. âº Reversible post-translational modifications constitute versatile mechanisms to adapt to freezing temperatures. âº Post-translational regulation is essential for proper development of cold acclimation.