Journal Article

The Growing World of Expansins

Daniel J. Cosgrove, Lian Chao Li, Hyung-Taeg Cho, Susanne Hoffmann-Benning, Richard C. Moore and Douglas Blecker

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 43, issue 12, pages 1436-1444
Published in print December 2002 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online December 2002 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
The Growing World of Expansins

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


Show Summary Details


Expansins are cell wall proteins that induce pH-dependent wall extension and stress relaxation in a characteristic and unique manner. Two families of expansins are known, named α- and β-expansins, and they comprise large multigene families whose members show diverse organ-, tissue- and cell-specific expression patterns. Other genes that bear distant sequence similarity to expansins are also represented in the sequence databases, but their biological and biochemical functions have not yet been uncovered. Expansin appears to weaken glucan–glucan binding, but its detailed mechanism of action is not well established. The biological roles of expansins are diverse, but can be related to the action of expansins to loosen cell walls, for example during cell enlargement, fruit softening, pollen tube and root hair growth, and abscission. Expansin-like proteins have also been identified in bacteria and fungi, where they may aid microbial invasion of the plant body.

Keywords: Keywords: Cell growth — Cell walls — Expansins — Wall loosening proteins.; Abbreviations: EXP, α-expansin; EXPB, β-expansin; EXPL, expansin-like; EXPR, expansin-related; Zea m 1, β-expansin and group 1 allergen of maize pollen.

Journal Article.  6379 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.