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S-nitrosylation, the addition of a nitric oxide (NO) moiety to a reactive protein cysteine (Cys) thiol, to form a protein S-nitrosothiol (SNO), is emerging as a key regulatory post-translational modification (PTM) to control the plant immune response. NO also S-nitrosylates the antioxidant tripeptide, glutathione, to form S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO), both a storage reservoir of NO bioactivity and a natural NO donor. GSNO and, by extension, S-nitrosylation, are controlled by GSNO reductase1 (GSNOR1). The emerging data suggest that GSNOR1 itself is a target of NO-mediated S-nitrosylation, which subsequently controls its selective autophagy, regulating cellular protein SNO levels. Recent findings also suggest that S-nitrosylation may be deployed by pathogen-challenged host cells to counteract the effect of delivered microbial effector proteins that promote pathogenesis and by the pathogens themselves to augment virulence. Significantly, it also appears that S-nitrosylation may regulate plant immune functions by controlling SUMOylation, a peptide-based PTM. In this context, global SUMOylation is regulated by S-nitrosylation of SUMO conjugating enzyme 1 (SCE1) at Cys139. This redox-based PTM has also been shown to control the function of a key zinc finger transcriptional regulator during the establishment of plant immunity. Here, we provide an update of these recent advances. © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Jibril Lubega, Saima Umbreen, Gary J Loake. Recent advances in the regulation of plant immunity by S-nitrosylation. Journal of experimental botany. 2021 Feb 11;72(3):864-872

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PMID: 33005916

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