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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Oct 27;95(22):12995-9.

delta-Tonoplast intrinsic protein defines unique plant vacuole functions.

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  • 1Institute of Biological Chemistry, Box 6340, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.


Plant cell vacuoles may have either storage or degradative functions. Vegetative storage proteins (VSPs) are synthesized in response to wounding and to developmental switches that affect carbon and nitrogen sinks. Here we show that VSPs are stored in a unique type of vacuole that is derived from degradative central vacuoles coincident with insertion of a new tonoplast intrinsic protein (TIP), delta-TIP, into their membranes. This finding demonstrates a tight coupling between the presence of delta-TIP and acquisition of a specialized storage function and indicates that TIP isoforms may determine vacuole identity.

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