, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 89-95

Transglutaminase-catalyzed modification of cytoskeletal proteins by polyamines during the germination of Malus domestica pollen

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 We investigated polyamine linkage to different structural proteins in pollen of Malus domestica Borkh. cv Red Chief at different phases of germination. This linkage has the characteristics of covalent linkages, indeed, it could be catalyzed by transglutaminase (TGase; EC This assumption is supported by: (1) formation of a labelled TCA pellet and selective labelling of endogenous proteins by covalent binding of radioactive polyamines and (2) cross-reactivity of two different polyclonal antibodies against mammalian TGases; western blot analysis allowed us to detect a protein of about 80 kDa in both rehydrated ungerminated and germinated pollen. TGase activity was high at 90 min after germination and was influenced by Ca2+ supply only in the rehydrated ungerminated pollen. Extraction by Triton X-100 suggests that pollen TGase was at least partially membrane-bound. The enzyme catalyzed the incorporation of polyamines mainly into proteins having a molecular mass of 43 kDa and 52–58 kDa in both ungerminated and germinated pollen. These bands matched immunolabelled spots identified by mouse monoclonal anti-actin and anti-α-tubulin antibodies. Supplying exogenous actin and tubulin in a cell-free extract of rehydrated ungerminated and germinated pollen enhanced the activity. Autoradiography of the SDS-PAGE of these samples clearly showed that both actin and tubulin were substrates of TGase. Thus, the pollen TGase may be involved in the rapid cytoskeletal rearrangement which takes place during rehydration of ungerminated pollen and organization and growth of pollen tubes.

Received: 9 August 1996 / Revision accepted: 26 October 1996