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While the role of C2-ceramide in the induction of programmed cell death (PCD) in animal systems has been well documented, little is known of its role in plant cells. Here we show that C2-ceramide induces PCD in Arabidopsis suspension cultures, which is preceded by the generation of a calcium transient and an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS). Inhibition of the calcium transient prevented cell death, whereas inhibition of ROS had no effect on cell survival. These observations suggest that calcium signalling plays a role in ceramide-induced PCD but is independent of the generation of ROS.

Original publication




Journal article


Biol Chem

Publication Date





161 - 166


Apoptosis, Arabidopsis, Calcium, Calcium Signaling, Cells, Cultured, Ceramides, In Situ Nick-End Labeling, Reactive Oxygen Species, Sphingosine