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Plant Cell. 1999 Nov;11(11):2075-86.

Immunogold labeling of rosette terminal cellulose-synthesizing complexes in the vascular plant vigna angularis

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  • 1Wood Research Institute, Kyoto University Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


The catalytic subunit of cellulose synthase is shown to be associated with the putative cellulose-synthesizing complex (rosette terminal complex [TC]) in vascular plants. The catalytic subunit domain of cotton cellulose synthase was cloned using a primer based on a rice expressed sequence tag (D41261) from which a specific primer was constructed to run a polymerase chain reaction that used a cDNA library from 24 days postanthesis cotton fibers as a template. The catalytic region of cotton cellulose synthase was expressed in Escherichia coli, and polyclonal antisera were produced. Colloidal gold coupled to goat anti-rabbit secondary antibodies provided a tag for visualization of the catalytic region of cellulose synthase during transmission electron microscopy. With a freeze-fracture replica labeling technique, the antibodies specifically localized to rosette TCs in the plasma membrane on the P-fracture face. Antibodies did not specifically label any structures on the E-fracture face. Significantly, a greater number of immune probes labeled the rosette TCs (i.e., gold particles were 20 nm or closer to the edge of the rosette TC) than did preimmune probes. These experiments confirm the long-held hypothesis that cellulose synthase is a component of the rosette TC in vascular plants, proving that the enzyme complex resides within the structure first described by freeze fracture in 1980. In addition, this study provides independent proof that the CelA gene is in fact one of the genes for cellulose synthase in vascular plants.

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