[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Programmed cell death often depends on generation of reactive oxygen species, which can be detoxified by antioxidative enzymes, including catalases. We previously isolated catalase-deficient mutants (cat2) in a screen for resistance to hydroxyurea-induced cell death. Here, we identify an Arabidopsis thaliana hydroxyurea-resistant autophagy mutant, atg2, which also shows reduced sensitivity to cell death triggered by the bacterial effector avrRpm1. To test if catalase deficiency likewise affected both hydroxyurea and avrRpm1 sensitivity, we selected mutants with extremely low catalase activities and showed that they carried mutations in a gene that we named NO CATALASE ACTIVITY1 (NCA1). nca1 mutants showed severely reduced activities of all three catalase isoforms in Arabidopsis, and loss of NCA1 function led to strong suppression of RPM1-triggered cell death. Basal and starvation-induced autophagy appeared normal in the nca1 and cat2 mutants. By contrast, autophagic degradation induced by avrRpm1 challenge was compromised, indicating that catalase acted upstream of immunity-triggered autophagy. The direct interaction of catalase with reactive oxygen species could allow catalase to act as a molecular link between reactive oxygen species and the promotion of autophagy-dependent cell death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydroxyurea (HU) is a well tolerated ribonucleotide reductase inhibitor effective in HIV, sickle cell disease, and blood cancer therapy. Despite a positive initial response, however, most treated cancers eventually progress due to development of HU resistance. Although RNR properties influence HU resistance in cell lines, the mechanisms underlying cancer HU resistance in vivo remain unclear. To address this issue, we screened for HU resistance in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana and identified seventeen unique catalase mutants, thereby establishing that HU toxicity depends on catalase in vivo. We further demonstrated that catalase is a direct HU target by showing that HU acts as a competitive inhibitor of catalase-mediated hydrogen peroxide decomposition. Considering also that catalase can accelerate HU decomposition in vitro and that co-treatment with another catalase inhibitor alleviates HU effects in vivo, our findings suggests that HU could act as a catalase-activated pro-drug. Clinically, we found high catalase activity in circulating cells from untreated chronic myeloid leukemia, offering a possible explanation for the efficacy of HU against this malignancy.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2010; 285(28):21411-5. · 4.65 Impact Factor