Specific Targeting of a Plasmodesmal Protein Affecting Cell-to-Cell Communication
In plants, cylindrical microscopic channels called plasmodesmata provide intracellular connections between cells for communication and material transport, and are important for many aspects of plant growth and defence.
This week in the online open-access journal PLoS Biology, Carole Thomas, Lourdes Fernandez-Calvino, Andrew Maule and colleagues identify a novel family of plasmodesmata-located proteins (called PDLP1) with features of type-I membrane receptor-like proteins.
In line with the potential for this protein to regulate molecular movement from cell to cell, they show that altered expression of the protein changes the efficiency of protein diffusion from plasmodesmata. They have also analysed the manner in which PDLP1 is transported to plasmodesmata and show that the single transmembrane domain (TMD) of the protein contains all the information necessary for targeting to plasmodesmata and that proper targeting depends upon specific interactions with other factors within the membrane.
Notably, a single amino acid close to the C terminus of the TMD is critical for determining the intracellular destination. Further, by fusing the TMD to yellow fluorescent protein, we establish that the TMD can be used to target heterologous proteins to plasmodesmata.
Citation: Thomas CL, Bayer EM, Ritzenthaler C, Fernandez-Calvino L, Maule AJ (2008) Specific targeting of a plasmodesmal protein affecting cell-to-cell communication. PLoS Biol 6(1): e7. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060007
Andrew John Maule
John Innes Centre
Disease and Stress Biology
Norwich, NR20 3JT
+44 16 03 45 02 66
+44 16 03 45 00 45 (fax)
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