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Biochemistry. 2005 Dec 13;44(49):16292-300.

Structural determinants for plant annexin-membrane interactions.

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Institut für Medizinische Physik und Biophysik, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.


The interactions of two plant annexins, annexin 24(Ca32) from Capsicum annuum and annexin Gh1 from Gossypium hirsutum, with phospholipid membranes have been characterized using liposome-based assays and adsorption to monolayers. These two plant annexins show a preference for phosphatidylserine-containing membranes and display a membrane binding behavior with a half-maximum calcium concentration in the sub-millimolar range. Surprisingly, the two plant annexins also display calcium-independent membrane binding at levels of 10-20% at neutral pH. This binding is regulated by three conserved surface-exposed residues on the convex side of the proteins that play a pivotal role in membrane binding. Due to quantitative differences in the membrane binding behavior of N-terminally His-tagged and wild-type annexin 24(Ca32), we conclude that the N-terminal domain of plant annexins plays an important role, reminiscent of the findings in their mammalian counterparts. Experiments elucidating plant annexin-mediated membrane aggregation and fusion, as well as the effect of these proteins on membrane surface hydrophobicity, agree with findings from the membrane binding experiments. Results from electron microscopy reveal elongated rodlike assemblies of plant annexins in the membrane-bound state. It is possible that these structures consist of protein molecules directly interacting with the membrane surface and molecules that are membrane-associated but not in direct contact with the phospholipids. The rodlike structures would also agree with the complex data from intrinsic protein fluorescence. The tubular lipid extensions suggest a role in the membrane cytoskeleton scaffolding or exocytotic processes. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of subtle changes in an otherwise conserved annexin fold where these two plant annexins possess distinct modalities compared to mammalian and other nonplant annexins.

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