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Life and death of proteins after protease cleavage: protein degradation by the N‐end rule pathway

Dissmeyer, Nico, Rivas, Susana, Graciet, Emmanuelle
Thenew phytologist 2018 v.218 no.3 pp. 929-935
cell proliferation, pathogens, protein degradation, proteinases, proteins, proteomics
Contents Summary 929 I. Introduction: conservation and diversity of N‐end rule pathways 929 II. Defensive functions of the N‐end rule pathway in plants 930 III. Proteases and degradation by the N‐end rule pathway 930 IV. New proteomics approaches for the identification of N‐end rule substrates 932 V. Concluding remarks 932 Acknowledgements 934 References 934 SUMMARY: The N‐end rule relates the stability of a protein to the identity of its N‐terminal residue and some of its modifications. Since its discovery in the 1980s, the repertoire of N‐terminal degradation signals has expanded, leading to a diversity of N‐end rule pathways. Although some of these newly discovered N‐end rule pathways remain largely unexplored in plants, recent discoveries have highlighted roles of N‐end rule‐mediated protein degradation in plant defense against pathogens and in cell proliferation during organ growth. Despite this progress, a bottleneck remains the proteome‐wide identification of N‐end rule substrates due to the prerequisite for endoproteolytic cleavage and technical limitations. Here, we discuss the recent diversification of N‐end rule pathways and their newly discovered functions in plant defenses, stressing the role of proteases. We expect that novel proteomics techniques (N‐terminomics) will be essential for substrate identification. We review these methods, their limitations and future developments.