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J Plant Physiol. 2009 May 15;166(8):797-806. doi: 10.1016/j.jplph.2008.11.005. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Unexpected localization of a lipid transfer protein in germinating sunflower seeds.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata-CONICET, Funes 3250, 7600-Mar del Plata, Argentina.


Plant lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) are low-molecular-mass proteins whose biological function still remains elusive. They are synthesized with a signal peptide that drives them to the secretory pathway. We have previously described the occurrence of an apoplastic LTP named Ha-AP10, present in sunflower seeds. Using a biochemical approach we now demonstrate that a fraction of Ha-AP10 is perispherically bound to membranes of germinating seeds. Purification of plasma membranes revealed the presence of Ha-AP10 in this fraction. Fluorimmunolocalization studies on germinating sunflower seeds demonstrated that in addition to the apoplastic and plasma membrane localization, Ha-AP10 is also present intracellularlly associated to unidentified structures. This varied distribution of Ha-AP10 in sunflower seeds may give novel clues to understand the role of LTPs in seed physiology.

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