Cooperative disassembly of the cellulose-xyloglucan network of plant cell walls: parallels between cell expansion and fruit ripening

Trends Plant Sci. 1999 May;4(5):176-183. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(99)01405-3.


Modification of the plant primary cell wall is required for both cell expansion and for developmental events, such as fruit softening, where cell size remains static but where wall loosening is an important feature. Recent studies suggest that the cellulose-xyloglucan network is targeted by similar enzymatic activities in both expanding cells and ripening fruit but that unique isoforms are expressed in each process. Disassembly of this structural network probably involves the concerted and synergistic action of suites of these enzyme families, where one family of cell wall modifying proteins might mediate the activity of another, providing the basis for orchestrating ordered cell wall restructuring and turnover.