Magnesium Signaling in Plants
Int J Mol Sci. 2021, 22(3):1159
Kleczkowski LA, Igamberdiev AU

Free magnesium (Mg2+) is a signal of the adenylate (ATP+ADP+AMP) status in the cells. It results from the equilibrium of adenylate kinase (AK), which uses Mg-chelated and Mg-free adenylates as substrates in both directions of its reaction. The AK-mediated primary control of intracellular [Mg2+] is finely interwoven with the operation of membrane-bound adenylate- and Mg2+-translocators, which in a given compartment control the supply of free adenylates and Mg2+ for the AK-mediated equilibration. As a result, [Mg2+] itself varies both between and within the compartments, depending on their energetic status and environmental clues. Other key nucleotide-utilizing/producing enzymes (e.g., nucleoside diphosphate kinase) may also be involved in fine-tuning of the intracellular [Mg2+]. Changes in [Mg2+] regulate activities of myriads of Mg-utilizing/requiring enzymes, affecting metabolism under both normal and stress conditions, and impacting photosynthetic performance, respiration, phloem loading and other processes. In compartments controlled by AK equilibrium (cytosol, chloroplasts, mitochondria, nucleus), the intracellular [Mg2+] can be calculated from total adenylate contents, based on the dependence of the apparent equilibrium constant of AK on [Mg2+]. Magnesium signaling, reflecting cellular adenylate status, is likely widespread in all eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, due simply to the omnipresent nature of AK and to its involvement in adenylate equilibration.

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