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Eur J Cell Biol. 1999 May;78(5):297-304.

Localization of a centrin-like protein to higher plant plasmodesmata.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Australia.


Antibodies against centrin, the ubiquitous calcium-binding contractile protein, recognized a 17 kDa protein in extracts of onion root tips and cauliflower florets. Using immunofluorescence microscopy, anti-centrin antibodies were localized to the developing cell plate of onion and cauliflower root tip cells. In cauliflower florets, these antibodies localized to the walls in a punctate manner, consistent with the distribution of plasmodesmata as shown by colocalization with callose. Anti-centrin antibodies were localized to plasmodesmata of onion root tips and cauliflower florets with immunogold electron microscopy. Furthermore, this label was concentrated around the necks of plasmodesmata. In contrast, an antibody against calmodulin, which is a closely related calcium-binding protein, did not label plasmodesmata. We propose that centrin is a component of calcium-sensitive contractile nanofilaments in the neck region of plasmodesmata and facilitates the calcium-induced regulation of intercellular transport.

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