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J Exp Bot. 2013 Aug;64(11):3147-67. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert157.

Putative p24 complexes in Arabidopsis contain members of the delta and beta subfamilies and cycle in the early secretory pathway.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Farmacia, Universitat de Valencia, Spain.


p24 proteins are a family of type I membrane proteins localized to compartments of the early secretory pathway and to coat protein I (COPI)- and COPII-coated vesicles. They can be classified, by sequence homology, into four subfamilies, named p24α, p24β, p24γ, and p24δ. In contrast to animals and fungi, plants contain only members of the p24β and p24δ subfamilies, the latter probably including two different subclasses. It has previously been shown that transiently expressed red fluorescent protein (RFP)-p24δ5 (p24δ1 subclass) localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) at steady state as a consequence of highly efficient COPI-based recycling from the Golgi apparatus. It is now shown that transiently expressed RFP-p24δ9 (p24δ2 subclass) also localizes to the ER. In contrast, transiently expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)-p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus (as p24β2) and exits the ER in a COPII-dependent manner. Immunogold electron microscopy in Arabidopsis root tip cells using specific antibodies shows that endogenous p24δ9 localizes mainly to the ER but also partially to the cis-Golgi. In contrast, endogenous p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus. By a combination of experiments using transient expression, knock-out mutants, and co-immunoprecipitation, it is proposed that Arabidopsis p24 proteins form different heteromeric complexes (including members of the β and δ subfamilies) which are important for their stability and their coupled trafficking at the ER-Golgi interface. Evidence is also provided for a role for p24δ5 in retrograde Golgi-ER transport of the KDEL-receptor ERD2.


Arabidopsis; ER–Golgi transport; coat protein I (COPI); coat protein II (COPII); p24 proteins; secretory pathway.

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