Our understanding of the 14-3-3 family and the 14-3-3 client proteome in plants has made great progress in recent years, due to the availability of robust analytical methods for protein fractionation and characterization and, equally importantly, easy access to an increasingly comprehensive sequence database, which permits protein identification. Some 200 individual plant 14-3-3 client proteins are now described in the literature, although for the majority of these, characterization is still limited to evidence of 14-3-3 binding, either in vitro or in a Y2H system. These client proteins include many centrally important enzymes of carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Entire metabolic pathways are represented, for example, nearly all the enzymes for sucrose biosynthesis , and glycolysis . This suggests that these pathways might be integrated into multicellular complexes, with 14-3-3 as a coordinating scaffold or regulatory protein. Evidence is also accumulating for 14-3-3 proteins playing a role in plant defense mechanisms and in plant hormone action. However, although we have a good picture of some of the 14-3-3/client interactions (for example NR, SPS), important questions remain for most of the others; how big is the 14-3-3 client proteome, what are the dynamics of the binding proteome during development and disease, what are the biological consequences of 14-3-3 binding, how is it regulated, and how is specificity of binding ensured? Importantly, how can we put these findings to good use in improving plant health and productivity?
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