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Conserving synaptic weight

The Journal of Cell Biology
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1083/jcb1612rr2
  • Research Roundup
  • Biology


Th e Jo ur na l o f C el l B io lo gy 220 The Journal of Cell Biology | Volume 161, Number 2, 2003 Research RoundupResearch Roundup ROS for your roots roduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by an NADPH oxidase induces a calcium channel to open and root hair elongation to occur, according to a report from Julia Foreman, Liam Dolan, and colleagues (John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK). Starting with the rhd2 Arabidopsis mutant, which has stunted root growth and very short root hairs, the authors used transposon-tagging methods to identify the RHD2/AtrbohC gene, which encodes an NADPH oxidase that produces ROS. “When we cloned this gene, we were completely dumbfounded,” says Dolan. But at around the same time, other groups were finding that plants use ROS as second messengers in response to pathogen invasion and to control the movement of guard cells to open and close stomata. What is unusual about the new work is that both the activity and the protein controlling it have been identified, whereas in the other systems, the proteins that produce the ROS are not yet known. In rhd2 mutant plants, ROS production is decreased by 50%, there is little accumulation of intracellular calcium in the root hair tip, and little growth occurs. Upon addition of exogenous ROS to the system, however, the calcium concentration rises and root hair elongation occurs, indicating that an increase in ROS concentration causes the rise in calcium. What is not yet clear is how this occurs. Whether P Conserving synaptic weight ong-term potentiation (LTP), a phenomenon by which previously stimulated synapses become increasingly sensitive to stimulation such that the same level of presynaptic input induces a larger postsynaptic output, and long-term depression (LTD), which conversely reduces efficacy at such synapses, have been implicated in memory formation and stora

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