Exploring the role of lysine acetylation in the regulation of plant growth and metabolism

Public lecture
Foto: Laura Grahn

Lysine acetylation is a reversible post-translational protein modification, which has central functions in regulating stress defenses and development in plants. However, the knowledge about the modifying enzymes is largely limited to histones, although these enzymes were found in diverse subcellular compartments. Here I will present our current knowledge on the function of Arabidopsis histone deacetylases and acetyltransferases and how they impact on plant development, growth, and metabolism. With the help of high-resolution mass spectrometry, we determined novel substrates of these protein modifiers in Arabidopsis and characterized their functions in different tissues. In addition, our analysis revealed that one of the histone deacetylases as well as a new family of acetyltransferases is found to reside in chloroplasts and that the majority of their protein targets have functions in photosynthesis. These results open up a new field of research for understanding and modulating short-term acclimation responses of photosynthesis that can enhance plant growth.

Iris Finkemeier received her PhD in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry from the University of Bielefeld in 2005. Shortly afterwards she was awarded a Feodor-Lynen Research Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to work at the Department of Plant Sciences with Profs. Lee Sweetlove and Christopher Leaver, University of Oxford (UK). In 2007, she was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship from Christ Church College, which allowed her to continue the research in Oxford. In 2010, she moved to Munich to start a young investigator group at the Ludwig Maximilians University Munich funded by the Emmy Noether program of the DFG. In 2014, she moved with her Emmy Noether group to the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research as head of the Plant Proteomics and Mass Spectrometry facility. In 2015, she was appointed as Full Professor for Plant Physiology at the WWU Münster. 
The Finkemeier group investigates the role of post-translational protein modifications (PTMs) in the regulation of organellar functions and stress signaling in plants. They are particularly interested in studying epigenetic modifiers and their connection to metabolism. The aim of their research is to reveal the function and importance of lysine acetylation in the regulating of plant metabolic pathways and signaling processes involved in the plant stress response and its cross-talk with other PTMs.

Moderation: Professor Dr. Michael Lammers (Greifswald)


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