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ERC Starting Grant ProPlantStress

Site-specific proteolytic processing is an irreversible post-translational protein modification that generates distinct protein species with new functions, interactions and subcellular locations. Individual examples in the literature indicate the tremendous importance of proteolytic processing e.g. for hormonal and stress signaling in plants. However, to date such proteolytic processes have mostly been identified serendipitously, specific cleavage sites have rarely been identified and only a few of the hundreds of proteases encoded in plant genomes (>800 in Arabidopsis) have been linked to any substrate.
With the ERC-funded project “ProPlantStress”, we aim to obtain an unbiased, large-scale view on proteolytic processes in plants and their role in plant abiotic or biotic stress responses. To this end we will employ novel positional proteomics approaches that enable selective enrichment, identification and quantitation of protein N- or C-termini. Collectively also termed “degradomics”, these methods reveal proteolytic processes, cleavage sites and protease substrate repertoires on a proteome-wide scale.
Hence, ProPlantStress will provide unique insights into proteolytic mechanisms underlying plant stress responses that were unattainable by traditional means. This improved knowledge of molecular plant stress responses may provide new opportunities for crop protection and mitigation of harvest losses.



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