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Plant Cell Environ. 2010 Sep;33(9):1453-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02117.x. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Devil inside: does plant programmed cell death involve the endomembrane system?

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Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Equipe 2, Mécanismes des Résistances, Montpellier Cedex 5, France.


Eukaryotic cells have to constantly cope with environmental cues and integrate developmental signals. Cell survival or death is the only possible outcome. In the field of animal biology, tremendous efforts have been put into the understanding of mechanisms underlying cell fate decision. Distinct organelles have been proven to sense a broad range of stimuli and, if necessary, engage cell death signalling pathway(s). Over the years, forward and reverse genetic screens have uncovered numerous regulators of programmed cell death (PCD) in plants. However, to date, molecular networks are far from being deciphered and, apart from the autophagic compartment, no organelles have been assigned a clear role in the regulation of cellular suicide. The endomembrane system (ES) seems, nevertheless, to harbour a significant number of cell death mediators. In this review, the involvement of this system in the control of plant PCD is discussed in-depth, as well as compared and contrasted with what is known in animal and yeast systems.

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