PPF1 inhibits programmed cell death in apical meristems of both G2 pea and transgenic Arabidopsis plants possibly by delaying cytosolic Ca2+ elevation

Cell Calcium. 2004 Jan;35(1):71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ceca.2003.07.003.


PPF1 encodes a putative calcium ion carrier that affects the flowering time of transgenic Arabidopsis by modulating Ca(2+) storage capacities in chloroplasts of a plant cell. In the current work, we found that differential expression of PPF1 might affect processes of programmed cell death (PCD) since DNA fragmentation was detected in senescencing apical buds of long day-grown G2 pea (Pisum sativum L.) plants, but was not in non-senescencing short day-grown counterparts at all growth stages. An animal inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase (ICAD) homologue was detected in short day-grown plant continuously throughout the whole experiment and only in early stages of long day-grown pre-floral G2 pea apical buds. DNA fragmentation was significantly inhibited in apical meristems of transgenic Arabidopsis that over-expressed the PPF1 gene when compared to that of either wild-type control or to PPF1 (-) plants. The expression of ICAD-like protein decreased to undetectable level at 45 dpg in apical tissues of PPF1 (-) Arabidopsis, which was much earlier than that found in PPF1 (+) or wild-type controls. In epidermal cells of PPF1 (-) plants, we recorded significantly earlier calcium transient prior to PCD. We suggest that the expression of PPF1, a chloroplast localized Ca(2+) ion channel may inhibit programmed cell death in apical meristems of flowering plants by keeping a low cytoplasmic calcium content that might inhibit DNA fragmentation in plant cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling
  • Meristem / chemistry
  • Meristem / physiology*
  • Peas / physiology*
  • Photoperiod
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / physiology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Proteins / analysis


  • Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins
  • PPF-1 protein, Pisum sativum
  • Plant Proteins
  • Proteins
  • caspase-activated DNase inhibitor
  • Calcium