Structure and function of endosomes in plant cells
Endosomes are a heterogeneous collection of organelles that function in the sorting and delivery of internalized material from the cell surface and the transport of materials from the Golgi to the lysosome or vacuole. Plant endosomes have some unique features, with an organization distinct from that of yeast or animal cells. Two clearly defined endosomal compartments have been studied in plant cells, the trans-Golgi network (equivalent to the early endosome) and the multivesicular body (equivalent to the late endosome), with additional endosome types (recycling endosome, late prevacuolar compartment) also a possibility. A model has been proposed in which the trans-Golgi network matures into a multivesicular body, which then fuses with the vacuole to release its cargo. In addition to basic trafficking functions, endosomes in plant cells are known to function in maintenance of cell polarity by polar localization of hormone transporters and in signaling pathways after internalization of ligand-bound receptors. These signaling functions are exemplified by the BRI1 brassinosteroid hormone receptor and by receptors for pathogen elicitors that activate defense responses. After endocytosis of these receptors from the plasma membrane, endosomes act as a signaling platform, thus playing an essential role in plant growth, development and defense responses. Here we describe the key features of plant endosomes and their differences from those of other organisms and discuss the role of these organelles in cell polarity and signaling pathways.
This article is from Journal of Cell Science 125 (2012): 3511, doi: 10.1242/jcs.093559. Posted with permission.