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Keywords:

  • Arabidopsis;
  • HIF-1α;
  • IOP;
  • Medicago;
  • NAR1;
  • oxygen;
  • Warburg effect

Abstract

[FeFe]-hydrogenase-like genes encode [Fe4S4]-containing proteins that are ubiquitous in eukaryotic cells. In humans, iron-only hydrogenase-like protein 1 (IOP1) represses hypoxia inducible factor-1α subunit (HIF1-α) at normal atmospheric partial O2 pressure (normoxia, 21 kPa O2). In yeasts, the nar1 mutant cannot grow at 21 kPa O2, but can develop at a lower O2 pressure (2 kPa O2). We show here that plant [FeFe]-hydrogenase-like GOLLUM genes are essential for plant development and cell cycle progression. The mutant phenotypes of these plants are seen in normoxic conditions, but not under conditions of mild hypoxia (5 kPa O2). Transcriptomic and metabolomic experiments showed that the mutation enhances the expression of some hypoxia-induced genes under normal atmospheric O2 conditions and changes the cellular content of metabolites related to energy metabolism. In conclusion, [FeFe]-hydrogenase-like proteins play a central role in eukaryotes including the adaptation of plants to the ambient O2 partial pressure.