Arabinogalactan glycosyltransferases target to a unique subcellular compartment that may function in unconventional secretion in plants

Christian Peter Poulsen, Adiphol Dilokpimol, Grégory Mouille, Meike Burow, Naomi Geshi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We report that fluorescently tagged arabinogalactan glycosyltransferases target not only the Golgi apparatus but also uncharacterized smaller compartments when transiently expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Approximately 80% of AtGALT31A [Arabidopsis thaliana galactosyltransferase from family 31 (At1g32930)] was found in the small compartments, of which, 45 and 40% of AtGALT29A [Arabidopsis thaliana galactosyltransferase from family 29 (At1g08280)] and AtGlcAT14A [Arabidopsis thaliana glucuronosyltransferase from family 14 (At5g39990)] colocalized with AtGALT31A, respectively; in contrast, N-glycosylation enzymes rarely colocalized (3-18%), implicating a role of the small compartments in a part of arabinogalactan (O-glycan) biosynthesis rather than N-glycan processing. The dual localization of AtGALT31A was also observed for fluorescently tagged AtGALT31A stably expressed in an Arabidopsis atgalt31a mutant background. Further, site-directed mutagenesis of a phosphorylation site of AtGALT29A (Y144) increased the frequency of the protein being targeted to the AtGALT31A-localized small compartments, suggesting a role of Y144 in subcellular targeting. The AtGALT31A localized to the small compartments were colocalized with neither SYP61 (syntaxin of plants 61), a marker for trans-Golgi network (TGN), nor FM4-64-stained endosomes. However, 41% colocalized with EXO70E2 (Arabidopsis thaliana exocyst protein Exo70 homolog 2), a marker for exocyst-positive organelles, and least affected by Brefeldin A and Wortmannin. Taken together, AtGALT31A localized to small compartments that are distinct from the Golgi apparatus, the SYP61-localized TGN, FM4-64-stained endosomes and Wortmannin-vacuolated prevacuolar compartments, but may be part of an unconventional protein secretory pathway represented by EXO70E2 in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-34
Number of pages16
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • arabinogalactan proteins
  • glyco-syltransferase
  • Golgi apparatus
  • plant cell walls
  • proteinO-glycosylation
  • proteoglycan biosynthesis
  • ubcellular localization
  • type II arabinogalactan
  • unconventional secretory pathway


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