Peroxide processing in photosynthesis: antioxidant coupling and redox signalling

Graham Noctor, Sonja Veljovic-Jovanovic, Christine H. Foyer

Abstract

Photosynthesis has a high capacity for production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), but the intracellular levels of this relatively weak oxidant are controlled by the antioxidant system, comprising a network of enzymatic and non-enzymatic components that notably includes reactions linked to the intracellular ascorbate and glutathione pools. Mutants and transformed plants with specific decreases in key components offer the opportunity to dissect the complex system that maintains redox homeostasis. Since H2O2 is a signal-transducing molecule relaying information on intracellular redox state, the pool size must be rigorously controlled within each compartment of the cell. This review focuses on compartment-specific differences in the stringency of redox coupling between ascorbate and glutathione, and the significance this may have for the flexibility of the control of gene expression that is linked to photosynthetic H2O2 production.