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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(4), 6805-6847; doi:10.3390/ijms14046805
Review

Alternative Oxidase: A Mitochondrial Respiratory Pathway to Maintain Metabolic and Signaling Homeostasis during Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants

Received: 16 February 2013; in revised form: 8 March 2013 / Accepted: 12 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Abiotic and Biotic Stress Tolerance Mechanisms in Plants)
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Abstract: Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a non-energy conserving terminal oxidase in the plant mitochondrial electron transport chain. While respiratory carbon oxidation pathways, electron transport, and ATP turnover are tightly coupled processes, AOX provides a means to relax this coupling, thus providing a degree of metabolic homeostasis to carbon and energy metabolism. Beside their role in primary metabolism, plant mitochondria also act as “signaling organelles”, able to influence processes such as nuclear gene expression. AOX activity can control the level of potential mitochondrial signaling molecules such as superoxide, nitric oxide and important redox couples. In this way, AOX also provides a degree of signaling homeostasis to the organelle. Evidence suggests that AOX function in metabolic and signaling homeostasis is particularly important during stress. These include abiotic stresses such as low temperature, drought, and nutrient deficiency, as well as biotic stresses such as bacterial infection. This review provides an introduction to the genetic and biochemical control of AOX respiration, as well as providing generalized examples of how AOX activity can provide metabolic and signaling homeostasis. This review also examines abiotic and biotic stresses in which AOX respiration has been critically evaluated, and considers the overall role of AOX in growth and stress tolerance.
Keywords: alternative oxidase; carbon and energy metabolism; metabolic homeostasis; plant mitochondria; photosynthesis; reactive nitrogen species; reactive oxygen species; respiration; abiotic and biotic stress; signaling homeostasis alternative oxidase; carbon and energy metabolism; metabolic homeostasis; plant mitochondria; photosynthesis; reactive nitrogen species; reactive oxygen species; respiration; abiotic and biotic stress; signaling homeostasis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vanlerberghe, G.C. Alternative Oxidase: A Mitochondrial Respiratory Pathway to Maintain Metabolic and Signaling Homeostasis during Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 6805-6847.

AMA Style

Vanlerberghe GC. Alternative Oxidase: A Mitochondrial Respiratory Pathway to Maintain Metabolic and Signaling Homeostasis during Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(4):6805-6847.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vanlerberghe, Greg C. 2013. "Alternative Oxidase: A Mitochondrial Respiratory Pathway to Maintain Metabolic and Signaling Homeostasis during Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 4: 6805-6847.



Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert