Open Access Open Badges Research article

Determining novel functions of Arabidopsis 14-3-3 proteins in central metabolic processes

Celine Diaz1, Miyako Kusano1, Ronan Sulpice2, Mitsutaka Araki1, Henning Redestig1, Kazuki Saito1, Mark Stitt2 and Ryoung Shin1*

Author Affiliations

1 RIKEN Plant Science Center, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan

2 Max Planck Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam-Gölm, 14476, Germany

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BMC Systems Biology 2011, 5:192  doi:10.1186/1752-0509-5-192

Published: 21 November 2011



14-3-3 proteins are considered master regulators of many signal transduction cascades in eukaryotes. In plants, 14-3-3 proteins have major roles as regulators of nitrogen and carbon metabolism, conclusions based on the studies of a few specific 14-3-3 targets.


In this study, extensive novel roles of 14-3-3 proteins in plant metabolism were determined through combining the parallel analyses of metabolites and enzyme activities in 14-3-3 overexpression and knockout plants with studies of protein-protein interactions. Decreases in the levels of sugars and nitrogen-containing-compounds and in the activities of known 14-3-3-interacting-enzymes were observed in 14-3-3 overexpression plants. Plants overexpressing 14-3-3 proteins also contained decreased levels of malate and citrate, which are intermediate compounds of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. These modifications were related to the reduced activities of isocitrate dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase, which are key enzymes of TCA cycle. In addition, we demonstrated that 14-3-3 proteins interacted with one isocitrate dehydrogenase and two malate dehydrogenases. There were also changes in the levels of aromatic compounds and the activities of shikimate dehydrogenase, which participates in the biosynthesis of aromatic compounds.


Taken together, our findings indicate that 14-3-3 proteins play roles as crucial tuners of multiple primary metabolic processes including TCA cycle and the shikimate pathway.