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Plant Physiol. 1995 Jul;108(3):897-901.

Aluminum Induces Rigor within the Actin Network of Soybean Cells.

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


Aluminum is toxic to both plants and animals. Root growth and pollen-tube extension are inhibited after aluminum stress in acidic environments. Incubation of cultured neurons with aluminum results in the formation of neurofibrillar tangles reminiscent of the neural pathology observed in Alzheimer's disease. The present communication demonstrates that aluminum induces a rapid and dramatic increase in the rigidity of the actin network in soybean (Glycine max) root cells. This rigidity can be prevented by either co-incubation with sodium fluoride or magnesium, or pretreatment with cytochalasin D. It is proposed that the growth-inhibitory activity and cytotoxicity of aluminum in plants may be a consequence of a global rigor that is induced within the actin network. This rigor may result from the formation of nonhydrolyzable [Al3+-ADP] or [Al3+-ATP] complexes whose binding to actin/myosin can modify contraction. Additionally, Al3+-mediated interference with the normal kinetics of F-actin filament assembly/disassembly could precipitate subsequent disorganization of associated cytoskeletal structures and promote altered expression of cytoskeletal proteins.

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