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Fusaric acid induces apoptosis in saffron root-tip cells: roles of caspase-like activity, cytochrome c, and H2O2.


PMID 16868776

Abstract

Programmed cell death (PCD), now known as apoptosis, is accompanied by specific morphological features. In this study, fusaric acid, a fusarium mycotoxin, was used to examine cell death in saffron (Crocus sativus Linnaeus) roots, using several apoptosis assays. Our results show that moderate FA doses (50-100 microM) induce apoptotic features while high FA doses (> 200 microM) stimulate necrosis. The apoptotic-like features induced by moderate doses of FA include chromatin condensation, formation of condensed chromatin spheres which bud from the nucleus, fragmentation of nucleosomal DNA into approximately 180 bp fragments, exposure of phosphatidyl serine to the external membrane leaflet, delivery of cytochrome c to cytosol, and generation of H(2)O(2). These apoptotic alterations in root cells are not observed in the presence of serine protease, caspase-1 or caspase-3 inhibitors. It is proposed that production of H(2)O(2) and release of cytochrome c into the cytosol may activate caspase-like proteases and thus establish the apoptotic pathway. As nuclei budding spheres formed in plant root cells after exposure to 50-100 microM FA doses seem to be digested inside the cytosol, we suggest labeling them as internal apoptotic bodies (IAB) that may be more informative than previously used term, apoptotic-like bodies.

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F6513
Fusaric acid, from Gibberella fujikuroi
C10H13NO2