SELENOPROTEIN O is a chloroplast protein involved in ROS scavenging and its absence increases dehydration tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Yosef Fichman, Zsuzsa Koncz, Noam Reznik, Gad Miller, László Szabados, Katharina Kramer, Hirofumi Nakagami, Hillel Fromm, Csaba Koncz, Aviah Zilberstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The evolutionary conserved family of Selenoproteins performs redox-regulatory functions in bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. Among them, members of the SELENOPROTEIN O (SELO) subfamily are located in mammalian and yeast mitochondria, but their functions are thus far enigmatic. Screening of T-DNA knockout mutants for resistance to the proline analogue thioproline (T4C), identified mutant alleles of the plant SELO homologue in Arabidopsis thaliana. Absence of SELO resulted in a stress-induced transcriptional activation instead of silencing of mitochondrial proline dehydrogenase, and also high elevation of Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase involved in degradation of proline, thereby alleviating T4C inhibition and lessening drought-induced proline accumulation. Unlike its animal homologues, SELO was localized to chloroplasts of plants ectopically expressing SELO-GFP. The protein was co-fractionated with thylakoid membrane complexes, and co-immunoprecipitated with FNR, PGRL1 and STN7, all involved in regulating PSI and downstream electron flow. The selo mutants displayed extended survival under dehydration, accompanied by longer photosynthetic activity, compared with wild-type plants. Enhanced expression of genes encoding ROS scavenging enzymes in the unstressed selo mutant correlated with higher oxidant scavenging capacity and reduced methyl viologen damage. The study elucidates SELO as a PSI-related component involved in regulating ROS levels and stress responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-291
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Science
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


  • Abiotic stress signaling
  • Drought tolerance
  • Proline metabolism
  • ROS
  • Selenoprotein O

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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