Small tunnels through cell membranes help cells recognize and respond to mechanical forces such as pressure and contact.Journal new research Chemistry Was the first company to directly investigate what one type of these mechanically sensitive ion channels does and how it does in bryophyte moss and pollen tube tip-growth cells. It is one.
Instead, they have a PIEZO channel Plant cells, Unexpected discovery. PIEZO channels are found deeper inside the cell, in the membrane of the vacuole. It is a large organelle that helps maintain cell turgor pressure and play many other roles in plant cells.
“PIEZO channel plant It plays a dramatic and important role in regulating the shape of the vacuole and the amount of membrane, “said Haswell, a professor of biology in the arts and sciences and a scholar at the Simons Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
“This is the first example of a PIEZO channel involved in the regulation of organelle morphology,” she said. “The data we present could lead to new research lines for both plant and animal PIEZO homologs.”
As the name implies, mechanically sensitive ion channels are pathways or tunnels through cell membranes that respond to mechanical forces. Under certain forces, the channels open, allowing the flow of ions across the membrane.
For humans, PIEZO channels are an integral part of life. Without them, cell development ceases. They have been recognized for their role in perceiving light touch, shear and compressive forces. PIEZO channel dysfunction is associated with multiple human illnesses.
The PIEZO channel was first identified in the plant genome in 2010. After 10 years of research on animal homologs, this new study spotlights plant cells and investigates how they differ. Animal cells.. Other research teams have recently shown that PIEZO channels are involved in the mechanical sensing of plant roots.
Researchers made their first discovery using tip-growth cells from a slightly atypical model plant and spread Physcomitrium patens.
However, scientists have been able to extend their findings beyond moss to cells from other distantly related plants, including the pollen tube of the classic model Arabidopsis thaliana.
“Bryophytes are one of the groups that make up the moss plant, the second largest land plant line,” said Ivan Radin, a research scientist at the Haswell Institute and the first author of a new paper.
“If we can show that the same thing happens with both moss and flowering plants, as we did here, the most likely conclusion is that the process is an ancestor, at least the same as land plants. It’s about old, “said Ladin. The land plant was colonized on Earth about 500 million years ago.
Under the guidance of co-author Magdalena Bezanilla, a professor of biological sciences at Dartmouth College, Radin has become a de facto moss expert at the Haswell Institute. Bezanilla had previously collaborated with the University of Washington’s Honorary Dean of Ralph Quatrano and an early adopter of moss, Professor Emeritus Spencer T. Olin of Biology.
“The more time we go, the more we love it,” Ladin said. “Moss proved to be a very good model.”
As the next step in this study, Haswell laboratory scientists are currently conducting additional experiments to show how external and internal forces directly affect the PIEZO channels of moss cells.
“Plant PIEZO channels are likely to be controlled by plant membrane tension, just like animals,” Haswell said. Scientists are also investigating the evolution of these channels in algae.
Now that we know where the PIEZO channels are inside the cell, Haswell and her team are ready to find out what these proteins are doing in the vacuole.
“We are investigating how activation of PIEZO channels results in membrane refinement and how it is regulated,” Haswell said. “We want to know how localization evolves and what it does with other cell types. We have structure and function in animal channels, and organisms throughout the green lineage. I plan to compare and contrast with. ”
The piezo homologues of the plant regulate the morphology of vacuoles during tip growth. Chemistry (2021). DOI: 10.1126 / science.abe6310
Washington University in St. Louis
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In plant cells, a conserved mechanism for perceiving mechanical forces exists in unexpected places.
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