Arabidopsis XXT5 gene encodes a putative alpha-1,6-xylosyltransferase that is involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis.

Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, Center for Plant Cell Biology and Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
The Plant Journal (Impact Factor: 6.82). 07/2008; 56(1):101-15. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03580.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The function of a putative xyloglucan xylosyltransferase from Arabidopsis thaliana (At1g74380; XXT5) was studied. The XXT5 gene is expressed in all plant tissues, with higher levels of expression in roots, stems and cauline leaves. A T-DNA insertion in the XXT5 gene generates a readily visible root hair phenotype (root hairs are shorter and form bubble-like extrusions at the tip), and also causes the alteration of the main root cellular morphology. Biochemical characterization of cell wall polysaccharides isolated from xxt5 mutant seedlings demonstrated decreased xyloglucan quantity and reduced glucan backbone substitution with xylosyl residues. Immunohistochemical analyses of xxt5 plants revealed a selective decrease in some xyloglucan epitopes, whereas the distribution patterns of epitopes characteristic for other cell wall polysaccharides remained undisturbed. Transformation of xxt5 plants with a 35S::HA-XXT5 construct resulted in complementation of the morphological, biochemical and immunological phenotypes, restoring xyloglucan content and composition to wild-type levels. These data provide evidence that XXT5 is a xyloglucan alpha-1,6-xylosyltransferase, and functions in the biosynthesis of xyloglucan.

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    ABSTRACT: Putative XyG xylosyltransferases from Tropaeolum majus (nasturtium) and Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) homologous to characterized Arabidopsis genes were identified and shown to functionally complement Arabidopsis mutants lacking xyloglucan demonstrating they represent xyloglucan xylosyltransferases. Xyloglucan is a major hemicellulose in the plant cell wall and is important for the structural organization of the wall. The fine structure of xyloglucan can vary dependent on plant species and tissue type. Most vascular seed-bearing plants including Arabidopsis thaliana and nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) have a xyloglucan structure, in which three out of four backbone glucosyl-residues are substituted with xylosyl-residues. In contrast, the xyloglucan found in plants of the Solanaceae family, which includes tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), is typically less xylosylated with only two of the four backbone glucosyl-residues substituted with xylosyl-residues. To investigate the genetics of xyloglucan xylosylation, candidate xyloglucan xylosyltransferase genes (XXTs) homologous to known A. thaliana XXTs were cloned from nasturtium and tomato. These candidate XXTs were expressed in the A. thaliana xxt1/2 double and xxt1/2/5 triple mutant, whose walls lack detectable xyloglucan. Expression of the orthologs of XXT5 resulted in no detectable xyloglucan in the transgenic A. thaliana plants, consistent with a lack of xyloglucan in the A. thaliana xxt1/2 double mutant. However, transformation of both the tomato and nasturtium orthologs of AtXXT1 and AtXXT2 resulted in the production of xyloglucan with a xylosylation pattern similar to wild type A. thaliana indicating that both SlXXT2 and TmXXT2 likely have xylosyltransferase activity. As the expression of the SlXXT2 did not result in xyloglucan with a decreased xylosylation frequency found in tomato, this gene is not responsible for the unique xylosylation pattern found in the solanaceous plants.
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    ABSTRACT: The discovery of xyloglucan and its ability to bind tightly to cellulose has dominated our thinking about primary cell wall structure and its connection to the mechanism of cell enlargement for 40 years. Gene discovery has advanced our understanding of the synthesis of xyloglucan in the past decade and at the same time new and unexpected results indicate that xyloglucan's role in wall structure and wall extensibility is subtler than commonly believed. Genetic deletion of xyloglucan synthesis does not greatly disable cell wall functions. NMR studies indicate that pectins, rather than xyloglucans, make the majority of contacts with cellulose surfaces. Xyloglucan binding may be selective for specific (hydrophobic) surfaces on the cellulose microfibril, whose structure is more complex than is commonly portrayed in cell wall cartoons. Biomechanical assessments of endoglucanase actions challenge the concept of xyloglucan tethering. The mechanically important xyloglucan is restricted to a minor component that appears to be closely intertwined with cellulose at limited sites ('biomechanical hotspots') of direct microfibril contact; these may be the selective sites of cell wall loosening by expansins. These discoveries indicate that wall extensibility is less a matter of bulk viscoelasticity of the matrix polymers and more a matter of selective control of slippage and separation of microfibrils at specific and limited sites in the wall.
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