Senescing cells share common features with dedifferentiating cells Academic Article uri icon


  • Dedifferentiation signifies the capacity of somatic cells to acquire stem cell–like properties. This process can be induced during normal development and as a response to various stimuli, such as pathogen infection and wounding. Dedifferentiation also characterizes the transition of differentiated leaf cells into protoplasts (plant cells devoid of cell walls), a transition accompanied by widespread chromatin decondensation. Transcriptome profiling of dedifferentiating protoplast cells revealed striking similarities with senescing cells; both display a large increase in the expression of genes of specific transcription factor (TF) families, including ANAC, WRKY, bZIP, and C2H2. Further analysis showed that leaves induced to senesce by exposure to dark display characteristic features of dedifferentiating cells, including chromatin decondensation, disruption of the nucleolus, and condensation of rRNA genes. Considering that premature senescence can be induced by various stress conditions both in pla...

publication date

  • January 1, 2009