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Department of Pharmacology

Sierla, M, Prole, D, Saraiva, N, Carrara, G, Dinischiotu, N, Vaattovaara, A, Wrzaczek, M, Taylor, C, Smith, G, Feys, B

<h4>ABSTRACT</h4> Programmed cell death regulates developmental and stress responses in eukaryotes. Golgi anti-apoptotic proteins (GAAPs) are evolutionarily conserved cell death regulators. Human and viral GAAPs inhibit apoptosis and modulate intracellular Ca 2+ fluxes, and viral GAAPs form cation-selective channels. Although most mammalian cell death regulators are not conserved at the sequence level in plants, the GAAP gene family shows expansion, with five paralogues ( AtGAAP1-5 ) in the Arabidopsis genome. We pursued molecular and physiological characterization of AtGAAPs making use of the advanced knowledge of their human and viral counterparts. Structural modeling of AtGAAPs predicted the presence of a channel-like pore, and electrophysiological recordings from purified AtGAAP3 reconstituted into lipid bilayers confirmed that plant GAAPs can function as ion channels. AtGAAP1 and AtGAAP4 localized exclusively to the Golgi within the plant cell, while AtGAAP2, AtGAAP3 and AtGAAP5 also showed tonoplastic localization. Gene expression analysis revealed differential spatial expression and abundance of transcript for AtGAAP paralogues in Arabidopsis tissues. We demonstrate that AtGAAP1-5 inhibit Bax-induced cell death in yeast. However, overexpression of AtGAAP1 induces cell death in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves and lesion mimic phenotype in Arabidopsis. We propose that AtGAAPs function as Golgi-localized ion channels that regulate cell death by affecting ionic homeostasis within the cell. <h4>Highlight</h4> Arabidopsis Golgi anti-apoptotic proteins (GAAPs) share functional conservation with their human and viral counterparts in cell death regulation and ion channel activity <h4>Abbreviations</h4> AtGAAP, Arabidopsis thaliana GAAP; BI-1, Bax inhibitor-1; CFP, cyan fluorescent protein; CMLV, camelpox virus; ER, Endoplasmic reticulum; GAAP, Golgi anti-apoptotic protein; GFP, green fluorescent protein; hGAAP, human GAAP; LFG, Lifeguard; LMM, lesion mimic mutant; PCD, programmed cell death; TMBIM, transmembrane Bax inhibitor-1 motif-containing; TMDs, transmembrane domains; vGAAP, viral GAAP; YFP, yellow fluorescent protein

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December 2019
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Journal articles
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