Schobert, C; Baker, L; Szederkenyi, J; Grossmann, P; Komor, E; Hayashi, H; Chino, M; Lucas, WJ: Identification of immunologically related proteins in sieve-tube exudate collected from monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants, Planta, 206, 245-252 (1998)
The mature, functional sieve-tube system in higher plants is dependent upon protein import from the companion cells to maintain a functional long-distance transport system. Soluble proteins present within the sieve-tube lumen were investigated by analysis of sieve-tube exudates which revealed the presence of distinct sets of polypeptides in seven monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plant species. Antibodies directed against sieve-tube exudate proteins from Ricinus communis L. demonstrated the presence of shared antigens in the phloem sap collected from Triticum aestivum L., Oryza sativa L., Yucca filamentosa L., Cucurbita maxima Duch., Robinia pseudoacacia L. and Tilia platyphyllos L. Specific antibodies were employed to identify major polypeptides. Molecular chaperones related to Rubisco-subunit-binding protein and cyclophilin, as well as ubiquitin and the redox proteins, thioredoxin h and glutaredoxin, were detected in the sieve-tube exudate of all species examined. Actin and profilin, a modulator of actin polymerization, were also present in all analyzed phloem exudates. However, some proteins were highly species-specific, e.g. cystatin, a protease-inhibitor was present in R. communis but was not detected in exudates from other species, and orthologs of the well-known squash phloem lectin, phloem protein 2, were only identified in the sieve-tube exudate of R. communis and R. pseudoacacia. These findings are discussed in terms of the likely roles played by phloem proteins in the maintenance and function of the enucleate sieve-tube system of higher plants.

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