Roles for Plant Mitochondrial Alternative Oxidase Under Normoxia, Hypoxia, and Reoxygenation Conditions

Jayawardhane, Jayamini and Cochrane, Devin W. and Vyas, Poorva and Bykova, Natalia V. and Vanlerberghe, Greg C. and Igamberdiev, Abir U. (2020) Roles for Plant Mitochondrial Alternative Oxidase Under Normoxia, Hypoxia, and Reoxygenation Conditions. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11 (566). ISSN 1664-462X

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Alternative oxidase (AOX) is a non-energy conserving terminal oxidase in the plant mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) that has a lower affinity for oxygen than does cytochrome (cyt) oxidase. To investigate the role(s) of AOX under different oxygen conditions, wild-type (WT) Nicotiana tabacum plants were compared with AOX knockdown and overexpression plants under normoxia, hypoxia (near-anoxia), and during a reoxygenation period following hypoxia. Paradoxically, under all the conditions tested, the AOX amount across plant lines correlated positively with leaf energy status (ATP/ADP ratio). Under normoxia, AOX was important to maintain respiratory carbon flow, to prevent the mitochondrial generation of superoxide and nitric oxide (NO), to control lipid peroxidation and protein S-nitrosylation, and possibly to reduce the inhibition of cyt oxidase by NO. Under hypoxia, AOX was again important in preventing superoxide generation and lipid peroxidation, but now contributed positively to NO amount. This may indicate an ability of AOX to generate NO under hypoxia, similar to the nitrite reductase activity of cyt oxidase under hypoxia. Alternatively, it may indicate that AOX activity simply reduces the amount of superoxide scavenging of NO, by reducing the availability of superoxide. The amount of inactivation of mitochondrial aconitase during hypoxia was also dependent upon AOX amount, perhaps through its effects on NO amount, and this influenced carbon flow under hypoxia. Finally, AOX was particularly important in preventing nitro-oxidative stress during the reoxygenation period, thereby contributing positively to the recovery of energy status following hypoxia. Overall, the results suggest that AOX plays a beneficial role in low oxygen metabolism, despite its lower affinity for oxygen than cytochrome oxidase.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14784
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: alternative oxidase, hypoxia, mitochondria, nitric oxide, reactive oxygen species, reoxygenation
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Biology
Date: 15 May 2020
Date Type: Publication
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
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