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Here we report that rRNA and mRNA are specifically degraded in oat (Avena sativa L.) cells during apoptotic cell death induced by victorin, a host-selective toxin produced by Cochliobolus victoriae. Northern analysis indicated that rRNA species from the cytosol, mitochondria and chloroplasts were all degraded via specific degradation intermediates during victorin-induced apoptotic cell death but, in contrast, they were randomly digested in necrotic cell death induced by 30 mM CuSO(4) and heat shock. This indicates that specific rRNA cleavage could be controlled by an intrinsic program. We also observed specific cleavage of mRNA of housekeeping genes such as actin and ubiquitin during victorin-induced cell death. Interestingly, no victorin-induced mRNA degradation was detected with stress-responding genes such as PR-1, PR-10 and GPx throughout the experimental period. The RNA degradation mostly, but not always, occurred in parallel with DNA laddering, but pharmacological studies indicated that these processes are regulated by different signaling pathways with some overlapping upstream signals.


Trinh X Hoat, Hitoshi Nakayashiki, Yukio Tosa, Shigeyuki Mayama. Specific cleavage of ribosomal RNA and mRNA during victorin-induced apoptotic cell death in oat. The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology. 2006 Jun;46(6):922-33

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PMID: 16805727

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