Expansins were discovered two decades ago as cell wall proteins that mediate acid-induced growth by catalyzing loosening of plant cell walls without lysis of wall polymers. In the interim our understanding of expansins has gotten more complex through bioinformatic analysis of expansin distribution and evolution, as well as through expression analysis, dissection of the upstream transcription factors regulating expression, and identification of additional classes of expansin by sequence and structural similarities. Molecular analyses of expansins from bacteria have identified residues essential for wall loosening activity and clarified the bifunctional nature of expansin binding to complex cell walls. Transgenic modulation of expansin expression modifies growth and stress physiology of plants, but not always in predictable or even understandable ways.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science