In flowering plants, floral longevity is species-specific and is closely linked to reproductive strategy; petal senescence, a type of programmed cell death (PCD), is a highly regulated developmental process. However, little is known about regulatory pathways for cell death in petal senescence, which is developmentally controlled in an age-dependent manner. Here, we show that a NAC transcription factor, designated EPHEMERAL1 (EPH1), positively regulates PCD during petal senescence in the ephemeral flowers of Japanese morning glory (Ipomoea nil). EPH1 expression is induced independently of ethylene signaling, and suppression of EPH1 resulted in Japanese morning glory flowers that are in bloom until the second day. The suppressed expression of EPH1 delays progression of PCD, possibly through suppression of the expression of PCD-related genes, including genes for plant caspase and autophagy in the petals. Our data further suggest that EPH1 is involved in the regulation of ethylene-accelerated petal senescence. In this study, we identified a key regulator of PCD in petal senescence, which will facilitate further elucidation of the regulatory network of petal senescence. 2014 The Authors The Plant Journal 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Senescence violates the most basic tenet of natural selection by causing death rather than individual survival. Thus, current theories favor the concept of antagonistic pleiotropy (AP) to explain how aging emerged in metazoans. Presumably, pleiotropic genes reduce vigor and limit longevity in adults. However, they also promote fitness and reproduction in juveniles, causing them to be selected and retained in the gene pool. The general hypothesis presented herein is a special case of AP that identifies the common cause and mechanism of aging in iteroparous (i.e., capable of reproducing multiple times) animals. It ascribes senescence to unremitting, nonprogrammed change or remodeling forced upon the adult soma by postmaturation expression of developmental gene(s) affecting dynamic transformation of the single-celled conceptus into a complex, multicellular organism. Whereas persistent somatic change is necessary for development to proceed normally, it also has the potential to erode homeostasis in adults after maturation is complete. Thus, developmental inertia is the primary cause of senescence, whereas decay of internal order and integrated function among interdependent systems of the body is the general mechanism by which aging progresses over time. Accordingly, this global pathogenic process creates an environment in which the many recognized, age-associated physiologic and metabolic sequelae can arise as consequences of senescence rather than causes of it. Paradoxically, the genes that promote somatic remodeling essential for development and survival also guarantee aging and death by the same action whose outcomes differ only by the time it is expressed relevant to maturation.
Senescence represents the final stage of leaf development but is often induced prematurely following exposure to biotic and abiotic stresses. Leaf senescence is manifested by color change from green to yellow (due to chlorophyll degradation) or to red (due to de novo synthesis of anthocyanins coupled with chlorophyll degradation) and frequently culminates in programmed death of leaves. However, the breakdown of chlorophyll and macromolecules such as proteins and RNAs that occurs during leaf senescence does not necessarily represent a one-way road to death but rather a reversible process whereby senescing leaves can, under certain conditions, re-green and regain their photosynthetic capacity. This phenomenon essentially distinguishes senescence from programmed cell death, leading researchers to hypothesize that changes occurring during senescence might represent a process of trans-differentiation, that is the conversion of one cell type to another. In this review, we highlight attributes common to senescence and dedifferentiation including chromatin structure and activation of transposable elements and provide further support to the notion that senescence is not merely a deterioration process leading to death but rather a unique developmental state resembling dedifferentiation. PMID:27135333
Aging is associated with impairments in homeostasis. Although aging and senescence are not equivalent, the number of senescent cells increases with aging. Cellular senescence plays important roles in tissue repair or remodeling, as well as embryonic development. Autophagy is a process of lysosomal self-degradation that maintains a homeostatic balance between the synthesis, degradation, and recycling of cellular proteins. Autophagy diminishes with aging; additionally, accelerated aging can be attributed to reduced autophagy. Cellular senescence has been widely implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a disease of accelerated lung aging, presumably by impairing cell repopulation and by aberrant cytokine secretion in the senescence-associated secretory phenotype. The possible participation of autophagy in the pathogenic sequence of COPD has been extensively explored. Although it has been reported that increased autophagy may induce epithelial cell death, an insufficient reserve of autophagy can induce cellular senescence in bronchial epithelial cells of COPD. Furthermore, advanced age is one of the most important risk factors for the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Telomere shortening is found in blood leukocytes and alveolar epithelial cells from patients with IPF. Accelerated senescence of epithelial cells plays a role in IPF pathogenesis by perpetuating abnormal epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. Insufficient autophagy may be an underlying mechanism of accelerated epithelial cell senescence and myofibroblast differentiation in IPF. Herein, we review the molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence and autophagy and summarize the role of cellular senescence and autophagy in both COPD and IPF. Copyright Â 2016 The Japanese Respiratory Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Leaf senescence, a type of programmed cell death (PCD) characterized by chlorophyll degradation, is important to plant growth and crop productivity. It emerges that autophagy is involved in chloroplast degradation during leaf senescence. However, the molecular mechanism(s) involved in the process is not well understood. In this study, the genetic and physiological characteristics of the rice rls1 (rapid leaf senescence 1) mutant were identified. The rls1 mutant developed small, yellow-brown lesions resembling disease scattered over the whole surfaces of leaves that displayed earlier senescence than those of wild-type plants. The rapid loss of chlorophyll content during senescence was the main cause of accelerated leaf senescence in rls1. Microscopic observation indicated that PCD was misregulated, probably resulting in the accelerated degradation of chloroplasts in rls1 leaves. Map-based cloning of the RLS1 gene revealed that it encodes a previously uncharacterized NB (nucleotide-binding site)-containing protein with an ARM (armadillo) domain at the carboxyl terminus. Consistent with its involvement in leaf senescence, RLS1 was up-regulated during dark-induced leaf senescence and down-regulated by cytokinin. Intriguingly, constitutive expression of RLS1 also slightly accelerated leaf senescence with decreased chlorophyll content in transgenic rice plants. Our study identified a previously uncharacterized NB-ARM protein involved in PCD during plant growth and development, providing a unique tool for dissecting possible autophagy-mediated PCD during senescence in plants.
All living beings are programmed to death due to aging and age-related processes. Aging is a normal process of every living species. While all cells are inevitably progressing towards death, many disease processes accelerate the aging process, leading to senescence. Pathologies such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington's disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and skin diseases have been associated with deregulated aging. Healthy aging can delay onset of all age-related diseases. Genetics and epigenetics are reported to play large roles in accelerating and/or delaying the onset of age-related diseases. Cellular mechanisms of aging and age-related diseases are not completely understood. However, recent molecular biology discoveries have revealed that microRNAs (miRNAs) are potential sensors of aging and cellular senescence. Due to miRNAs capability to bind to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of mRNA of specific genes, miRNAs can prevent the translation of specific genes. The purpose of our article is to highlight recent advancements in miRNAs and their involvement in cellular changes in aging and senescence. Our article discusses the current understanding of cellular senescence, its interplay with miRNAs regulation, and how they both contribute to disease processes. Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Leaf senescence, being the final developmental stage of the leaf, signifies the transition from a mature, photosynthetically active organ to the attenuation of said function and eventual death of the leaf. During senescence, essential nutrients sequestered in the leaf, such as phosphorus (P), are mobilized and transported to sink tissues, particularly expanding leaves and developing seeds. Phosphorus recycling is crucial, as it helps to ensure that previously acquired P is not lost to the environment, particularly under the naturally occurring condition where most unfertilized soils contain low levels of soluble orthophosphate (Pi), the only form of P that roots can directly assimilate from the soil. Piecing together the molecular mechanisms that underpin the highly variable efficiencies of P remobilization from senescing leav