Autophagy in the control of programmed cell death

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Aug;9(4):391-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2006.05.007. Epub 2006 May 19.


Programmed cell death (PCD) is essential for plant development and immunity. Localized PCD is associated with the hypersensitive response (HR), which is a constituent of a successful plant innate immune response. Plants have developed mechanisms to meticulously prevent HR-PCD lesions from spreading. Our understanding of these mechanisms is still in its incipient stages. A recent study demonstrated that autophagy, a universally conserved process of macromolecule turnover, plays a pivotal role in controlling HR-PCD. The molecular identity of the mediators between the PCD and HR pathways is still obscure, but recent work has begun to shed light on the relationship between HR-PCD and autophagy and to suggest possible mechanisms for the regulation of these pathways.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Plant Cells*