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Plant Physiol. 2008 Sep;148(1):479-89. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.118869. Epub 2008 Jul 16.

Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A is involved in pathogen-induced cell death and development of disease symptoms in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is a highly conserved protein found in all eukaryotic kingdoms. This study demonstrates that plant eIF5A is involved in the development of disease symptoms induced by a common necrotrophic bacterial phytopathogen. Specifically, AteIF5A-2, one of the three eIF5A genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), is shown to regulate programmed cell death caused by infection with virulent Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000). Transgenic Arabidopsis plants with constitutively suppressed AteIF5A-2 exhibited marked resistance to programmed cell death induced by virulent Pst DC3000, and there was a corresponding reduction in pathogen growth and development of disease symptoms in the plant tissue. Constitutive overexpression of AteIF5A-2 circumvented the apparent posttranscriptional regulation of AteIF5A-2 protein expression characteristic of wild-type plants but did not increase susceptibility to virulent Pst DC3000 ingression. The transgenic plants with constitutive AteIF5A-2 overexpression did, however, display phenotypes consistent with precocious cell death. The results indicate that AteIF5A-2 is a key element of the signal transduction pathway resulting in plant programmed cell death.

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