KDEL-containing auxin-binding protein is secreted to the plasma membrane and cell wall

Alan M. Jones, Eliot M. Herman

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144 Scopus citations


The auxin-binding protein ABP1 has been postulated to mediate auxin-induced cellular changes associated with cell expansion. This protein contains the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention signal, the tetrapeptide lysine-aspartic acid-glutamic acid-leucine (KDEL), at its carboxy terminus, consistent with previous subcellular fractionation data that indicated an ER location for ABP1. We used electron microscopic immunocytochemistry to identify the subcellular localization of ABP1. Using maize (Zea mays) coleoptile tissue and a black Mexican sweet (BMS) maize cell line, we found that ABP1 is located in the ER as expected, but is also on or closely associated with the plasma membrane and within the cell wall. Labeling of the Golgi apparatus suggests that the transport of ABP1 to the cell wall occurs via the secretory system. Inhibition of secretion of an ABP homolog into the medium of BMS cell cultures by brefeldin A, a drug that specifically blocks secretion, is consistent with this secretion pathway. The secreted protein was recognized by an anti-KDEL peptide antibody, strongly supporting the interpretation that movement of this protein out of the ER does not involve loss of the carboxy-terminal signal. Cells starved for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid for 72 h retained less ABP in the cell and secreted more of it into the medium. The significance of our observations is 2-fold. We have identified a KDEL-containing protein that specifically escapes the ER retention system, and we provide an explanation for the apparent discrepancy that most of the ABP is located in the ER, whereas ABP and auxin act at the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-606
Number of pages12
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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