Transport of macromolecules through plasmodesmata and the phloem

Transport of macromolecules through plasmodesmata and the phloem

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REVIEW Transport of macromolecules through plasmodesmata and the phloem Xiong-Yan Chen a,b and Jae-Yean Kim a,b,c,d, * a Department of Molecular Biology, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Korea b Division of Applied Life Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Korea c Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Korea d Environmental Biotechnology National Core Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Korea Correspondence * Corresponding author, e-mail: [email protected] Received 16 August 2005; revised 21 October 2005 doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3054.2006.00630.x Cell-to-cell communication is a pivotal process in the determination of cell fate during development and physiological adaptation in response to envir- onmental stimuli. The intercellular trafficking of proteins and RNAs has emerged as a novel mechanism of cell-to-cell signaling in plants. As a strategy for efficient intercellular communication, plants have evolved plant-specific symplasmic communication networks via plasmodesmata (PD) and the phloem. PD are symplasmic channels connecting the cytoplasm of neighboring cells and are responsible for the local exchange of metabo- lites and signaling molecules. The phloem is the sieve-tube system that allows rapid, long-distance translocation of molecules. Together, PD and phloem conduits have been shown to allow the transport of proteins and RNAs in non-selective or/and selective modes. This review describes the current understanding of macromolecule trafficking through PD and the phloem. Introduction Intercellular communication is a critical biological pro- cess for the orchestration of position-dependent cell differentiation, organ development, and whole plant physiology. Multicellular animals and plants have evolved various sophisticated strategies for intercellular signaling. An effective ligand/receptor-mediated cell-to- cell communication system exists in both plant and animal kingdoms (Cock et al. 2002), and this is believed to originate from ancient prokaryotic signaling in response to environmental stimuli and interorganism signals (Miller and Bassler 2001, Wolanin et al. 2002). In addition, during their early evolution, multicellular organisms developed new symplasmic channels that could mediate the exchange of metabolites and signal- ing molecules. Within animal systems, connexin-based gap junctions and actin-based nanotubes were known as signaling channels for the symplasmic exchange of information (Goodenough 1978, Rustom et al. 2004). In contrast, plants developed plasma membrane-lined cytoplasmic channels called plasmodesmata (PD) that have the capacity to mediate the cell-to-cell trafficking of macromolecules, including proteins and RNAs, as well as small signaling molecules (Lucas and Lee 2004). Plasmodesmal connections enable macromole- cules to move through one or multiple cell layers. Abbreviations –
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This note was uploaded on 08/01/2009 for the course 231 224-12 taught by Professor Mazik during the Spring '06 term at A.T. Still University.

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Transport of macromolecules through plasmodesmata and the phloem

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