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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2004 Oct;16(5):500-6.

Plasmodesmata form and function.

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Watson School of Biological Sciences, 1 Bungtown Road, Cold Spring Harbor, New York 11724, USA.


Intercellular transport via plasmodesmata controls cell fate decisions in plants, and is of fundamental importance in viral movement, disease resistance, and the spread of RNAi signals. Although plasmodesmata appear to be unique to plant cells, they may have structural and functional similarities to the newly discovered tunneling nanotubes that connect animal cells. Recently, proteins that localize to plasmodesmata have been identified, and a microtubule-associated protein was found to negatively regulate the trafficking of viral movement proteins. Other advances have delivered new insights into the function and molecular nature of plasmodesmata and have shown that protein trafficking through plasmodesmata is developmentally regulated, opening up the possibility that the genetic control of plasmodesmal function will soon be understood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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