The actin cytoskeleton is a target of the self-incompatibility response in Papaver rhoeas

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The integration of signals received by a cell, and their transduction to targets, is essential for all cellular responses. The cytoskeleton has been identified as a major target of signalling cascades in both animal and plant cells. Self-incompatibility (SI) in Papaver rhoeas involves an allele-specific recognition between stigmatic S-proteins and pollen, resulting in the inhibition of incompatible pollen. This highly specific response triggers a Ca(2+)-dependent signalling cascade in incompatible pollen when a stigmatic S-protein interacts with it. It has been demonstrated recently that SI induces dramatic alterations in the organization of the pollen actin cytoskeleton. This implicates the actin cytoskeleton as a key target for the SI-stimulated signals. The cytological alterations to the actin cytoskeleton that are triggered in response to SI are described here and there seem to be several stages that are distinguishable temporally. Evidence was obtained that F-actin depolymerization is also stimulated. The current understanding that the actin cytoskeleton is a target for the signals triggered by the SI response is discussed. It is suggested that these F-actin alterations may be Ca(2+)-mediated and that this could be a mechanism whereby SI-induced tip growth inhibition is achieved. The potential for actin-binding proteins to act as key mediators of this response is discussed and the mechanisms that may be responsible for effecting these changes are described. In particular, the parallels between sustained actin rearrangements during SI and in apoptosis of animal cells are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


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