In Vitro Versus in VivoCellulose Microfibrils from Plant Primary Wall Synthases: Structural Differences

Joséphine Lai-Kee-Him, Henri Chanzy, Martin Müller, Jean Luc Putaux, Tomoya Imai, Vincent Bulone

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131 Citations (Scopus)
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Detergent extracts of microsomal fractions from suspension cultured cells of Rubus fruticosus (blackberry) were tested for their ability to synthesize in vitro sizable quantities of cellulose from UDP-glucose. Both Brij 58 and taurocholate were effective and yielded a substantial percentage of cellulose microfibrils together with (1→3)-β-D-glucan (callose). The taurocholate extracts, which did not require the addition of Mg2+, were the most efficient, yielding roughly 20% of cellulose. This cellulose was characterized after callose removal by methylation analysis, electron microscopy, and electron and x-ray synchrotron diffractions; its resistance toward the acid Updegraff reagent was also evaluated. The cellulose microfibrils synthesized in vitro had the same diameter as the endogenous microfibrils isolated from primary cell walls. Both polymers diffracted as cellulose IV1, a disorganized form of cellulose I. Besides these similarities, the in vitro microfibrils had a higher perfection and crystallinity as well as a better resistance toward the Updegraff reagent. These differences can be attributed to the mode of synthesis of the in vitro microfibrils that are able to grow independently in a neighbor-free environment, as opposed to the cellulose in the parent cell walls where new microfibrils have to interweave with the already laid polymers, with the result of a number of structural defects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36931-36939
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes


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