Overexpression of wound-responsive RNA-binding proteins induces leaf senescence and hypersensitive-like cell death

Cha Young Kim, Jérôme Bove, Sarah M. Assmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


• Leaf senescence is a form of programmed cell death, and involves regulated expression of a specific set of senescence-associated genes (SAGs). In Arabidopsis, three UBA2 genes, UBA2a, UBA2b, and UBA2c, encode heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP)-type RNA-binding proteins. Previously, it has been demonstrated that expression of UBA2 genes is induced by mechanical wounding in a splice variant-dependent manner. • Constitutive overexpression of the UBA2 genes proved lethal. Accordingly, a conditional gain-of-function system was used here to assess phenotypes related to UBA2 overexpression. • Overexpression of each of the three UBA2 genes leads to a leaf yellowing/cell death-like phenotype in Arabidopsis plants. Expression levels of a number of SAGs, such as SAG13, SAG14, SAG15, SAG101, WRKY6, WRKY53, WRKY70, ACS2, ACS6, CML38 and SIRK, were elevated upon induction of UBA2 overexpression, as were transcripts of multiple wounding- and defense-related genes, including EDS1, CK1, JR1, WR3 and MPK3. Elevated ethylene biosynthesis and hypersensitive-like patterns of cell death and callose deposition, shown by Trypan blue and aniline blue staining, respectively, were also observed following induced overexpression of UBA2a, UBA2b, and UBA2c. • These results indicate that induction of UBA2 gene expression stimulates leaf yellowing and cell death phenotypes through senescence and defense response pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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