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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Sep 1;7(9):1058-61. doi: 10.4161/psb.21123. Epub 2012 Aug 17.

Can plant oncogenes inhibit programmed cell death? The rolB oncogene reduces apoptosis-like symptoms in transformed plant cells.

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Institute of Biology and Soil Science; Far East Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences; Vladivostok, Russia.


The rolB oncogene was previously identified as an important player in ROS metabolism in transformed plant cells. Numerous reports indicate a crucial role for animal oncogenes in apoptotic cell death. Whether plant oncogenes such as rolB can induce programmed cell death (PCD) in transformed plant cells is of particular importance. In this investigation, we used a single-cell assay based on confocal microscopy and fluorescent dyes capable of discriminating between apoptotic and necrotic cells. Our results indicate that the expression of rolB in plant cells was sufficient to decrease the proportion of apoptotic cells in steady-state conditions and diminish the rate of apoptotic cells during induced PCD. These data suggest that plant oncogenes, like animal oncogenes, may be involved in the processes mediating PCD.

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