28 July 2021

Impact of the SnRK1 protein kinase on sucrose homeostasis and the transcriptome during the diel cycle

Peixoto B, Moraes TA, Mengin V, Margalha L, Vicente R, Feil R, Höhne M, Sousa AGG, Lilue J, Stitt M, Lunn JE, Baena-González Em - Plant Physiology, 2021


SNF1-related Kinase 1 (SnRK1) is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase with key functions in energy management during stress responses in plants. To address a potential role of SnRK1 under favorable conditions, we performed a metabolomic and transcriptomic characterization of rosettes of 20-d-old Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants of SnRK1 gain- and loss-of-function mutants during the regular diel cycle. Our results show that SnRK1 manipulation alters the sucrose and trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P) relationship, influencing how the sucrose content is translated into Tre6P accumulation and modulating the flux of carbon to the tricarboxylic acid cycle downstream of Tre6P signaling. On the other hand, daily cycles of Tre6P accumulation were accompanied by changes in SnRK1 signaling, leading to a maximum in the expression of SnRK1-induced genes at the end of the night, when Tre6P levels are lowest, and to a minimum at the end of the day, when Tre6P levels peak. The expression of SnRK1-induced genes was strongly reduced by transient Tre6P accumulation in an inducible Tre6P synthase (otsA) line, further suggesting the involvement of Tre6P in the diel oscillations in SnRK1 signaling. Transcriptional profiling of wild-type plants and SnRK1 mutants also uncovered defects that are suggestive of an iron sufficiency response and of a matching induction of sulfur acquisition and assimilation when SnRK1 is depleted. In conclusion, under favorable growth conditions, SnRK1 plays a role in sucrose homeostasis and transcriptome remodeling in autotrophic tissues and its activity is influenced by diel fluctuations in Tre6P levels.

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