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Plant Cell. 2010 May;22(5):1463-82. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.075333. Epub 2010 May 4.

Overexpression of Arabidopsis acyl-CoA binding protein ACBP3 promotes starvation-induced and age-dependent leaf senescence.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong, China.


In Arabidopsis thaliana, a family of six genes (ACBP1 to ACBP6) encodes acyl-CoA binding proteins (ACBPs). Investigations on ACBP3 reported here show its upregulation upon dark treatment and in senescing rosettes. Transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing ACBP3 (ACBP3-OEs) displayed accelerated leaf senescence, whereas an acbp3 T-DNA insertional mutant and ACBP3 RNA interference transgenic Arabidopsis lines were delayed in dark-induced leaf senescence. Acyl-CoA and lipid profiling revealed that the overexpression of ACBP3 led to an increase in acyl-CoA and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) levels, whereas ACBP3 downregulation reduced PE content. Moreover, significant losses in phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylinositol, and gains in phosphatidic acid (PA), lysophospholipids, and oxylipin-containing galactolipids (arabidopsides) were evident in 3-week-old dark-treated and 6-week-old premature senescing ACBP3-OEs. Such accumulation of PA and arabidopsides (A, B, D, E, and G) resulting from lipid peroxidation in ACBP3-OEs likely promoted leaf senescence. The N-terminal signal sequence/transmembrane domain in ACBP3 was shown to be essential in ACBP3-green fluorescent protein targeting and in promoting senescence. Observations that recombinant ACBP3 binds PC, PE, and unsaturated acyl-CoAs in vitro and that ACBP3 overexpression enhances degradation of the autophagy (ATG)-related protein ATG8 and disrupts autophagosome formation suggest a role for ACBP3 as a phospholipid binding protein involved in the regulation of leaf senescence by modulating membrane phospholipid metabolism and ATG8 stability in Arabidopsis. Accelerated senescence in ACBP3-OEs is dependent on salicylic acid but not jasmonic acid signaling.

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