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Free Content A microtubule-associated protein in maize is expressed during phytochrome-induced cell elongation

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Plants can adapt their shape to environmental stimuli. This response is mediated by the reorganization of cortical microtubules, a unique element of the cytoskeleton. However, the molecular base of this response has remained obscure so far. In an attempt to solve this problem, signal-dependent changes in the pattern of microtubule-binding proteins were analysed during coleoptile elongation in maize, that is, under the control of the plant photoreceptor phytochrome. Two putative MAPs of 100 kDa (P100) and 50 kDa apparent molecular weights were identified in cytosolic extracts from non-elongating and elongating cells. Both proteins co-assembled with endogenous tubulin, bound to neurotubules and were immunologically related to the neural MAP : the P100 protein, depending on the physiological situation, was manifest as a double band and was always found to be heat-stable. In contrast, the 50 kDa MAP was heat-stable only for particular tissues and physiological treatments. The P100 protein was present in all tissues, however in a reduced amount in elongating coleoptiles. The 50 kDa MAP was expressed exclusively upon induction of phytochrome-dependent cell elongation. As shown by immunofluorescence double-staining, an epitope shared by both proteins colocalized with cortical microtubules in situ, but exclusively in elongating cells. In non-elongating cells, only the nuclei were stained. Partially purified nuclei from elongating cells were enriched in P100, whereas the 50 kDa MAP became enriched in a partially purified plasma membrane fraction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 1995

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