A crucial feature of plant performance is its strong dependence on the availability of essential mineral nutrients, affecting multiple vital functions. Indeed, mineral-nutrient deficiency is one of the major stress factors affecting plant growth and development. Thereby, nitrogen and potassium represent the most abundant mineral contributors, critical for plant survival. While studying plant responses to nutrient deficiency, one should keep in mind that mineral nutrients, along with their specific metabolic roles, are directly involved in maintaining cell ion homeostasis, which relies on a finely tuned equilibrium between cytosolic and vacuolar ion pools. Therefore, in this chapter we briefly summarize the role of the ion homeostasis system in cell responses to environmental deficiency of nitrate and potassium ions. Special attention is paid to the implementation of plant responses via NO3− and K+ root transport and regulation of ion distribution in cell compartments. These responses are strongly dependent on plant species, as well as severity and duration of nutrient deficiency.
Part of the book: Cell Growth
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a widely spread metabolic disease, the initial stages of which are asymptomatic and have no clinically recognizable manifestation. At the molecular level, T2DM is manifested with essential non-enzymatic structural changes of intra- and extracellular proteins, mostly represented with oxidation and glycation of multiple residues. Protein glycation is one of the most universal markers of T2DM, and is recognized as an indirect, but adequate indicator of plasma glucose levels over prolonged periods of time. Unfortunately, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) – the universally accepted T2DM marker, is insensitive for short-term excursions of blood glucose, which are known to precede the onset of disease. Therefore, new generation biomarkers, giving access to the time dimension of Maillard reaction in blood, are desired. In this context, establishment of individual glycation sites of plasma proteins as new T2DM biomarkers might be a promising approach. Indeed, involvement of proteins with different half-life times in such analysis will make the time dimension of protein glycation in blood available and will allow early recognition of blood sugar fluctuations, occurring within few weeks or even days.
Part of the book: Type 2 Diabetes