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Extracellular ATP released by copper stress could act as diffusible signal in alleviating the copper stress-induced cell death

Abstract

In the present work, by using tobacco cell suspension and wheat seedlings, we studied that eATP (extracellular ATP) released by copper (Cu) stress could act as diffusible signal in alleviating the Cu stress-induced cell death. A semipermeable membrane was fixed in the middle of a plastic box to divide the box into two equal compartments (A and B, respectively). This semipermeable membrane can prevent direct cell-to-cell (or seedling-to-seedling) contact and the diffusion of the macromolecules [such as ATPase (adenosine 5′-triphosphatase)] between these two compartments. The cell suspension directly stressed with CuCl2 was placed in compartment A and was incubated with the untreated cell suspension in compartment B. Such treatment significantly increased the levels of cell death and eATP content of the cell suspension in these two compartments. In contrast, addition of ATPase into the cell suspension directly stressed with CuCl2 decreased the eATP level in these two compartments but further increased the level of cell death in compartment B, compared to no addition of ATPase. Similar results were obtained when tobacco cell suspension was replaced by wheat seedlings. These observations indicate that when Cu stress from compartment A induced the plant cell death in compartment B, ATP transferred from compartment A could play a role in alleviating this cell death. Thus, it is suggested that eATP released by copper stress could act as diffusible signal in alleviating the Cu stress-induced cell death.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Prof. Jiang Liwen (The Chinese University of Hong Kong) for the supply of the tobacco cell culture.

Funding

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31870246, 31560070 and 31260059), Key Project of Science and Technology Research of Chinese Ministry of Education (No. 211190), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Gansu Universities of Gansu Provincial Department of Finance, the University Scientific Research Project of Gansu Province (No. 2015A-007), the Key Research and Development Project of Gansu Province (NO 18YF1NA051), and the Youth Teacher Scientific Research Ability Promotion Plan Innovation Team Project of Northwest Normal University.

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Correspondence to Han-Qing Feng.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Handling Editor: Néstor Carrillo

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Jia, LY., Bai, JY., Sun, K. et al. Extracellular ATP released by copper stress could act as diffusible signal in alleviating the copper stress-induced cell death. Protoplasma 256, 491–501 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-018-1309-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00709-018-1309-y

Keywords

  • Cell death
  • Copper stress
  • Extracellular ATP
  • Tobacco cells
  • Wheat roots