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Trends Plant Sci. 2007 Jun;12(6):267-77. Epub 2007 May 10.

New insights into pectin methylesterase structure and function.

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Groupe de Génomique Fonctionnelle des Plantes, EA 3900, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Picardie Jules Verne, 33 Rue St Leu, 80039 Amiens, France. <>


In bacteria, fungi and plants, pectin methylesterases are ubiquitous enzymes that modify the degree of methylesterification of pectins, which are major components of plant cell walls. Such changes in pectin structure are associated with changes in cellular adhesion, plasticity, pH and ionic contents of the cell wall and influence plant development and stress responses. In plants, pectin methylesterases belong to large multigene families, are regulated in a highly specific manner, and are involved in vegetative and reproductive processes, including wood and pollen formation, in addition to plant-pathogen interactions. Although, overall, protein structures are highly conserved between isoforms, recent data indicate that structural variations might be associated with the targeting and functions of specific pectin methylesterases.

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