ROS-induced ROS release in plant and animal cells

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Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a key signaling role in plant and animal cells. Among the many cellular mechanisms used to generate and transduce ROS signals, ROS-induced ROS release (RIRR) is emerging as an important pathway involved in different human pathologies and plant responses to environmental stress. RIRR is a process in which one cellular compartment or organelle generates or releases ROS, triggering the enhanced production or release of ROS by another compartment or organelle. It was initially described in animal cells and proposed to mediate mitochondria-to-mitochondria communication, but later expanded to include communication between mitochondria and plasma membrane-localized NADPH oxidases. In plants a process of RIRR was demonstrated to mediate long distance rapid systemic signaling in response to biotic and abiotic stress. This process is thought to involve the enhanced production of ROS by one cell that triggers the enhanced production of ROS by a neighboring cell in a process that propagates the enhanced “ROS production state” all the way from one part of the plant to another. In contrast to the intracellular nature of the RIRR process of animal cells, the plant RIRR process is therefore primarily studied at the cell-to-cell communication level. Studies on intracellular (organelle-to-organelle, or organelle-to-NADPH oxidase) RIRR pathways are very scarce in plants, whereas studies on cell-to-cell RIRR are very scarce in animals. Here we will attempt to highlight what is known in both systems and what each system can learn from the other.

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