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Plant Physiol. Apr 1987; 83(4): 778–784.
PMCID: PMC1056449

Heat Stress Enhances Phytohemagglutinin Synthesis but Inhibits Its Transport Out of the Endoplasmic Reticulum 1


In this study we examined the effect of heat stress (up to 6 hours at 43°C) on the biosynthesis and transport of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) in cotyledons of developing seeds of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris. Heat stress resulted in a decrease of total protein synthesis and an enhancement of the synthesis of heat shock proteins and PHA. Pulse chase experiments showed that a considerable proportion of the newly synthesized PHA was present in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi fraction and did not readily chase-out. Analysis with endoglycosidase H showed that the oligosaccharide sidechains of PHA were almost entirely in the high mannose configuration, indicating that most of the newly synthesized PHA was in the ER. However, some of the PHA became fucosylated at 43°C, indicating fucosyltransferase activity. That the biosynthesis and secretion of fucosyl-containing cell wall polymers proceeded normally at 43°C provided evidence that certain Golgi functions (i.e. transport to the cell wall) remained unaffected by heat stress. The ER obtained from these heat stress cotyledons had a greater density (1.16 g· cm−3 at 43°C instead of 1.14 g·cm−3 at 22°C) in sucrose gradients. Ultrastructural observations showed that the width of the lumen of the ER cisternae had increased from 20 nanometers at 22°C to 60 to 80 nanometers at 43°C; the lumen was filled with electrondense material presumed to be protein. The experiments are interpreted as evidence that heat stress imposes a block in the transport of PHA out of the ER. Whether heat stress affects the ER itself or alters the conformation of PHA, thereby preventing its transport, is not clear.

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Selected References

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