, Volume 230, Issue 3–4, pp 217–230 | Cite as

Domain-specific mechanosensory transmission of osmotic and enzymatic cell wall disturbances to the actin cytoskeleton

  • Przemysław WojtaszekEmail author
  • František Baluška
  • Anna Kasprowicz
  • Magdalena Łuczak
  • Dieter Volkmann


Plant protoplasts are embedded within surrounding cell walls and the cell wall–plasma membrane–cytoskeleton (WMC) structural continuum seems to be crucial for the proper functioning of plant cells. We have utilised the protoplast preparation methodology to study the organisation and the putative components of the WMC continuum. Application of an osmotic agent evoked plasmolysis of the Zea mays root apex cells which appeared to be cell type- and growth stage-specific. Simultaneous use of wall polysaccharide-digesting enzymes selectively severed linkages between the components of the WMC continuum which changed the plasmolytic patterns in various cell types. This was followed by a reorganisation of filamentous actin aimed to reinforce protoplast boundaries and maintain the functioning of intercellular contact sites, especially at the cross walls. Particularly strong effects were evoked by pectin-degrading enzymes. Such treatments demonstrated directly the differentiated composition of various wall domains surrounding individual cells with the pectin-enriched cross walls (synapses), and the cellulose-hemicellulose network dominating the side walls. The same wall-degrading enzymes were used for in vitro digestion of isolated Lupinus albus cell walls followed by the extraction of wall proteins. Selective release of proteins suggested the importance of wall polysaccharide–protein interactions in the maintenance of the functioning and mechanical stability of root cell walls.

Keywords: Actin; Cell wall–cytoskeleton interaction; Enzymatic digestion; Mechanosensing; Plasmolysis; Lupinus albus; Zea mays



extracellular matrix


wall-associated kinase


cell wall–plasma membrane–cytoskeleton continuum


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Przemysław Wojtaszek
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • František Baluška
    • 1
    • 4
  • Anna Kasprowicz
    • 2
  • Magdalena Łuczak
    • 2
    • 3
  • Dieter Volkmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Cellular and Molecular BotanyRheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität BonnBonn
  2. 2.Department of Molecular and Cellular BiologyAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznań
  3. 3.Institute of Bioorganic ChemistryPolish Academy of SciencesPoznań
  4. 4.Institute of BotanySlovak Academy of SciencesBratislava

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