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Schmidt, Romy R.; Fulda, Martin; Paul, Melanie V.; Anders, Max; Plum, Frederic; Weits, Daniel A.; Kosmacz, Monika; Larson, Tony R.; Graham, Ian A.; Beemster, Gerrit T. S.; Licausi, Francesco; Geigenberger, Peter; Schippers, Jos H. and Dongen, Joost T. van (2018): Low-oxygen response is triggered by an ATP-dependent shift in oleoyl-CoA in Arabidopsis. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 115, No. 51, E12101-E12110

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Plant response to environmental stimuli involves integration of multiple signals. Upon low-oxygen stress, plants initiate a set of adaptive responses to circumvent an energy crisis. Here, we reveal how these stress responses are induced by combining (i) energy-dependent changes in the composition of the acyl-CoA pool and (ii) the cellular oxygen concentration. A hypoxia-induced decline of cellular ATP levels reduces LONG-CHAIN ACYL-COA SYNTHETASE activity, which leads to a shift in the composition of the acyl-CoA pool. Subsequently, we show that different acyl-CoAs induce unique molecular responses. Altogether, our data disclose a role for acyl-CoAs acting in a cellular signaling pathway in plants. Upon hypoxia, high oleoyl-CoA levels provide the initial trigger to release the transcription factor RAP2.12 from its interaction partner ACYL-COA BINDING PROTEIN at the plasma membrane. Subsequently, according to the N-end rule for proteasomal degradation, oxygen concentration-dependent stabilization of the subgroup VII ETHYLENE-RESPONSE FACTOR transcription factor RAP2.12 determines the level of hypoxia-specific gene expression. This research unveils a specific mechanism activating low-oxygen stress responses only when a decrease in the oxygen concentration coincides with a drop in energy.

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