The oxidation-reduction (redox) status of the cell influences or regulates transcription factors and enzymes involved in epigenetic changes, such as DNA methylation, histone protein modifications, and chromatin structure and remodeling. These changes are crucial regulators of chromatin architecture, leading to differential gene expression in eukaryotes. But the cell’s redox homeostasis is difficult to sustain since the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) is not equal in plants at different developmental stages and under abiotic stress conditions. Exceeding optimum ROS and RNS levels leads to oxidative stress and thus alters the redox status of the cell. Consequently, this alteration modulates intracellular epigenetic modifications that either mitigate or mediate the plant growth and stress response.
Recent studies suggest that the altered redox status of the cell reform the cellular functions and epigenetic changes. Recent high-throughput techniques have also greatly advanced redox-mediated gene expression discovery, but the integrated view of the redox status, and its associations with epigenetic changes and subsequent gene expression in plants are still scarce. In this review, we accordingly focus on how the redox status of the cell affects epigenetic modifications in plants under abiotic stress conditions and during developmental processes. This is a first comprehensive review on the redox status of the cell covering the redox components and signaling, redox status alters the post-translational modification of proteins, intracellular epigenetic modifications, redox interplay during DNA methylation, redox regulation of histone acetylation and methylation, redox regulation of miRNA biogenesis, redox regulation of chromatin structure and remodeling and conclusion, future perspectives and biotechnological opportunities for the future development of the plants.
The interaction of redox mediators such as ROS, RNS and antioxidants regulates redox homeostasis and redox-mediated epigenetic changes. We discuss how redox mediators modulate epigenetic changes and show the opportunities for smart use of the redox status of the cell in plant development and abiotic stress adaptation. However, how a redox mediator triggers epigenetic modification without activating other redox mediators remains yet unknown.