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EMBO J. 1991 Jun;10(6):1317-24.

Differential targeting of the tobacco PR-1 pathogenesis-related proteins to the extracellular space and vacuoles of crystal idioblasts.

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Waksman Institute, Rutgers State University of New Jersey, Piscataway 08855-0759.


Several biochemical and localization studies have shown that the acidic isoforms of the tobacco pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, PR-1a, -1b and -1c are secreted to the extracellular spaces of leaves in response to pathogen infection or chemical treatment. Here we report the differential accumulation of these proteins within the vacuoles of specialized cells known as crystal idioblasts. In situ hybridization analysis indicated that crystal idioblasts expressed the PR-1 genes at the mRNA level and suggested that PR-1 proteins were synthesized by these cells. Transgenic plants which constitutively express a chimeric gene encoding an acidic PR-1b isoform also accumulated PR-1 protein in the extracellular spaces and within crystal idioblast vacuoles. Analysis of mRNA derived from these transgenic plants indicated that expression of the introduced PR-1b gene was responsible for the accumulation of PR-1 protein in these two distinct locations. The synthesis and accumulation within crystal idioblasts of PR-1 proteins, which are secreted by other cell types, indicates that idioblasts sort these proteins in a unique manner. Moreover, this suggests that protein sorting in higher plants may be modulated in a cell specific manner.

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