Crosti P, Malerba M, Bianchetti R.
Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Universita degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, via Celoria, 26, I-20133 Milano, Italy.
The recent identification of DAD (defender against apoptotic death) gene in plants suggests that the N-linked glycosylation of proteins could be an important control point of plant programmed cell death. In this paper we describe the effects of Tunicamycin, an inhibitor of N-linked protein glycosylation, and Brefeldin A, an inhibitor of protein trafficking from the Golgi apparatus, on sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) cell cultures. These two chemicals proved able to induce a strong acceleration of the cell death; changes in cell and nucleus morphology; an increase in DNA fragmentation, detectable by a specific immunological reaction; and the presence of oligonucleosomal-size fragments (laddering) in DNA gel electrophoresis. Moreover, Brefeldin A, but not Tunicamycin, strongly stimulated the production of hydrogen peroxide. These results indicate that also in plants chemicals interfering with the activities of endoplasmic reticulum and of Golgi apparatus strongly induce a form of programmed cell death showing apoptotic features.
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