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Plant Cell. 2006 Sep;18(9):2275-93. Epub 2006 Aug 25.

Overexpression of the Arabidopsis syntaxin PEP12/SYP21 inhibits transport from the prevacuolar compartment to the lytic vacuole in vivo.

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Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.


Golgi-mediated transport to the lytic vacuole involves passage through the prevacuolar compartment (PVC), but little is known about how vacuolar proteins exit the PVC. We show that this last step is inhibited by overexpression of Arabidopsis thaliana syntaxin PEP12/SYP21, causing an accumulation of soluble and membrane cargo and the plant vacuolar sorting receptor BP80 in the PVC. Anterograde transport proceeds normally from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi and the PVC, although export from the PVC appears to be compromised, affecting both anterograde membrane flow to the vacuole and the recycling route of BP80 to the Golgi. However, Golgi-mediated transport of soluble and membrane cargo toward the plasma membrane is not affected, but a soluble BP80 ligand is partially mis-sorted to the culture medium. We also observe clustering of individual PVC bodies that move together and possibly fuse with each other, forming enlarged compartments. We conclude that PEP12/SYP21 overexpression specifically inhibits export from the PVC without affecting the Golgi complex or compromising the secretory branch of the endomembrane system. The results provide a functional in vivo assay that confirms PEP12/SYP21 involvement in vacuolar sorting and indicates that excess of this syntaxin in the PVC can be detrimental for further transport from this organelle.

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