Functional analysis of a reticulon protein from Arabidopsis thaliana
Tolley, Nicholas Joseph (2010) Functional analysis of a reticulon protein from Arabidopsis thaliana. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2339944~S15
While our knowledge of the functional properties of eukaryotic cellular organelles is
quite comprehensive, the mechanisms by which organelles achieve their varied
shapes remain poorly understood. By categorising the components which contribute
to the architecture of the cell, relationships between structure and function can be
Many mechanisms have been proposed which try to account for the shape and
structure of complex organelles such as mitochondria and, more recently, the
endoplasmic reticulum (ER); an organelle which comprises multiple domains, both
structurally and functionally.
Recently, a class of membrane proteins – the reticulons – have received renewed
attention as they are thought to shape the tubular ER through their wedge-like
insertion into the lipid bilayer and the formation of scaffolds through homo- and
hetero-oligomerisation. Reticulons and reticulon-like proteins have been implicated
in many cellular processes and have key roles in many disease states – for which they
have received much attention.
As much of the research on reticulons has focused on mammals and yeast, the
functions of reticulons in plants are poorly characterised. The model organism,
Arabidopsis thaliana, contains 21 reticulon genes, expressed throughout all tissues
and developmental stages of the plant.
This thesis focuses on the ER-shaping properties of a seed-specific reticulon -
RTNLB13. Its expression and unique topology were found to contribute to the
formation of ER tubules in plants by inducing curvature in the ER membrane.
RTNLB13 is restricted to tubular ER and its over-expression induces constrictions
within the ER membrane which affects both soluble and membrane protein diffusion.
RTNLB13 sits in a ‘w’ conformation in the membrane with its N- and C-termini
facing the cytosol. The length and orientation of its transmembrane domains play an
important role in protein localisation and inducing membrane curvature. In its native
organism, Arabidopsis thaliana, RTNLB13 is expressed during the late stages of
embryonic maturation, although a rtn13 knockout yielded no observable phenotype.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||Q Science > QK Botany|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Arabidopsis thaliana, Cells -- Morphology, Endoplasmic reticulum, Plant proteins|
|Official Date:||March 2010|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Biological Sciences|
|Extent:||xx, 188 leaves : ill., charts|
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