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The Interface Between the Cell Cycle and Programmed Cell Death in Higher Plants: from Division unto Death

The Interface Between the Cell Cycle and Programmed Cell Death in Higher Plants: from Division unto Death

Advances in Botanical Research 40 2003: 3-81

In this article, interfaces between the cell cycle and programmed cell death (PCD) have been reviewed both in planta and in cells in culture. In animals, the most obvious interface between these two processes are the cell cycle checkpoints, surveillance systems that check the integrity of DNA and block the cell cycle whilst damage is being repaired or replication is normalised. Catastrophic DNA damage results in cell cycle exit into PCD. The extent to which cell cycle checkpoints may be functioning in the plant cell cycle has been explored, and a model of a plant cell cycle checkpoint is presented based on evidence available from animal systems and based on the presence, in Arabidopsis, of key components of these checkpoints: ATM, a sensor of DNA damage, WEE1, a negative regulator of cell division and 14-3-3 proteins; the latter protect phosphorylated proteins in cell cycle checkpoints. Both environmental and chemically induced PCD (e.g. UVB and ethylene) have been reviewed and evidence of cell cycle specific exit into PCD is presented. Instances of PCD in the plant have also been examined (e.g. aerenchyma, endosperm and xylogenesis). In each case, the extent to which a cell cycle checkpoint could be operating has been examined. Finally, oxidoreductive states of cells in tissues and the effect of fungal elicitors of PCD has been surveyed again in relation to cell cycle -- PCD interfaces. A somewhat weakly coloured picture emerges for this interface in plants compared with animals. However, sufficient evidence exists to suggest that cross-talk between the cell cycle and PCD is an important component of life unto death of the plant cell. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

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