Plant cells, like cells from other kingdoms, have the ability to self-destruct in a genetically controlled manner. This process is defined as Programmed cell death (PCD). PCD can be triggered by various stimuli in plants including by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Research in the past two decades discovered that disruption of protein homeostasis in the ER could cause ER stress, which when prolonged/unresolved leads cells into PCD. ER stress-induced PCD is part of several plant processes, for instance, drought and heat stress have been found to elicit ER stress-induced PCD. Despite the importance of ER stress-induced PCD in plants, its regulation remains largely unknown, when compared with its counterpart in animal cells. In mammalian cells, several pro-apoptotic proteases called caspases were found to play a crucial role in ER stress-induced PCD. Over the past decade, several key proteases with caspase-like enzymatic activity have been discovered in plants and implicated in PCD regulation. This review covers what is known about caspase-like enzymatic activities during plant ER stress-induced PCD and discusses possible regulation pathways leading to the activation of relevant proteases in plants. © 2014 Cai, Yu and Gallois.
Cai, Y.-M., Yu, J., & Gallois, P. (2014). Endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced PCD and caspase-like activities involved. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00041