Extranuclear protection of chromosomal DNA from oxidative stress

Sandy Vanderauwera, Nobuhiro Suzuki, Gad Miller, Brigitte Van De Cotte, Stijn Morsa, Jean Luc Ravanat, Alicia Hegie, Christian Triantaphylidès, Vladimir Shulaev, Marc C.E. Van Montagu, Frank Van Breusegem, Ron Mittler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations


Eukaryotic organisms evolved under aerobic conditions subjecting nuclear DNA to damage provoked by reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although ROS are thought to be a major cause of DNA damage, little is known about the molecular mechanisms protecting nuclear DNA from oxidative stress. Here we show that protection of nuclear DNA in plants requires a coordinated function of ROS-scavenging pathways residing in the cytosol and peroxisomes, demonstrating that nuclear ROS scavengers such as peroxiredoxin and glutathione are insufficient to safeguard DNA integrity. Both catalase (CAT2) and cytosolic ascorbate peroxidase (APX1) play a key role in protecting the plant genome against photorespiratory-dependent H2O2-induced DNA damage. In apx1/cat2 double-mutant plants, a DNA damage response is activated, suppressing growth via a WEE1 kinase-dependent cell-cycle checkpoint. This response is correlated with enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress, DNA stress-causing agents, and inhibited programmed cell death.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1716
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Stress tolerance


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