[Yuki Nakamura] Maintenance of choline homeostasis by CEK1 is crucial for ER stress tolerance

In animal cells, homeostasis of ER phospholipid phosphatidylcholine is crucial in circumventing ER stress, an organelle stress that leads to serious diseases. A research team led by Dr. Nakamura demonstrated that plant ER stress tolerance requires balanced choline/phosphocholine ratio rather than phosphatidylcholine, which is maintained by a newly characterized choline kinase CEK1. The work highlights phosphocholine metabolism as a key metabolite in plant ER stress, which is caused by agriculturally important environmental stresses such as heat and salinity.