Meta-Analysis of Retrograde Signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana Reveals a Core Module of Genes Embedded in Complex Cellular Signaling Networks

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Plastid-to-nucleus signaling is essential for the coordination and adjustment of cellular metabolism in response to environmental and developmental cues of plant cells. A variety of operational retrograde signaling pathways have been described that are thought to be triggered by reactive oxygen species, photosynthesis redox imbalance, tetrapyrrole intermediates, and other metabolic traits. Here we report a meta-analysis based on transcriptome and protein interaction data. Comparing the output of these pathways reveals the commonalities and peculiarities stimulated by six different sources impinging on operational retrograde signaling. Our study provides novel insights into the interplay of these pathways, supporting the existence of an as-yet unknown core response module of genes being regulated under all conditions tested. Our analysis further highlights affiliated regulatory cis-elements and classifies abscisic acid and auxin-based signaling as secondary components involved in the response cascades following a plastidial signal. Our study provides a global analysis of structure and interfaces of different pathways involved in plastid-to-nucleus signaling and a new view on this complex cellular communication network.

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