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Planta. 1991 Apr;184(1):113-22. doi: 10.1007/BF00208244.

TIP, an integral membrane protein of the protein-storage vacuoles of the soybean cotyledon undergoes developmentally regulated membrane accumulation and removal.

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Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 20705, Beltsville, MD, USA.


Protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) cotyledon cells are formed by subdivision of the central vacuole early in seed maturation. They persist until the fifth or sixth day after germination when the central vacuole re-forms. The major integral membrane protein of PSVs, called Tonoplast Integral Protein or TIP, is highly conserved in the seeds of higher plants (K.D. Johnson et al. 1989, Plant Physiol. 91, 1006-1013). The primary sequence of TIP indicates that it may be a pore protein, although of unknown function (K.D. Johnson et al. 1990, Plant Cell 2, 525-532). TIP is apparently seed-specific and is localized in the protein-storage-vacuole membrane of the storageparenchyma cells and the tonoplast of provascular cells. Using correlated immunoblot and electron microscopicimmunocytochemical assays, we have studied TIP accumulation during seed maturation and its disappearance during seed germination. We have determined that the accumulation of TIP in the protein-storage-vacuole membrane is not correlated with the presence or concentration of stored protein in the organelle. Accumulation of TIP occurs primarily after the division of the central vacuole into protein-storage vacuoles is complete and most of the stored protein has been deposited. Transport of TIP to the PSV membrane is apparently mediated by the Golgi apparatus. Quantitative SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis)-immunoblots indicate that, after germination is initiated, TIP abundance is unchanged for the first 4d, but that between days 5 and 7 of growth its abundance decreases drastically. TIP is removed from the PSV membrane prior to the completion of storageprotein mobilization and concurrently with re-formation of the central vacuole. The mechanism of TIP removal appears to involve autophagic sequestering of membrane inside the PSV. The developmental regulation of TIP insertion and removal indicates a physiological function of TIP during late seed maturation or early seedling growth.


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