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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Development of new molecular tools to study secretion in plant cells


New molecular tools may be developed to increase quality and impact of the current research in the laboratory of Botany in Lecce but human resources are limited and potential partners geographically distant. Transfer of knowledge is needed to extend the st udy to specific functions of different SNARE proteins and develop better markers. many of the best-known secretory models in plants appear closely allied to the idea of constitutive secretion but exceptions are known. At least two exocytotic pathways exist in barley aleurone protoplasts: one, involved in cell expansion, is Ca2+ -independent and whose regulation is currently not known and an other, involved in cell damage response, is stimulated by Ca2+ and modulated by GTP-binding proteins. It is likely tha t the constitutive and regulated secretory pathways are present toghether in many different cell types. During exocytosis, vescicles fuse with the plasma membrane that results in the delivery to the plasma membrane of various kinds of material: membrane it self and membrane-associated proteins; cell wall precursors and extracellular proteins. This process must be highly controlled to modulate the arrival of very different materials in all cell kinds of a plant. In animals and yeast the situation is complex a nd many genes are involved in the process; homologue genes involved in secretion have been identified also in plants (Nt-Syr1, Knolle, Gnom, Keule, GTPases). The Syntaxin homologue Nt-Syr1 (recently re-named SYP 121) was recently isolated in a functional s creen for ABA signaling elements. Competition of a soluble variant of Nt-Syr1 with the endogenous protein, strongly affects secretion of reporter proteins, thus representing a powerfull tool to study regulated , ABA dependent, secretion. We set up a compl ex experimental system in N. tabacum to monitor secretion of reporter proteins (GFP and GUS) and cell wall polysaccharides.

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