Sorting of proteins to the vacuoles of plant cells

Authors

  • Alessandro Vitale,

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto Biosintesi Vegetali, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Bassini 15, 20133, Milano, Italy
    • Istituto Biosintesi Vegetali, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, via Bassini 15, 20133, Milano, Italy
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  • Maarten J. Chrispeels

    1. Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0116, USA
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Abstract

The secretory system of plant cells sorts a large number of soluble proteins that either are secreted or accumulate in vacuoles. Secretion is a bulk-flow process that requires no information beyond the presence of a signal peptide necessary to enter the endoplasmic reticulum. Many vacuolar proteins are glycoproteins and the glycans are often modified as the proteins pass through the Golgi complex. Vacuolar targeting information is not contained in glycans as it is in animal cells; rather, targeting information is in polypeptide domains as it is in yeast cells. Several such domains have now been identified, but these show little or no amino acid sequence homology. We discuss the possibilities that targeting of protein to plant vacuoles may involve receptors as well as aggregation of protein at low pH.

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