Arabinogalactan glycosyltransferases target to a unique subcellular compartment that may function in unconventional secretion in plants

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We report that fluorescently tagged arabinogalactan glycosyltransferases target not only the Golgi apparatus but also uncharacterized smaller compartments when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Approximately 80% of AtGALT31A [Arabidopsis thaliana galactosyltransferase from family 31 (At1g32930)] was found in the small compartments, of which, 45 and 40% of AtGALT29A [Arabidopsis thaliana galactosyltransferase from family 29 (At1g08280)] and AtGlcAT14A [Arabidopsis thaliana glucuronosyltransferase from family 14 (At5g39990)] colocalized with AtGALT31A, respectively; in contrast, N-glycosylation enzymes rarely colocalized (3-18%), implicating a role of the small compartments in a part of arabinogalactan (O-glycan) biosynthesis rather than N-glycan processing. The dual localization of AtGALT31A was also observed for fluorescently tagged AtGALT31A stably expressed in an Arabidopsis atgalt31a mutant background. Further, site-directed mutagenesis of a phosphorylation site of AtGALT29A (Y144) increased the frequency of the protein being targeted to the AtGALT31A-localized small compartments, suggesting a role of Y144 in subcellular targeting. The AtGALT31A localized to the small compartments were colocalized with neither SYP61 (syntaxin of plants 61), a marker for trans-Golgi network (TGN), nor FM4-64-stained endosomes. However, 41% colocalized with EXO70E2 (Arabidopsis thaliana exocyst protein Exo70 homolog 2), a marker for exocyst-positive organelles, and least affected by Brefeldin A and Wortmannin. Taken together, AtGALT31A localized to small compartments that are distinct from the Golgi apparatus, the SYP61-localized TGN, FM4-64-stained endosomes and Wortmannin-vacuolated prevacuolar compartments, but may be part of an unconventional protein secretory pathway represented by EXO70E2 in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1219-1234
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

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