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J Cell Biol. 2000 Aug 21;150(4):755-70.

Biogenesis of the protein storage vacuole crystalloid.

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


We identify new organelles associated with the vacuolar system in plant cells. These organelles are defined biochemically by their internal content of three integral membrane proteins: a chimeric reporter protein that moves there directly from the ER; a specific tonoplast intrinsic protein; and a novel receptor-like RING-H2 protein that traffics through the Golgi apparatus. Highly conserved homologues of the latter are expressed in animal cells. In a developmentally regulated manner, the organelles are taken up into vacuoles where, in seed protein storage vacuoles, they form a membrane-containing crystalloid. The uptake and preservation of the contents of these organelles in vacuoles represents a unique mechanism for compartmentalization of protein and lipid for storage.

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