A role for CSLD3 during cell-wall synthesis in apical plasma membranes of tip-growing root-hair cells.
Park, S., Szumlanski, A. L., Gu, F., Guo, F. & Nielsen, E. (2011). Nature Cell Biology, 13(8), 973-980.
In plants, cell shape is defined by the cell wall, and changes in cell shape and size are dictated by modification of existing cell walls and deposition of newly synthesized cell-wall material. In root hairs, expansion occurs by a process called tip growth, which is shared by root hairs, pollen tubes and fungal hyphae. We show that cellulose-like polysaccharides are present in root-hair tips, and de novo synthesis of these polysaccharides is required for tip growth. We also find that eYFP–CSLD3 proteins, but not CESA cellulose synthases, localize to a polarized plasma-membrane domain in root hairs. Using biochemical methods and genetic complementation of a csld3 mutant with a chimaeric CSLD3 protein containing a CESA6 catalytic domain, we provide evidence that CSLD3 represents a distinct (1→4)-β-glucan synthase activity in apical plasma membranes during tip growth in root-hair cells.
Matrix solubilization and cell wall weakening by β-expansin (group‐1 allergen) from maize pollen.
Tabuchi, A., Li, L. C. & Cosgrove, D. J. (2011). The Plant Journal, 68(3), 546-559.
Beta-expansins accumulate to high levels in grass pollen, a feature apparently unique to grasses. These proteins, which are major human allergens, facilitate pollen tube penetration of the maize stigma and style (the silk). Here we report that treatment of maize silk cell walls with purified β-expansin from maize pollen led to solubilization of wall matrix polysaccharides, dominated by feruloyated highly substituted glucuronoarabinoxylan (60%) and homogalacturonan (35%). Such action was selective for cell walls of grasses, and indicated a target preferentially found in grass cell walls, probably the highly substituted glucuronoarabinoxylan. Several tests for lytic activities by β-expansin were negative and polysaccharide solubilization had weak temperature dependence, which indicated a non-enzymatic process. Concomitant with matrix solubilization, β-expansin treatment induced creep, reduced the breaking force and increased the plastic compliance of wall specimens. From comparisons of the pH dependencies of these processes, we conclude that matrix solubilization was linked closely to changes in wall plasticity and breaking force, but not so closely coupled to cell wall creep. Because matrix solubilization and increased wall plasticity have not been found with other expansins, we infer that these novel activities are linked to the specialized role of grass pollen β-expansins in promotion of penetration of the pollen tube through the stigma and style, most likely by weakening the middle lamella.
Comparative glycan profiling of Ceratopteris richardii ‘C-Fern’gametophytes and sporophytes links cell-wall composition to functional specialization.
Eeckhout, S., Leroux, O., Willats, W. G. T., Popper, Z. A. & Viane, R. L. L. (2014). Annals of Botany, mcu039.
Background and Aims Innovations in vegetative and reproductive characters were key factors in the evolutionary history of land plants and most of these transformations, including dramatic changes in life cycle structure and strategy, necessarily involved cell-wall modifications. To provide more insight into the role of cell walls in effecting changes in plant structure and function, and in particular their role in the generation of vascularization, an antibody-based approach was implemented to compare the presence and distribution of cell-wall glycan epitopes between (free-living) gametophytes and sporophytes of Ceratopteris richardii ‘C-Fern’, a widely used model system for ferns. Methods Microarrays of sequential diamino-cyclohexane-tetraacetic acid (CDTA) and NaOH extractions of gametophytes, spores and different organs of ‘C-Fern’ sporophytes were probed with glycan-directed monoclonal antibodies. The same probes were employed to investigate the tissue- and cell-specific distribution of glycan epitopes. Key Results While monoclonal antibodies against pectic homogalacturonan, mannan and xyloglucan widely labelled gametophytic and sporophytic tissues, xylans were only detected in secondary cell walls of the sporophyte. The LM5 pectic galactan epitope was restricted to sporophytic phloem tissue. Rhizoids and root hairs showed similarities in arabinogalactan protein (AGP) and xyloglucan epitope distribution patterns. Conclusions The differences and similarities in glycan cell-wall composition between ‘C-Fern’ gametophytes and sporophytes indicate that the molecular design of cell walls reflects functional specialization rather than genetic origin. Glycan epitopes that were not detected in gametophytes were associated with cell walls of specialized tissues in the sporophyte.
Changes in cell wall biomechanical properties in the xyloglucan-deficient xxt1/xxt2 mutant of Arabidopsis.
Park, Y. B. & Cosgrove, D. J. (2012). Plant Physiology, 158(1), 465-475.
The main load-bearing network in the primary cell wall of most land plants is commonly depicted as a scaffold of cellulose microfibrils tethered by xyloglucans. However, a xyloglucan-deficient mutant (xylosyltransferase1/xylosyltransferase2 [xxt1/xxt2]) was recently developed that was smaller than the wild type but otherwise nearly normal in its development, casting doubt on xyloglucan’s role in wall structure. To assess xyloglucan function in the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) wall, we compared the behavior of petiole cell walls from xxt1/xxt2 and wild-type plants using creep, stress relaxation, and stress/strain assays, in combination with reagents that cut or solubilize specific components of the wall matrix. Stress/strain assays showed xxt1/xxt2 walls to be more extensible than wild-type walls (supporting a reinforcing role for xyloglucan) but less extensible in creep and stress relaxation processes mediated by α-expansin. Fusicoccin-induced “acid growth” was likewise reduced in xxt1/xxt2 petioles. The results show that xyloglucan is important for wall loosening by α-expansin, and the smaller size of the xxt1/xxt2 mutant may stem from the reduced effectiveness of α-expansins in the absence of xyloglucan. Loosening agents that act on xylans and pectins elicited greater extension in creep assays of xxt1/xxt2 cell walls compared with wild-type walls, consistent with a larger mechanical role for these matrix polymers in the absence of xyloglucan. Our results illustrate the need for multiple biomechanical assays to evaluate wall properties and indicate that the common depiction of a cellulose-xyloglucan network as the major load-bearing structure is in need of revision.
Pectin Metabolism and Assembly in the Cell Wall of the Charophyte Green Alga Penium margaritaceum.
Domozych, D. S., Sørensen, I., Popper, Z. A., Ochs, J., Andreas, A., Fangel, J. U., Pielach, A., Sacks, C., Brechka, H., Ruisi-Besares, P., Willats, W. G. & Rose, J. K. C. (2014). Plant Physiology, 165(1), 105-18.
The pectin polymer homogalacturonan (HG) is a major component of land plant cell walls and is especially abundant in the middle lamella. Current models suggest that HG is deposited into the wall as a highly methylesterified polymer, demethylesterified by pectin methylesterase enzymes and cross-linked by calcium ions to form a gel. However, this idea is based largely on indirect evidence and in vitro studies. We took advantage of the wall architecture of the unicellular alga Penium margaritaceum, which forms an elaborate calcium cross-linked HG-rich lattice on its cell surface, to test this model and other aspects of pectin dynamics. Studies of live cells and microscopic imaging of wall domains confirmed that the degree of methylesterification and sufficient levels of calcium are critical for lattice formation in vivo. Pectinase treatments of live cells and immunological studies suggested the presence of another class of pectin polymer, rhamnogalacturonan I, and indicated its co-localization and structural association with HG. Carbohydrate microarray analysis of the walls of P. margaritaceum, Physcomitrella patens and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) further suggested conservation of pectin organization and interpolymer associations in the walls of green plants. The individual constituent HG polymers also have a similar size and branched structure to those of embryophytes. The HG-rich lattice of Penium, a member of the Charophyte green algae, the immediate ancestors of land plants, was shown to be important for cell adhesion. The calcium-HG gel at the cell surface may therefore represent an early evolutionary innovation that paved the way for an adhesive middle lamella in multicellular land plants.