The RNase activity of rice probenazole-induced protein1 (PBZ1) Plays a key role in cell death in plants

Sang Gon Kim, Sun Tae Kim, Yiming Wang, Seok Yu, In Soo Choi, Yong Chul Kim, Woo Taek Kim, Ganesh Kumar Agrawal, Randeep Rakwal, Kyu Young Kang

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56 Citations (Scopus)


Cell death is an important process of plant responses to development and biotic/abiotic stresses. In rice plants, PBZ1, a PR10 family protein, has been shown to accumulate in tissues undergoing cell death. However, the function of PBZ1 in cell death remains yet to be demonstrated. Here, we report that exogenous recombinant PBZ1 protein induces cell death in rice suspension-cultured cells (SCCs) and also in leaves of Nicotiana tabacum in a dosedependent manner. This finding was confirmed in vivo in transgenic Arabidopsis lines harboring the PBZ1 gene under the control of a dexamethasone (DEX)-inducible promoter. The DEX-treated leaves of transgenic Arabidopsis induced expression of PBZ1 at transcript and protein levels and showed cell death morphology. TUNEL analysis detected DNA fragmentation, a hallmark of programmed cell death, in rice SCCs treated with the PBZ1 protein. Recombinant PBZ1 protein also exhibited RNase activity and exhibited internalization inside BY-2 cells. Taken together, PBZ1 induces cell death not only in rice, but also in tobacco and Arabidopsis via its RNase activity inside the cell. PBZ1 could be used as a marker to understand the mechanism by which PBZ1 confers the cell death morphology in rice and other model plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalMolecules and cells
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Biogreen 21 (03-2008-0172), Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2009-0089251), and the 2010 Spec ialization Projec t Researc h Grant funded by the Pusan National University, and by scholarships from the Brain Korea 21 Program (Y. Wang).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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