Journal Article

Programmed Cell Death of the Megagametophyte during Post-germinative Growth of White Spruce (<i>Picea glauca</i>) Seeds is Regulated by Reactive Oxygen Species and the Ubiquitin-mediated Proteolytic System

Xu He and Allison R. Kermode

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 10, pages 1707-1720
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcq130
Programmed Cell Death of the Megagametophyte during Post-germinative Growth of White Spruce (Picea glauca) Seeds is Regulated by Reactive Oxygen Species and the Ubiquitin-mediated Proteolytic System

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The megagametophyte of white spruce (Picea glauca) seeds undergoes programmed cell death following seed germination. This process is characterized by distinct morphological and biochemical features, such as DNA fragmentation and the induction of proteases. Biphasic production of hydrogen peroxide was detected in the megagametophyte following seed germination. ROS scavengers or inhibitors of ROS production decreased caspase-like protease activity and slowed the progression of cell death. One catalase (CAT) of white spruce reacted with antibodies directed against cotton-seed CAT. The corresponding CAT gene was cloned and compared with the catalase genes of other plant species. The activity of the white spruce CAT enzyme was stimulated by tyrosine phosphorylation. The phosphorylated CAT was subjected to ubiquitination and degraded by the proteasome. Furthermore, the proteasome inhibitor MG132 inhibited the degradation of CAT and delayed cell death. These results suggest that the interplay of CAT and the ubiquitin-mediated proteolytic system is critical in the control of ROS production and subsequent cell death.

Keywords: Programmed cell death; Picea glauca; Megagametophyte; Reactive oxygen species; Ubiquitin-proteasome; Catalase; Protein degradation

Journal Article.  8498 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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