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Plant Cell Rep. 2009 Jan;28(1):41-51. doi: 10.1007/s00299-008-0630-x. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Plant voltage-dependent anion channels are involved in host defense against Pseudomonas cichorii and in Bax-induced cell death.

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Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, 2-1-1 Katahira, Aoba, Sendai, Miyagi, 980-8577, Japan.

Erratum in

  • Plant Cell Rep. 2009 Jul;28(7):1145.


The voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) is a major outer mitochondrial membrane protein. It is well documented that VDAC plays an important role in apoptosis, a kind of programmed cell death, in mammalian systems. However, little is known about the role of the plant counterpart during the process of plant-specific cell death such as pathogen-induced hypersensitive response. To address this issue, we isolated three VDAC full-length cDNAs (NtVDAC1-3) from Nicotiana tabacum. The deduced products, NtVDACs, share 78-85% identity and retain the conserved eukaryotic mitochondrial porin signature distal to their C-terminal regions. Mitochondrial localization of three NtVDACs in plant cells was confirmed via a green fluorescent protein fusion method. Then, we addressed the main issue concerning pathogenesis relation. The N. benthamiana orthologues of NtVDACs were upregulated by challenge with the non-host pathogen Pseudomonas cichorii, but not after challenge with the virulent pathogen P. syringae pv. tabaci. Both the pharmaceutical inhibition of VDAC and silencing of NbVDACs genes compromised the non-host resistance against P. cichorii, suggesting the involvement of VDACs in defense against non-host pathogen. Involvement of NbVDACs in Bax-mediated cell death was also verified using a similar approach.

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