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Caspase-3-like activity and proteasome degradation in grapevine suspension cell cultures undergoing silver-induced programmed cell death

Filippi, Antonio, Zancani, Marco, Petrussa, Elisa, Braidot, Enrico
Journal of plant physiology 2019 v.233 pp. 42-51
Vitis, animals, conjugated proteins, health services, models, nanomaterials, neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, programmed cell death, proteasome endopeptidase complex, reactive oxygen species, silver
Toxic metal contamination is one of the major environmental concerns of the recent decade, due to the large application of metals in industrial, healthcare and commercial products, even in the form of nanostructures and nanomaterials. Nevertheless, the effects of silver (Ag+) on plants have not yet thoroughly elucidated. Therefore, suspension cell cultures of grapevine were used as a model for investigating silver toxicity. To do this, oxidative stress and programmed cell death (PCD), evaluated as reactive oxygen species production, caspase-3-like activity and ubiquitin-proteasome system, were investigated.As a result, the highest concentration (10 μM) of Ag+ caused a rapid (within 24 h) induction of PCD (approx. 80%), accompanied by generation of reactive oxygen species and activation of caspase-3-like activity. In the presence of specific inhibitor of this enzyme, a partial recovery of cell viability and a strong inhibition of caspase-3-like activity was observed. In addition, silver-induced PCD was accompanied either by increase of poly-ubiquitin conjugated proteins and degradation of subunit PBA1 of the proteasome 20S core, similarly to what found for metal-induced neurotoxicity in animals.The present study shows that silver could induce PCD in grapevine suspension cell cultures, mediated by caspase-3-like activity and oxidative stress. These effects were associated to accumulation of poly-ubiquitin conjugated proteins, suggesting the impairment of ubiquitin-proteasome complex, confirmed by the decrease of the PBA1 subunit. These findings indicate that animal and plant cells could share a common pathway in response to toxic metal, which involves PCD and disassembling of proteasome complex.