Apoptosis is an evolutionarily young cell-death strategy evolved to disassemble animal cells through the action of the caspase family of proteases and phagocytic clearance. This strategy does not work in plants, which instead feature a phylogenetically older autophagic programmed cell death (PCD), as a bona fide type of cellular suicide. Recent work has begun to address the mechanistic roles for autophagic and proteolytic components, as well as their possible cooperation in plant PCD. A recent study has shown autophagosomal localization of a key cell-death proteolytic activity at the early stage of plant PCD. Here we focus on the relationship between autophagic and proteoloytic components in plant PCD at the cellular and organismal levels.
Developmental Regulation of a VEIDase Caspase-Like Proteolytic Activity in Barley Caryopsis
M. Borén, A.S. Höglund, P. Bozhkov and C. Jansson
J Exp Bot; In press