Foreword Plant Molecular Biology 38: vii, 1998. vii The proper protein complement for each subcellular compartment forms the basis for fhe functional complexity and success of the eukaryotic cell. Except for some organellar proteins of mitochondria and plastids, all polypeptides are coded for on nuclear genes synthesised in the cytosol and either co- or post-translationally transferred to their final cellular destination. Questions of fundamental importance are: which signals are responsible for sorting and targeting to a specific compartment and how is the transport through membranes or by vesicle flow accomplished? While we can recognize the signals responsible for subcellular sorting we just start to understand how translocation across membranes or by vesicles flow occurs. Knowledge of these processes is important since malfunctioning can result in severe distortion of cellular function, for example the Zellweger syndrome in man. On the other hand, plants convert 120  10 tonnes carbon dioxide into biomass annually, much of which is deposited as storage proteins in grain and cereals we depend on for our diet. The potential of massif (large-scale) protein production in plants not only adopted to special dietary needs for animals and man but also for the production of medical diagnostics and pharmaceutics is now increasingly recognized. The perspective of plants as bioreactors to produce foreign proteins of commercial interest seems to be almost unlimited. Many articles in this volume, therefore, deal with the transport pathway and organelles involved in both protein flux and storage, such as the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi network, the plant vacuole or plastid. Basic knowledge in this areas is essential in creating such daring applications as to express immunglobulins in plants (Conrad, this volume). The need for an up-to-date summary of our knowledge of intracellular protein trafficking is, therefore, evident and pressing, since no recent comprehensive overview of the entire field exists. This volume is intended to fill this gap and to survey all major areas of protein trafficking in plant cells. The information gathered here should be valuable not only to the specialized plant researcher in the field and those working on applied aspects but also for students and scientists working on protein translocation in non-plant systems. To meet the needs of a rapid moving field such a special volume must be as up-to-date as possible to be useful. As the editor, I am indebted to the authors and the reviewers who without hesitation agreed to meet a very tight time frame for their contribution. Therefore, the reviewed literature goes well into 1998. Finally, I am thankful to the staff of Kluwer Academic Publishers, particularly G. Jonkers and N. Bonnavalle, for their great interest in the assembly and timely publication of this volume. Kiel, Germany, April 1998 Plant Molecular Biology Springer Journals


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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 1998 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Life Sciences; Biochemistry, general; Plant Sciences; Plant Pathology
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