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J Exp Bot. 2011 Mar;62(5):1581-91. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq445. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

The walls have ears: the role of plant CrRLK1Ls in sensing and transducing extracellular signals.

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Institute of Plant Biology & Zürich-Basel Plant Science Center, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, Zürich, Switzerland.


In plants, organ formation and cell elongation require the constant adjustment of the dynamic and adaptable cell wall in response to environmental cues as well as internal regulators, such as light, mechanical stresses, pathogen attacks, phytohormones, and other signaling molecules. The molecular mechanisms that perceive these cues and translate them into cellular responses to maintain integrity and remodelling of the carbohydrate-rich cell wall for the coordination of cell growth are still poorly understood. In the last 3 years, the function of six membrane-localized receptor-like kinases (RLKs) belonging to the CrRLK1L family has been linked to the control of cell elongation in vegetative and reproductive development. Moreover, the presence of putative carbohydrate-binding domains in the extracellular domains of these CrRLK1Ls makes this receptor family an excellent candidate for coordinating cell growth, cell-cell communication, and constant cell wall remodelling during the plant life cycle.

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