Allyl isothiocyanate affects the cell cycle of Arabidopsis thaliana
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Plant Science 2015, 6(MAY):1-11 10.3389/fpls.2015.00364
Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are degradation products of glucosinolates present in members of the Brassicaceae family acting as herbivore repellents and antimicrobial compounds. Recent results indicate that allyl ITC (AITC) has a role in defense responses such as glutathione depletion, ROS generation and stomatal closure. In this study we show that exposure to non-lethal concentrations of AITC causes a shift in the cell cycle distribution of Arabidopsis thaliana leading to accumulation of cells in S-phases and a reduced number of cells in non-replicating phases. Furthermore, transcriptional analysis revealed an AITC-induced up-regulation of the gene encoding cyclin-dependent kinase A while several genes encoding mitotic proteins were down-regulated, suggesting an inhibition of mitotic processes. Interestingly, visualization of DNA synthesis indicated that exposure to AITC reduced the rate of DNA replication. Taken together, these results indicate that non-lethal concentrations of AITC induce cells of A. thaliana to enter the cell cycle and accumulate in S-phases, presumably as a part of a defensive response. Thus, this study suggests that AITC has several roles in plant defense and add evidence to the growing data supporting a multifunctional role of glucosinolates and their degradation products in plants.