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γVPE plays an important role in programmed cell death for xylem fiber cells by activating protease CEP1 maturation in Arabidopsis thaliana

Cheng, Ziyi, Zhang, Jiaxue, Yin, Bin, Liu, Yadi, Wang, Bing, Li, Hui, Lu, Hai
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.137 pp. 703-711
Arabidopsis thaliana, cambium, cell walls, fiber cells, genes, mutants, pH, phloem, plant proteins, programmed cell death, proteinases, transcriptomics, transmission electron microscopy, vacuoles, xylem
The vacuolar processing enzyme (VPE) plays an important role in PCD and was originally identified as the proteinase responsible for the maturation and activation of vacuolar proteins in plants. We found that γVPE is involved in PCD of xylem fiber cells through the activation of CEP1 proproteases into mature protease in Arabidopsis. The γVPE protein was expressed specifically in cambium cells cambium, the primary phloem and the primary xylem during stem development. The recombinant γVPE appearing as a proenzyme at pH 7.0, and then transforming into a 40-kD mature enzyme at pH 5.5 in vitro by self-cleaving. The mature γVPE protein activated CEP1 maturation in vitro, whereas this activity was inhibited in the γvpe mutant. Transmission electron microscopy showed delayed PCD in fiber cells and thickening of secondary fiber cell walls in the γvpe mutant. Transcriptome analysis showed that the expression of 2001 genes was significantly altered expression in the γvpe mutants, and most of them are important for secondary cell wall formation and PCD. Our results demonstrate that γVPE is a crucial processing enzyme for xylem fiber cells PCD during stem development.