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Heat stress triggers differential protein accumulation in the extracellular matrix of sorghum cell suspension cultures.

Ngcala, Mamosa G. and Goche, Tatenda and Brown, Adrian P. and Chivasa, Stephen and Ngara, Rudo (2020) 'Heat stress triggers differential protein accumulation in the extracellular matrix of sorghum cell suspension cultures.', Proteomes., 8 (4). p. 29.


Plants reprogram gene expression as an adaptive response to survive high temperatures. While the identity and functions of intracellular heat stress-responsive proteins have been extensively studied, the heat response of proteins secreted to the extracellular matrix is unknown. Here, we used Sorghum bicolor, a species adapted for growth in hot climates, to investigate the extracellular heat-induced responses. When exposed to 40 C for 72 h, heat-sensitive Arabidopsis cell suspension cultures died, while ICSB338 sorghum cell cultures survived by activation of a transcriptional response characterized by the induction of HSP70 and HSP90 genes. Quantitative proteomic analysis of proteins recovered from cell culture medium revealed specific heat stress-induced protein accumulation within the sorghum secretome. Of the 265 secreted proteins identified, 31 responded to heat (2-fold change), with 84% possessing a predicted signal peptide for targeting to the classical secretory pathway. The differentially accumulated proteins have putative functions in metabolism, detoxification, and protein modifications. A germin (SORBI_3003G427700) was highly heat-inducible at both protein and gene level. Overall, our study reveals new insights into sorghum responses to heat and provides a useful resource of extracellular proteins that could serve as targets for developing thermotolerant crops. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD021536.

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Publisher statement:© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Date accepted:19 October 2020
Date deposited:28 October 2020
Date of first online publication:22 October 2020
Date first made open access:28 October 2020

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