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Plant Cell. 2005 Jan;17(1):268-81. Epub 2004 Dec 17.

Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase 1 is a central component of the reactive oxygen gene network of Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada 89557, USA.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as O2- and H2O2, play a key role in plant metabolism, cellular signaling, and defense. In leaf cells, the chloroplast is considered to be a focal point of ROS metabolism. It is a major producer of O2- and H2O2 during photosynthesis, and it contains a large array of ROS-scavenging mechanisms that have been extensively studied. By contrast, the function of the cytosolic ROS-scavenging mechanisms of leaf cells is largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that in the absence of the cytosolic H2O2-scavenging enzyme ascorbate peroxidase 1 (APX1), the entire chloroplastic H2O2-scavenging system of Arabidopsis thaliana collapses, H2O2 levels increase, and protein oxidation occurs. We further identify specific proteins oxidized in APX1-deficient plants and characterize the signaling events that ensue in knockout-Apx1 plants in response to a moderate level of light stress. Using a dominant-negative approach, we demonstrate that heat shock transcription factors play a central role in the early sensing of H2O2 stress in plants. Using knockout plants for the NADPH oxidase D protein (knockout-RbohD), we demonstrate that RbohD might be required for ROS signal amplification during light stress. Our study points to a key role for the cytosol in protecting the chloroplast during light stress and provides evidence for cross-compartment protection of thylakoid and stromal/mitochondrial APXs by cytosolic APX1.

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