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Control of Directional Macromolecular Trafficking Across Specific Cellular Boundaries: A Key to Integrative Plant Biology

Authors

  • Biao Ding,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
    2. The OSU RNA Group, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
    3. Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Program, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
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  • Asuka Itaya

    1. Department of Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA
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  • Supported by grants from the US National Science Foundation (IOB-0620143) and the US Department of Agriculture National Research Initiative (2004-35304-15005).

*Author for correspondence.
Tel: +1 614 247 6077;
Fax: +1 614 292 5379;
E-mail: <ding.35@osu.edu>.

Abstract

There is now solid evidence that cell-to-cell trafficking of certain proteins and RNAs plays a critical role in trans-cellular regulation of gene expression to coordinate cellular differentiation and development. Such trafficking also is critical for viral infection and plant defense. The mechanisms of trafficking remain poorly understood. Although some proteins may move between cells by diffusion, many proteins and RNAs move in a highly regulated fashion. Regulation is likely achieved through interactions between distinct protein or RNA motifs and cellular factors. Some motifs and factors have been identified. One of the major focuses for future studies is to identify all motifs and their cognate factors and further elucidate their roles in trafficking between specific cells. With increasing information from such studies, we should be able to develop an understanding of the mechanisms that regulate trafficking of various proteins and RNAs across all and specific cellular boundaries. On the basis of such mechanistic knowledge, we can further investigate how the trafficking machinery has evolved to regulate developmental and physiological processes in a plant, how pathogens have co-evolved to use this machinery for systemic spread in a plant, and how plants use this machinery for counter- defense.

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