The relationship between xyloglucan endotransglycosylase and in-vitro cell wall extension in cucumber hypocotyls

Simon J. McQueen-Mason, Stephen C. Fry, Daniel M. Durachko, Daniel J. Cosgrove

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156 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that cell wall loosening during plant cell growth may be mediated by the endotransglycosylation of load-bearing polymers, specifically of xyloglucans, within the cell wall. A xyloglucan endotransglycosylase (XET) with such activity has recently been identified in several plant species. Two cell wall proteins capable of inducing the extension of plant cell walls have also recently been identified in cucumber hypocotyls. In this report we examine three questions: (1) Does XET induce the extension of isolated cell walls? (2) Do the extension-inducing proteins possess XET activity? (3) Is the activity of the extension-inducing proteins modulated by a xyloglucan nonasaccharide (Glc4-Xyl3-Gal2)? We found that the soluble proteins from growing cucumber (cucumis sativum L.) hypocotyls contained high XET activity but did not induce wall extension. Highly purified wall-protein fractions from the same tissue had high extension-inducing activity but little or no XET activity. The XET activity was higher at pH 5.5 than at pH 4.5, while extension activity showed the opposite sensitivity to pH. Reconstituted wall extension was unaffected by the presence of a xyloglucan nonasaccharide (Glc4-Xyl3-Gal2), an oligosaccharide previously shown to accelerate growth in pea stems and hypothesized to facilitate growth through an effect on XET-induced cell wall loosening. We conclude that XET activity alone is neither sufficient nor necessary for extension of isolated walls from cucumber hypocotyls.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-331
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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