Late Embryogenesis Abundant proteins (LEA proteins) are proteins in animals and plants that protect other proteins from aggregation due to desiccation or osmotic stresses associated with low temperature. LEA proteins were initially discovered accumulating late in embryogenesis of cotton seeds. Although abundant in seeds and pollens, LEA proteins have been found to protect against desiccation, cold, or high salinity in a variety of organisms, including the bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans, nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, Artemia (Brine shrimp), and rotifers.
LEA proteins function by mechanisms which are distinct from those displayed by heat shock molecular chaperones. Although the causes of LEA protein induction have not yet been determined, conformational changes in transcription factors or integral membrane proteins due to water loss have been suggested. LEA proteins are particularly protective of mitochondrial membranes against dehydration damage.
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- ^ Gal TZ, Glazer I, Koltai H (2004). "An LEA group 3 family member is involved in survival of C. elegans during exposure to stress". FEBS Letters. 577 (1–2): 21–26. doi:10.1016/j.febslet.2004.09.049. PMID 15527756.
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- ^ Hundertmark M, Hincha DK (2008). "LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) proteins and their encoding genes in Arabidopsis thaliana". BMC Genomics. 9: 118. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-118. PMC 2292704 . PMID 18318901.
- ^ Caramelo JJ, Iusem ND (2009). "When cells lose water: Lessons from biophysics and molecular biology". Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology. 99 (1): 1–6. doi:10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2008.10.001. PMID 18977383.
- ^ Tolleter D, Hincha DK, Macherel D (2010). "A mitochondrial late embryogenesis abundant protein stabilizes model membranes in the dry state". Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. 1798 (10): 1926–1933. doi:10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.06.029. PMID 20637181.
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