Cell death process initiated by a combination of aluminium and iron in suspension-cultured tobacco cells (Nicotiana tabacum): Apoptosis-like cell death mediated by calcium and proteinase

Yukiko Yamaguchi, Yoko Yamamoto, Hideaki Matsumoto

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Aluminium (Al) enhances ferrous ion (Fe2+) -mediated lipid peroxidation which is the primary factor leading to cell death in nutrient medium in tobacco cells. Under these conditions, cell death processes were examined. Cells which had been treated with Al and Fe2+ together exhibited cell shrinkage and DNA ladders which were detected by agarose-gel electrophoresis in the form of bands corresponding to increasing multiples of ~150 bp fragments. In the calcium (Ca)-free medium, a combination of Al and Fe2+ enhanced only partly the peroxidation of lipids and hardly promoted cell death, indicating that Ca2+ further stimulates the peroxidation of lipids enhanced by a combination of Al and Fe2+ and is required for cell death. N-Tosyl-L-phenylalanylchloromethyl ketone, an inhibitor of some cysteine and serine proteinases, had no effect on the peroxidation of lipids but almost completely blocked cell death enhanced by a combination of Al and Fe2+, suggesting that proteinase acts downstream from the peroxidation of lipids. On the basis of these findings, we conclude that cell death initiated by a combination of Al and Fe2+ is involved in the apoptosis-like cell death program mediated by extracellular Ca2+ and endogenous proteinase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-657
Number of pages11
JournalSoil Science and Plant Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1999



  • Aluminium
  • Apoptosis-like cell death
  • DNA ladder
  • Iron
  • Lipid peroxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science

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