Castro PH, Couto D, Santos MA, Freitas S, Lourenço T, Dias E, Huguet S, Marques da Silva J, Tavares RM, Bejarano ER, Azevedo Herlander.
The ubiquitin-like modifying peptide SMALL UBIQUITIN-LIKE MODIFIER (SUMO) has become a known modulator of the plant response to multiple environmental stimuli. A common feature of many of these external stresses is the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Taking into account that SUMO conjugates rapidly accumulate in response to an external oxidative stimulus, it is likely that ROS and sumoylation converge at the molecular and regulatory levels. In this study, we explored the SUMO–ROS relationship, using as a model the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) null mutant of the major SUMO-conjugation enhancer, the E3 ligase SAP AND MIZ 1 (SIZ1). We showed that SIZ1 is involved in SUMO conjugate increase when primed with both exogenous and endogenous ROS. In siz1, seedlings were sensitive to oxidative stress imposition, and mutants accumulated different ROS throughout development. We demonstrated that the deregulation in hydrogen peroxide and superoxide homeostasis, but not of singlet O2 (1O2), was partially due to SA accumulation in siz1. Furthermore, transcriptomic analysis highlighted a transcriptional signature that implicated siz1 with 1O2 homeostasis. Subsequently, we observed that siz1 displayed chloroplast morphological defects and altered energy dissipation activity and established a link between the chlorophyll precursor protochlorophyllide and deregulation of PROTOCHLOROPHYLLIDE OXIDOREDUCTASE A (PORA), which is known to drive overproduction of 1O2. Ultimately, network analysis uncovered known and additional associations between transcriptional control of PORA and SIZ1-dependent sumoylation. Our study connects sumoylation, and specifically SIZ1, to the control of chloroplast functions and places sumoylation as a molecular mechanism involved in ROS homeostatic and signaling events.