Key words. Tobacco cell; heat shock; apoptosis; DNA laddering; TUNEL; zinc.
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. In the present paper we report examination of stereotypic hallmarks of apoptosis in heat-treated tobacco cells. Hyperthermia (44 °C, 4 h) caused apoptosis in 53.6% of cells when assayed 24 h after heat treatment. The induction of apoptosis by heat treatment was confirmed by flow cytometric assay. Cytological observations revealed condensation of the cytoplasm and nucleus, as well as nuclear collapse. DNA ladders were observed in DNA extracted from heat-treated cells, whereas DNA from control cells remained undegraded. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay revealed that 51.8% of the heat-treated cells (44 °C, 4 h) show positive reaction after a 24-h recovery. When cells were cultured in a medium supplemented with 0.4–5.0 mM ZnSO4, internucleosomal DNA fragmentation induced by heat shock was completely negated. Strikingly, when cells were cultured in Ca2+ and/or Mg2+ free medium for 44 h followed by heat treatment, DNA laddering was not observed. The results suggest hyperthermia-induced apoptosis and a correlation between the regula tion of endonucleases and heat shock signal in apoptotic tobacco cells.
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