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Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Sep;6(9):414-9.

Pectin methylesterases: cell wall enzymes with important roles in plant physiology.

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  • Laboratoire de Biologie Mol├ęculaire des Relations Plantes-Microorganismes, INRA-CNRS, BP27, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, France. micheli@toulouse.inra.fr


Pectin methylesterases catalyse the demethylesterification of cell wall polygalacturonans. In dicot plants, these ubiquitous cell wall enzymes are involved in important developmental processes including cellular adhesion and stem elongation. Here, I highlight recent studies that challenge the accepted views of the mechanism and function of pectin methylesterases, including the co-secretion of pectins and pectin methylesterases into the apoplasm, new action patterns of mature pectin methylesterases and a possible function of the pro regions of pectin methylesterases as intramolecular chaperones.

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