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Plant J. 2010 Dec;64(6):977-89. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04388.x. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Subcompartment localization of the side chain xyloglucan-synthesizing enzymes within Golgi stacks of tobacco suspension-cultured cells.

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Laboratoire 'Glycobiologie et Matrice Extracellulaire Végétale,' UPRES EA 4358, Institut Fédératif de Recherche Multidisciplinaire sur les Peptides 23, Plate-forme de Recherche en Imagerie Cellulaire de Haute Normandie (PRIMACEN), IBiSA, Université de Rouen, 76821 Mont-Saint Aignan Cedex, France.


Xyloglucan is the dominant hemicellulosic polysaccharide of the primary cell wall of dicotyledonous plants that plays a key role in plant development. It is well established that xyloglucan is assembled within Golgi stacks and transported in Golgi-derived vesicles to the cell wall. It is also known that the biosynthesis of xyloglucan requires the action of glycosyltransferases including α-1,6-xylosyltransferase, β-1,2-galactosyltransferase and α-1,2-fucosyltransferase activities responsible for the addition of xylose, galactose and fucose residues to the side chains. There is, however, a lack of knowledge on how these enzymes are distributed within subcompartments of Golgi stacks. We have undertaken a study aiming at mapping these glycosyltransferases within Golgi stacks using immunogold-electron microscopy. To this end, we generated transgenic lines of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) BY-2 suspension-cultured cells expressing either the α-1,6-xylosyltransferase, AtXT1, the β-1,2-galactosyltransferase, AtMUR3, or the α-1,2-fucosyltransferase AtFUT1 of Arabidopsis thaliana fused to green-fluorescent protein (GFP). Localization of the fusion proteins within the endomembrane system was assessed using confocal microscopy. Additionally, tobacco cells were high pressure-frozen/freeze-substituted and subjected to quantitative immunogold labelling using anti-GFP antibodies to determine the localization patterns of the enzymes within subtypes of Golgi cisternae. The data demonstrate that: (i) all fusion proteins, AtXT1-GFP, AtMUR3-GFP and AtFUT1-GFP are specifically targeted to the Golgi apparatus; and (ii) AtXT1-GFP is mainly located in the cis and medial cisternae, AtMUR3-GFP is predominantly associated with medial cisternae and AtFUT1-GFP mostly detected over trans cisternae suggesting that initiation of xyloglucan side chains occurs in early Golgi compartments in tobacco cells.

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