Distribution of transglutaminase in pear pollen tubes in relation to cytoskeleton and membrane dynamics.
Transglutaminases (TGases) are ubiquitous enzymes that take part in a variety of cellular functions. In the pollen tube, cytoplasmic TGases are likely to be involved in the incorporation of primary amines at selected peptide-bound glutamine residues of cytosolic proteins (including actin and tubulin), while cell wall-associated TGases are believed to regulate pollen tube growth. Using immunological probes, we identified TGases associated with different subcellular compartments (cytosol, membranes, and cell walls). Binding of cytosolic TGase to actin filaments was shown to be Ca2+-dependent. The membrane TGase is likely associated with both Golgi-derived structures and the plasma membrane, suggesting a Golgi-based exocytotic delivery of TGase. Association of TGase with the plasma membrane was also confirmed by immunogold transmission electron microscopy. Immunolocalization of TGase indicated that the enzyme was present in the growing region of pollen tubes, and that the enzyme co-localizes with cell wall markers. Bidimensional electrophoresis indicated that different TGase isoforms were present in distinct subcellular compartments, suggesting either different roles or different regulatory mechanisms of enzyme activity. The application of specific inhibitors showed that the distribution of TGase in different subcellular compartments was regulated by both membrane dynamics and cytoskeleton integrity, suggesting that delivery of TGase to the cell wall requires the transport of membranes along cytoskeleton filaments. Taken together, these data indicate that a cytoplasmic TGase interacts with the cytoskeleton, while a different TGase isoform, probably delivered via a membrane/cytoskeleton-based transport system, is secreted in the cell wall of pear pollen tubes where it might play a role in the regulation of apical growth.