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Planta. 1998 Mar;204(3):335-44.

Tonoplast intrinsic proteins from cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis): immunological analysis, cDNA cloning and evidence for expression in meristematic tissues.

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Laboratoire de phytoBiologie Cellulaire, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.


The vacuolar membrane (tonoplast) of plant cells contains aquaporins, protein channels that facilitate the selective transport of water. These tonoplast intrinsic proteins (TIPs) of 23-29 kDa belong to the ancient major intrinsic protein (MIP) family. A monospecific polyclonal antiserum directed against a 26 kDa intrinsic protein from the tonoplast of meristematic cells from cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis) was used to screen a cDNA library. Two distinct cDNAs have been isolated. Both clones, c26-1 and c26-2, encode closely related TIPs. The c26-1 insert, consisting of 933 bp upstream of the poly(A) tail, is a full-length cDNA with an open reading frame encoding a protein of 251 amino acids with a calculated M(r) of 25,500. The c26-2 insert is a 5' truncated cDNA. The two cDNAs share 90.5% sequence identity within their overlapping coding regions but only 35% sequence identity in the 3' untranslated regions, indicating that highly related TIP-encoding genes are expressed in meristematic cells. Although TIPs have previously been found in a variety of cell types, they have not been found in meristems. The derived amino acid sequences (BobTIP26-1 and BobTIP26-2, respectively) closely resemble the aquaporin gamma-TIP from Arabidopsis thaliana. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization show that BobTIP26 mRNAs preferentially accumulate in highly meristematic cells, mostly before and during cell enlargement, and in the living cells of the xylem. This differential pattern of expression is also found by immunodetection of BobTIP26 polypeptides. The gene expression patterns are discussed with respect to the probable function of the gene products.

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