Article: New Phytologist

Oxidative protein folding: state‐of‐the‐art and current avenues of research in plants. AJ Meyer, J Riemer, N Rouhier. New Phytologist


Disulfide bonds are post‐translational modifications crucial for the structure and function of thousands of proteins. Their formation and isomerization, referred to as oxidative folding, require specific protein machineries found in oxidizing subcellular compartments, namely the endoplasmic reticulum and the associated endomembrane system, the intermembrane space of mitochondria and the thylakoid lumen of chloroplasts. At least one protein component is required for transferring electrons from substrate proteins to an acceptor that is usually molecular oxygen. For oxidation reactions, incoming reduced substrates are oxidized by thiol‐oxidoreductase proteins (or domains in case of chimeric proteins), which are usually themselves oxidized by a single thiol oxidase, the enzyme generating disulfide bonds de novo. By contrast, the description of the molecular actors and pathways involved in proofreading and isomerization of misfolded proteins, which require a tightly controlled redox balance, lags behind. Herein we provide a general overview of the knowledge acquired on the systems responsible for oxidative protein folding in photosynthetic organisms, highlighting their particularities compared to other eukaryotes. Current research challenges are discussed including the importance and specificity of these oxidation systems in the context of the existence of reducing systems in the same compartments.