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Hagemann, Martin; Heinz, Steffen; Nickelsen, Jörg; Pade, Nadin (2016): CurT contributes to osmotic stress tolerance in Synechocystis independent of compatible solutes. In: Endocytobiosis & Cell Research, Vol. 27, No. 3: pp. 52-55
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CurT represents a cyanobacterial homolog of the Arabidopsis CURVATURE THYLAKOID1 protein family, which is involved in grana formation in chloroplasts. Inactivation of the curT gene has recently been shown to cause severe alterations of the thylakoid membrane architecture affecting in particular PSII biogenesis. The CurT protein localized with high local abundances in regions, where the thylakoids converge towards the plasma membrane. Interestingly, CurT relocalized to the plasma membrane under salt and osmotic stress. Consistent with a potential role of this protein during stress response, the curT- mutant exhibited a high sensitivity towards both high exogenous salt and osmotic concentrations. This study demonstrates that curT- is still able to accumulate compatible solutes in amounts and dynamics similar to wild-type cells. In conclusion, accumulation of compatible solutes is not sufficient to provide protection from osmotic stress. Moreover, CurT-dependent membrane stabilization appears to be required to enable cells to resist high levels of osmotic stress.