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J Proteome Res. 2013 Apr 5;12(4):1743-53. doi: 10.1021/pr3010887. Epub 2013 Mar 12.

UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase is a novel plant cell death regulator.

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School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University , Durham DH1 3LE, United Kingdom.


Programmed cell death (PCD) is an essential process that functions in plant organ sculpture, tissue differentiation, nutrient recycling, and defense against pathogen attack. A full understanding of the mechanism of PCD in plants is hindered by the limited identification of protein components of the complex signaling circuitry that underpins this important physiological process. Here we have used Arabidopsis thaliana and fumonisin B1 (FB1) to identify proteins that constitute part of the PCD signaling network. We made an inadvertent, but important observation that exogenous sucrose modulates FB1-induced cell death and identified sucrose-induced genes from publicly available transcriptomic data sets for reverse genetic analyses. Using transfer-DNA gene knockout plants, UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase 1 (UGP1), a sucrose-induced gene, was demonstrated to be a critical factor that regulates FB1-induced PCD. We employed 2D-DiGE to identify proteomic changes preceding PCD after exposure of Arabidopsis to FB1 and used UGP1 knockout plants to refine the analysis and isolate downstream candidate proteins with a putative PCD regulatory function. Our results reveal chloroplasts as the predominantly essential organelles in FB1-induced PCD. Overall, this study reveals a novel function of UGP1 as a cell death regulator and provides candidate proteins likely recruited downstream in the activation of plant PCD.

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