Mitochondrial contribution to the anoxic Ca2+ signal in maize suspension-cultured cells

Chalivendra C. Subbaiah, Douglas S. Bush, Martin M. Sachs

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Anoxia induces a rapid elevation of the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt) in maize (Zea mays L.) cells, which is caused by the release of the ion from intracellular stores. This anoxic Ca2+ release is important for gene activation and survival in O2-deprived maize seedlings and cells. In this study we examined the contribution of mitochondrial Ca2+ to the anoxic [Ca2+]cyt elevation in maize cells. Imaging of intramitochondrial Ca2+ levels showed that a majority of mitochondria released their Ca2+ in response to anoxia and look up Ca2+ upon reoxygenation. We also investigated whether the mitochondrial Ca2+ release contributed to the increase in [Ca2+]cyt under anoxia. Analysis of the spatial association between anoxic [Ca2+]cylmitochondria changes and the distribution of mitochondrial and other intracellular Ca2+ stores revealed that the largest [Ca2+]cyl increases occurred close to mitochondria and away from the tonoplast. In addition, carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenyl hydrazonc treatment depolarized mitochondria and caused a mild elevation of [Ca2+]cyl under aerobic conditions but prevented a [Ca2+]cyt increase in response to a subsequent anoxic pulse. These results suggest that mitochondria play an important role in the anoxic elevation of [Ca2+]cyt and participate in the signaling of O2 deprivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-771
Number of pages13
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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