A LEA 4 protein up-regulated by ABA is involved in drought response in maize roots
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Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are hydrophilic proteins that accumulate to high concentrations during the late stages of seeds development, which are integral to desiccation tolerance. LEA proteins also play a protective role under other abiotic stresses. We analyzed in silico a maize protein predicted to be highly hydrophilic and intrinsically disordered. This prediction was experimentally corroborated by solubility assays under denaturing conditions. Based on its amino acid sequence, we propose that this protein belongs to group four of the LEA proteins. The accumulation pattern of this protein was similar to that of dehydrins during the desiccation process that takes place during seed development. This protein was induced by exogenous abscisic acid in immature embryos, but during imbibition was down-regulated by gibberellins. It was also induced in maize roots under osmotic stress. So far, this is the first member of the LEA proteins belonging to group four to be characterized in maize, and it plays a role in the response to osmotic stress.
KeywordsLEA 4 proteins Desiccation Disordered protein
J.-A. Zamora was the recipient of a Conacyt fellowship (no. 512028419). We thank Dr. Rosario Muñoz-Clares for her invaluable comments. This research was supported partially by Conacyt Grant 213872 and PAIP Grant FQ747, UNAM.
Author contribution statement
ZB and SQ conceived and designed research. ZB conducted experiments. ZB and SQ wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.
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