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Rice 7-hydroxymethyl chlorophyll a reductase is involved in the promotion of chlorophyll degradation and modulates cell death signaling

Cited 19 time in Web of Science Cited 19 time in Scopus

Piao, Weilan; Han, Su-Hyun; Sakuraba, Yasuhito; Paek, Nam-Chon

Issue Date
Molecules and Cells, Vol.40 No.10, pp.773-786
The loss of green coloration via chlorophyll (Chl) degradation typically occurs during leaf senescence. To date, many Chl catabolic enzymes have been identified and shown to interact with light harvesting complex II to form a Chl degradation complex in senescing chloroplasts; this complex might metabolically channel phototoxic Chl catabolic intermediates to prevent oxidative damage to cells. The Chl catabolic enzyme 7-hydroxymethyl Chl a reductase (HCAR) converts 7-hydroxymethyl Chl a (7-HMC a) to Chl a. The rice (Oryza sati-va) genome contains a single HCAR homolog (OsHCAR), but its exact role remains unknown. Here, we show that an oshcar knockout mutant exhibits persistent green leaves during both dark-induced and natural senescence, and accumulates 7-HMC a and pheophorbide a (Pheo a) in green leaf blades. Interestingly, both rice and Arabidopsis hcar mutants exhibit severe cell death at the vegetative stage; this cell death largely occurs in a light intensity-dependent manner. In addition, 7-HMC a treatment led to the generation of singlet oxygen (O-1(2)) in Arabidopsis and rice protoplasts in the light. Under herbicide-induced oxidative stress conditions, leaf necrosis was more severe in hcar plants than in wild type, and HCAR-overexpressing plants were more tolerant to reactive oxygen species than wild type. Therefore, in addition to functioning in the conversion of 7-HMC a to Chl a in senescent leaves, HCAR may play a critical role in protecting plants from high light-induced damage by preventing the accumulation of 7-HMC a and Pheo a in developing and mature leaves at the vegetative stage.
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