Modified alternative oxidase expression results in different reactive oxygen species contents in Arabidopsis cell culture but not in whole plants
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Alternative oxidase (AOX) transfers electrons from ubiquinone to oxygen in the respiratory chain of plant mitochondria. It is widely accepted that AOX functions as a mechanism decreasing the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced during respiratory electron transport. However, there are no experimental data to provide unambiguous proof of this hypothesis. We have studied growth characteristics, ROS content, and stress sensitivity in Arabidopsis transgenic lines with reduced or increased levels of AOX. We demonstrated that AOX-deficient plants grown in soil had an extended reproductive phase. Changes in AOX activity did not affect ROS content or stress sensitivity in the whole plants. However in the suspension culture, cells overexpressing AOX had significantly lower ROS content, whereas the AOX-deficient cells had higher ROS contents compared to the wild-type (WT) cells. Prooxidant treatment led to the increase in ROS content and to the reduction of viability more in the cells overexpressing AOX than in WT and AOX-deficient cells. Thus, we demonstrated that differences in the metabolism of whole plants and cultured cells might affect AOX functioning.
Additional key wordsantimycin A hydrogen peroxide menadione oxidative stress superoxide suspension culture
electron transport chain
reactive oxygen species
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