In plant cells, several cellular processes depend on rapid reorganization of a dynamic network of actin cytoskeletal elements in response to internal and environmental stimuli. Profilins, ubiqitous eukaryotic actin monomer-binding proteins with highly conserved three-dimensional structures, regulate the actin cytoskeleton and are considered to link the microfilament system with signal transduction pathways. Plant profilins have been grouped into two distinct classes, gametophytic (pollen-specific) and sporophytic. Here we report the isolation of a profilin gene that seems to be activated during tip growth of specialized cells of gametophytic as well as sporophytic origin. Identification of a genomic DNA clone containing a tobacco profilin gene, pronp1, and analysis of the pronp1 promoter-uidA fusion gene in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum plants revealed a prominent expression of pronp1 in mature pollen and elongating pollen tubes and significant activity in root hairs of developing seedlings. This expression pattern was distinct from that of any other profilin gene isolated so far. Pronp1 thus represents a unique profilin gene that is activated at the transcriptional level in two kinds of tip-growing cells, pollen tubes and root hairs, both of which require rapid organization of the actin cytoskeleton. The isolation of such a gene has fundamental importance for our understanding of modulation of the actin cytoskeleton at the molecular level.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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