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Plant Physiol. 1996 Mar;110(3):965-970.

Auxins and Cytokinins as Antipodal Modulators of Elasticity within the Actin Network of Plant Cells.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.


The cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells serves as a transmitter, transducer, and effector of cell signaling mechanisms. In plants, pathways for proliferation, differentiation, intracellular vesicular transport, cell-wall biosynthesis, symbiosis, secretion, and membrane recycling depend on the organization and dynamic properties of actin- and tubulin-based structures that are either associated with the plasma membrane or traverse the cytoplasm. Recently, a new in vivo cytoskeletal assay (cell optical displacement assay) was introduced to measure the tension within subdomains (cortical, transvacuolar, and perinuclear) of the actin network in living plant cells. Cell optical displacement assay measurements within soybean (Glycine max [L.]) root cells previously demonstrated that lipophilic signals, e.g. linoleic acid and arachidonic acid or changes in cytoplasmic pH gradients, could induce significant reductions in the tension within the actin network of transvacuolar strands. In contrast, enhancement of cytoplasmic free Ca2+ resulted in an increase in tension. In the present communication we have used these measurements to show that a similar antipodal pattern of activity exists for auxins and cytokinins (in their ability to modify the tension within the actin network of plant cells). It is suggested that these growth substances exert their effect on the cytoskeleton through the activation of signaling cascades, which result in the production of lipophilic and ionic second messengers, both of which have been demonstrated to directly effect the tension within the actin network of soybean root cells.

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