Environmental stress is one of the major factors reducing crop productivity. Due to the oncoming climate changes, the effects of drought and high light on plants play an increasing role in modern agriculture. These changes are accompanied with a progressing contamination of soils with heavy metals. Independent of their nature, environmental alterations result in development of oxidative stress, i.e. increase of reactive oxygen species (ROS) contents, and metabolic adjustment, i.e. accumulation of soluble primary metabolites (amino acids and sugars). However, a simultaneous increase of ROS and sugar concentrations ultimately results in protein glycation, i.e. non-enzymatic interaction of reducing sugars or their degradation products (α-dicarbonyls) with proteins. The eventually resulting advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are known to be toxic and pro-inflammatory in mammals. Recently, their presence was unambiguously demonstrated in vivo in stressed Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Currently, information on protein targets, modification sites therein, mediators and mechanisms of plant glycation are being intensively studied. In this chapter, we comprehensively review the methodological approaches for plant glycation research and discuss potential mechanisms of AGE formation under stress conditions. On the basis of these patterns and additional in vitro experiments, the pathways and mechanisms of plant glycation can be proposed.
Part of the book: Abiotic and Biotic Stress in Plants
We present an overview of computational approaches for the prediction of metabolic pathways by which plants biosynthesise compounds, with a focus on selected very promising anticancer secondary metabolites from floral sources. We also provide an overview of databases for the retrieval of useful genomic data, discussing the strengths and limitations of selected prediction software and the main computational tools (and methods), which could be employed for the investigation of the uncharted routes towards the biosynthesis of some of the identified anticancer metabolites from plant sources, eventually using specific examples to address some knowledge gaps when using these approaches.
Part of the book: Natural Products and Cancer Drug Discovery