The organization and function of microtubules in plant cells are important in many developmental stages. Connections between microtubules and the endomembrane system of plant cells have been discovered by microscopy, but the molecular characteristics of these relationships are mostly unknown except for a few cases. Using two antibodies raised against microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) from maize, we have identified two polypeptides that share properties of the MAP family in the pollen tube of Nicotiana tabacum. The two polypeptides (with an apparent Mr of 161 and 90 kDa) bind efficiently to animal and plant microtubules and are found in association with the cellular membranes of the pollen tube, from which they can be solubilized with a zwitterionic detergent. One of these proteins has been purified and shown to promote the assembly of tubulin and, to a lesser extent, the bundling of microtubules. Subcellular fractionation indicated that the two proteins are associated with the plasma membrane compartment. The two proteins are found to co-localize in situ with cortical microtubules in the vegetative cytoplasm of tobacco pollen tubes; co-localization is also evident in the generative cell. According to these data, both the 161 and 90 kDa polypeptides are likely to mediate the interactions between the plasma membrane and microtubules in pollen tubes. In addition, functional data indicate that these MAP-like proteins take part in the process of microtubule assembly and reorganization occurring during cell growth. The evidence that both proteins associate with different cellular compartments also suggests a broad-spectrum role in mediating the dynamic relationships between microtubules and plant cell membranes.
Keywords: Microtubule-associated proteins; Microtubule–membrane interactions; Microtubules; Nicotiana tabacum; Plant cells; CHAPS, 3-[(cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-propanesulfonate; DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; DIC, differential interference contrast; DTT, dithiothreitol; MAP, microtubule-associated protein; MT, microtubule; PBS, phosphate-buffered saline; PRB, pellet resuspension buffer; SPF, solubilized protein fraction.
Journal Article. 10339 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry
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