The plant secretory pathway for the trafficking of cell wall polysaccharides and glycoproteins

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Abstract

Plant endomembranes are required for the biosynthesis and secretion of complex cell wall matrix polysaccharides, glycoproteins and proteoglycans. To define the biochemical roadmap that guides the synthesis and deposition of these cell wall components it is first necessary to outline the localization of the biosynthetic and modifying enzymes involved, as well as the distribution of the intermediate and final constituents of the cell wall. Thus far, a comprehensive understanding of cell wall matrix components has been hampered by the multiplicity of trafficking routes in the secretory pathway, and the diverse biosynthetic roles of the endomembrane organelles, which may exhibit tissue and development specific features. However, the recent identification of protein complexes producing matrix polysaccharides, and those supporting the synthesis and distribution of a grass-specific hemicellulose are advancing our understanding of the functional contribution of the plant secretory pathway in cell wall biosynthesis. In this review, we provide an overview of the plant membrane trafficking routes and report on recent exciting accomplishments in the understanding of the mechanisms underlying secretion with focus on cell wall synthesis in plants.

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