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+++ News Ticker Science #150 +++ Cell biology +++

Plant cell division processes reviewed.

IPB scientists Katharina Bürstenbinder and Pradeep Dahiya have recently published a review article on specific processes in plant cell division. In contrast to algae and animal cells, which divide by constriction of the mother cell, completely different processes are required in plant cells. Since plant cells are part of a network stiffened by cell walls, new cell walls have to be formed in the middle of the mother cell for division to occur. Before this happens, however, complex processes take place inside the cell. These include the establishment of the preprophase band. This structure, which is temporarily visible microscopically before cell division, surrounds the cell like a band at the exact location where the cell will later divide. That way, the cell division plane is set. New cell walls will arise in this plane and later link up with the existing cell walls at the site of the preprophase band.

The authors focus on the process of preprophase formation and describe the state of knowledge on various factors involved. Among these factors are IQD proteins, to the characterization of which the IPB researchers have contributed significantly. Because these proteins interact with several other proteins and also have a disordered three-dimensional structure, they are thought to be scaffold proteins. In this function, they connect different proteins, those that act as signals and others that act as structures. If plants lack the IQD scaffold proteins, no preprophase band is formed during cell division and the division plane is incorrectly established.

The scientists are convinced that ever-improving methods for elucidating protein-protein interactions and structures will help to understand these complex processes even better in the future. The interest in these molecular details during cell division is based on the fact that growth and development processes, such as the formation of specific cell shapes in tissues and thus ultimately the shape of the tissues, rely on them.

Original publication:
Dahiya P, Bürstenbinder K. 2023 The making of a ring: Assembly and regulation of microtubule-associated proteins during preprophase band formation and division plane set-up. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 73, 102366. (doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2023.102366)

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