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© Research
Publication : Frontiers in plant science

Exploring the role of lipids in intercellular conduits: breakthroughs in the pipeline

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Frontiers in plant science - 10 Dec 2013

Delage E, Zurzolo C

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 24368909

Front Plant Sci 2013;4:504

It has been known for more than a century that most of the plant cells are connected to their neighbors through membranous pores perforating the cell wall, namely plasmodesmata (PDs). The recent discovery of tunneling nanotubes (TNTs), thin membrane bridges established between distant mammalian cells, suggests that intercellular communication mediated through cytoplasmic continuity could be a conserved feature of eukaryotic organisms. Although TNTs differ from PDs in their formation and architecture, both are characterized by a continuity of the plasma membrane between two cells, delimiting a nanotubular channel supported by actin-based cytoskeleton. Due to this unusual membrane organization, lipids are likely to play critical roles in the formation and stability of intercellular conduits like TNTs and PDs, but also in regulating the transfer through these structures. While it is crucial for a better understanding of those fascinating communication highways, the study of TNT lipid composition and dynamics turned out to be extremely challenging. The present review aims to give an overview of the recent findings in this context. We will also discuss some of the promising imaging approaches, which might be the key for future breakthroughs in the field and could also benefit the research on PDs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24368909