Plant dehydrins and stress tolerance: Versatile proteins for complex mechanisms

Moez Hanin, Faïçal Brini, Chantal Ebel, Yosuke Toda, Shin Takeda, Khaled Masmoudi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

375 Citations (Scopus)


Dehydrins (DHNs), or group 2 LEA (Late Embryogenesis Abundant) proteins, play a fundamental role in plant response and adaptation to abiotic stresses. They accumulate typically in maturing seeds or are induced in vegetative tissues following salinity, dehydration, cold and freezing stress. The generally accepted classification of dehydrins is based on their structural features, such as the presence of conserved sequences, designated as Y, S and K segments. The K segment representing a highly conserved 15 amino acid motif forming amphiphilic α-helix is especially important since it has been found in all dehydrins. Since more than 20 y, they are thought to play an important protective role during cellular dehydration but their precise function remains unclear. This review outlines the current status of the progress made toward the structural, physico-chemical and functional characterization of plant dehydrins and how these features could be exploited in improving stress tolerance in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1509
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Abiotic stress
  • Cold acclimation
  • Dehydration stress
  • Dehydrins
  • Drought
  • Freezing tolerance
  • LEA proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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