Class III pistil-specific extensin-like proteins (PELPIII) are chimeric hydroxyproline-rich glycoproteins with properties of both extensins and arabinogalactan proteins. The abundance and specific localization of PELPIII in the intercellular matrix (IM) of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) stylar transmitting tissue, and translocation of PELPIII from the IM into the pollen tube wall after pollination, presume the biological function of these glycoproteins to be related to plant reproduction. Here we show that in in vitro assays the translocation of PELPIII is specifically directed to the callose inner wall of the pollen tubes, indicating that protein transfer is not dependent on the physiological conditions of the transmitting tract. We designed a set of experiments to elucidate the biological function of PELPIII in the stylar IM. To study the function of the specific interaction between PELPIII proteins and the pollen tube wall, one of the PELPIII proteins (MG15) was ectopically expressed in pollen tubes and targeted to the tube wall. We also generated transgenic tobacco plants in which PELPIII proteins were silenced. In vitro bioassays were performed to test the influence of purified PELPIII on pollen tube growth, as compared to tobacco transmitting tissue-specific proteins (TTS) that were previously shown to stimulate pollen tube growth. The various tests described for activity of PELPIII proteins all gave consistent and mutually affirmative results: the biological function of PELPIII proteins is not directly related to pollen tube growth. These data show that similar stylar glycoproteins may act very differently on pollen tubes.