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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

CAGEs are Golgi-localized GT31 enzymes involved in cellulose biosynthesis in Arabidopsis

Nibbering, Pieter; Castilleux, Romain; Wingsle, Gunnar; Niittyla, Totte


Cellulose is the main structural component in the plant cell walls. We show that two glycosyltransferase family 31 (GT31) enzymes of Arabidopsis thaliana, here named cellulose synthesis associated glycosyltransferases 1 and 2 (CAGE1 and 2), influence both primary and secondary cell wall cellulose biosynthesis. cage1cage2 mutants show primary cell wall defects manifesting as impaired growth and cell expansion in seedlings and etiolated hypocotyls, along with secondary cell wall defects, apparent as collapsed xylem vessels and reduced xylem wall thickness in the inflorescence stem. Single and double cage mutants also show increased sensitivity to the cellulose biosynthesis inhibitor isoxaben. The cage1cage2 phenotypes were associated with an approximately 30% reduction in cellulose content, an approximately 50% reduction in secondary cell wall CELLULOSE SYNTHASE (CESA) protein levels in stems and reduced cellulose biosynthesis rate in seedlings. CESA transcript levels were not significantly altered in cage1cage2 mutants, suggesting that the reduction in CESA levels was caused by a post-transcriptional mechanism. Both CAGE1 and 2 localize to the Golgi apparatus and are predicted to synthesize beta-1,3-galactans on arabinogalactan proteins. In line with this, the cage1cage2 mutants exhibit reduced levels of beta-Yariv binding to arabinogalactan protein linked beta-1,3-galactan. This leads us to hypothesize that defects in arabinogalactan biosynthesis underlie the cellulose deficiency of the mutants.


Arabidopsis; cell wall; cellulose; arabinogalactan protein; Golgi; glycosyltransferase family 31

Published in

Plant Journal
2022, Volume: 110, number: 5, pages: 1271-1285
Publisher: WILEY