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Plant Cell. 2004 Jan;16(1):21-32. Epub 2003 Dec 11.

Dissection of Arabidopsis Bax inhibitor-1 suppressing Bax-, hydrogen peroxide-, and salicylic acid-induced cell death.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


Overexpression of plant Bax Inhibitor-1 (BI-1) was able to suppress Bax-mediated cell death in yeast and Arabidopsis. Here, we demonstrate that reactive oxygen species production induced by the ectopic expression of Bax was insensitive to the coexpression of AtBI-1. Similarly, H2O2- or salicylic acid-mediated cell death also was suppressed in tobacco BY-2 cells overexpressing AtBI-1. To define the functional domain of AtBI-1 as a cell death suppressor, a truncated series of the AtBI-1 protein was analyzed in yeast possessing a galactose-inducible mammalian Bax. The results showed that DeltaC-AtBI-1 (with the C-terminal 14 amino acids deleted) lost the ability to sustain cell growth. Furthermore, a mutant protein in which the C-terminal seven amino acid residues of AtBI-1 were replaced with others lacking a coiled-coil structure failed to inhibit cell death, suggesting that the C-terminal region is essential for the inhibition of cell death. We also noted that the C-terminal hydrophilic region was interchangeable between animal and plant Bax inhibitors.

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