The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the port of entry of proteins into the endomembrane system, and it is also involved in lipid biosynthesis and storage. This organelle contains a number of soluble and membrane-associated enzymes and molecular chaperones, which assist the folding and maturation of proteins and the deposition of lipid storage compounds. The regulation of translocation of proteins into the ER and their subsequent maturation within the organelle have been studied in detail in mammalian and yeast cells, and more recently also in plants. These studies showed that in general the functions of the ER in protein synthesis and maturation have been highly conserved between the different organisms. Yet, the ER of plants possesses some additional functions not found in mammalian and yeast cells. This compartment is involved in cell to cell communication via the plasmodesmata, and, in specialized cells, it serves as a storage site for proteins. The plant ER is also equipped with enzymes and structural proteins which are involved in the process of oil body biogenesis and lipid storage. In this review we discuss the components of the plant ER and their function in protein maturation and biogenesis of oil bodies. Due to the large number of cited papers, we were not able to cite all individual references and in many cases we refer the readers to reviews and references therein. We apologize to the authors whose references are not cited.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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