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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Oct;7(5):589-98.

Signalling by tips.

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Centro de Biologia do Desenvolvimento, Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, P-2780-156 Oeiras, Portugal.


New molecules, including protein kinases, lipids and molecules that have neurotransmitter activities in animals have emerged as important players in tip-growing cells. Transcriptomics analysis reveals that the largest single class of genes expressed in pollen tubes encode signal transducers, reflecting the necessity to decode complex and diverse pathways that are associated with tip growth. Many of these pathways may use common intracellular second messengers, with ions and reactive oxygen species emerging as two major common denominators in many of the processes involved in tip growth. These second messengers might influence the actin cytoskeleton through known interactions with actin-binding proteins. In turn, changes in the dynamic properties of the cytoskeleton would define the basic polarity events needed to shape and modify tip-growing cells.

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