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Protein phosphorylation and photorespiration



M. Hodges, Institut de Biologie des Plantes, CNRS UMR8618, Saclay Plant Sciences, Université Paris Sud, Bâtiment 630, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France.



Photorespiration allows the recycling of carbon atoms of 2-phosphoglycolate produced by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) oxygenase activity, as well as the removal of potentially toxic metabolites. The photorespiratory pathway takes place in the light, encompasses four cellular compartments and interacts with several other metabolic pathways and functions. Therefore, the regulation of this cycle is probably of paramount importance to plant metabolism, however, our current knowledge is poor. To rapidly respond to changing conditions, proteins undergo a number of different post-translational modifications that include acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation, but protein phosphorylation is probably the most common. The reversible covalent addition of a phosphate group to a specific amino acid residue allows the modulation of protein function, such as activity, subcellular localisation, capacity to interact with other proteins and stability. Recent data indicate that many photorespiratory enzymes can be phosphorylated, and thus it seems that the photorespiratory cycle is, in part, regulated by protein phosphorylation. In this review, the known phosphorylation sites of each Arabidopsis thaliana photorespiratory enzyme and several photorespiratory-associated proteins are described and discussed. A brief account of phosphoproteomic protocols is also given since the published data compiled in this review are the fruit of this approach.