J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2012, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (11): 840-850.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01176.x

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The Endoplasmic Reticulum: A Social Network in Plant Cells

Jun Chen1, Caitlin Doyle2, Xingyun Qi2 and Huanquan Zheng2*   

  1. 1State Key laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Research Institute of Forestry, The Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
    2Department of Biology, McGill University, 1205 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1B1, Canada
  • Received:2012-08-10 Accepted:2012-10-01 Published:2012-11-01
  • About author:*Corresponding author Tel: +1 514 398 1328; Fax +1 514 398 5069; E-mail: hugo.zheng@mcgill.ca


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an interconnected network comprised of ribosome-studded sheets and smooth tubules. The ER plays crucial roles in the biosynthesis and transport of proteins and lipids, and in calcium (Ca2+) regulation in compartmentalized eukaryotic cells including plant cells. To support its well-segregated functions, the shape of the ER undergoes notable changes in response to both developmental cues and outside influences. In this review, we will discuss recent findings on molecular mechanisms underlying the unique morphology and dynamics of the ER, and the importance of the interconnected ER network in cell polarity. In animal and yeast cells, two family proteins, the reticulons and DP1/Yop1, are required for shaping high-curvature ER tubules, while members of the atlastin family of dynamin-like GTPases are involved in the fusion of ER tubules to make an interconnected ER network. In plant cells, recent data also indicate that the reticulons are involved in shaping ER tubules, while RHD3, a plant member of the atlastin GTPases, is required for the generation of an interconnected ER network. We will also summarize the current knowledge on how the ER interacts with other membrane-bound organelles, with a focus on how the ER and Golgi interplay in plant cells.

Chen J, Doyle C, Qi X, Zheng H (2012) The endoplasmic reticulum: A social network in plant cells. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(11), 840–850.

Key words: ER, Golgi, reticulons, Yop1, RHD3

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