Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland)
Thioredoxins (TRXs) are key players within the complex response network of plants to environmental constraints. Here, the physiological implication of the plastidial y-type TRXs in Arabidopsis drought tolerance was examined. We previously showed that TRXs y1 and y2 have antioxidant functions, and here, the corresponding single and double mutant plants were studied in the context of water deprivation. TRX y mutant plants showed reduced stress tolerance in comparison with wild-type (WT) plants that correlated with an increase in their global protein oxidation levels. Furthermore, at the level of the main antioxidant metabolites, while glutathione pool size and redox state were similarly affected by drought stress in WT and plants, ascorbate (AsA) became more quickly and strongly oxidized in mutant leaves. Monodehydroascorbate (MDA) is the primary product of AsA oxidation and NAD(P)H-MDA reductase (MDHAR) ensures its reduction. We found that the extractable leaf NADPH-dependent MDHAR activity was strongly activated by TRX y2. Moreover, activity of recombinant plastid Arabidopsis MDHAR isoform (MDHAR6) was specifically increased by reduced TRX y, and not by other plastidial TRXs. Overall, these results reveal a new function for y-type TRXs and highlight their role as major antioxidants in plastids and their importance in plant stress tolerance.