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Plant Signal Behav. 2010 Feb;5(2):87-9. Epub 2010 Feb 19.

Recent surprising similarities between plant cells and neurons.

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IZMB, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


Plant cells and neurons share several similarities, including non-centrosomal microtubules, motile post-Golgi organelles, separated both spatially/structurally and functionally from the Golgi apparatus and involved in vesicular endocytic recycling, as well as cell-cell adhesion domains based on the actin/myosin cytoskeleton which serve for cell-cell communication. Tip-growing plants cells such as root hairs and pollen tubes also resemble neurons extending their axons. Recently, surprising discoveries have been made with respect of the molecular basis of neurodegenerative disorders known as Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias and tip-growth of root hairs. All these advances are briefly discussed in the context of other similarities between plant cells and neurons.

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