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Fumonisin B1 (FB1), an inducer of cell death, disrupts sphingolipid metabolism; large accumulations of de novo synthesized free long-chain bases (LCBs) are observed. However, it remains unclear whether tolerance to FB1 toxicity in plants is connected with preventing the accumulation of free LCBs through their phosphorylation. Here a workflow for the extraction, detection and quantification of LCB phosphates (LCBPs) in Arabidopsis thaliana was developed. We studied the effect of expression of genes for three enzymes involved in the synthesis and degradation of LCBPs, LCB kinase (LCBK1), LCBP phosphatase (SPP1) and lyase (DPL1) on FB1-induced cell death. As expected, large accumulations of saturated free LCBs, dihydrosphingosine and phytosphingosine, were observed in the FB1-treated leaves. On the other hand, a high level of sphingenine phosphate was found in the FB1-treated leaves even though free sphingenine was found in low amounts in these leaves. In comparison of WT and spp1 plants, the LCBP/LCB ratio is likely to be correlated with the degree of FB1-induced cell death determined by trypan blue staining. The FB1-treated leaves in dpl1 plants showed severe cell death and the elevation of free LCBs and LCBPs. LCBK1-OX and -KD plants showed resistance and sensitivity to FB1, respectively, whereas free LCB and LCBP levels in FB1-treated LCBK1-OX and -KD plants were moderately different to those in FB1-treated WT plants. Overall, the findings described here suggest that LCBP/LCB homeostasis is an important topic that participates in the tolerance of plant cells to FB1.


Daiki Yanagawa, Toshiki Ishikawa, Hiroyuki Imai. Synthesis and degradation of long-chain base phosphates affect fumonisin B1-induced cell death in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of plant research. 2017 May;130(3):571-585

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PMID: 28303405

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