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Trends Plant Sci. 2005 Jul;10(7):316-23.

Sorting of proteins to storage vacuoles: how many mechanisms?

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Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, CNR, 20133 Milano, Italy.


Vacuoles receive their proteins through the secretory pathway, this requires protein sorting signals and molecular machineries that, until recently, have been believed to be markedly distinct for lytic and storage vacuoles. However, new biochemical, morphological and genetic data indicate that the only known class of vacuolar sorting receptors, believed to be specific for lytic vacuoles, might also be involved in the sorting of certain storage proteins. Furthermore, storage vacuoles can have a complex multimembrane structure that is difficult to explain based on a single trafficking mechanism. A new array of possible molecular interactions is thus emerging that no longer supports a clear-cut distinction between the two types of vacuoles based on sorting signals and putative receptors.

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