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Chemosphere. 2008 Apr;71(7):1377-85. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.11.031. Epub 2007 Dec 31.

ROS and CDPK-like kinase-mediated activation of MAP kinase in rice roots exposed to lead.

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Department of Life Sciences, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1 University Road 701, Tainan, Taiwan, ROC.


Lead (Pb2+) is a cytotoxic metal ion in plants, the mechanism of which is not yet established. The aim of this study is to investigate the signalling pathways that are activated by elevated concentrations of Pb2+ in rice roots. Root growth was stunted and cell death was accelerated when exposed to different dosages of Pb2+ during extended time periods. Using ROS-sensitive dye and Ca2+ indicator, we demonstrated that Pb2+ induced ROS production and Ca2+ accumulation, respectively. In addition, Pb2+ elicited a remarkable increase in myelin basic protein (MBP) kinase activities. By immunoblot and immunoprecipitation analysis, 40- and 42-kDa MBP kinases that were activated by Pb2+ were identified to be mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. Pre-treatment of rice roots with an antioxidant and a NADPH oxidase inhibitor, glutathione (GSH) and diphenylene iodonium (DPI), effectively reduced Pb2+-induced cell death and MAP kinase activation. Moreover, calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) antagonist, W7, attenuated Pb2+-induced cell death and MAP kinase activation. These results suggested that the ROS and CDPK may function in the Pb2+-triggered cell death and MAP kinase signalling pathway in rice roots.

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