Localization and control of expression of Nt-Syr1, a tobacco SNARE protein

Plant J. 2000 Nov;24(3):369-81. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2000.00886.x.


Syntaxins and other SNARE proteins are crucial for intracellular vesicle trafficking, fusion and secretion. Previously, we isolated the syntaxin-related protein Nt-Syr1 from Nicotiana in a screen for ABA-related signalling elements, and demonstrated its role in determining the ABA sensitivity of stomatal guard cells. Because the location and expression of SNAREs are often important clues to their functioning, we have examined the distribution and stimulus-dependent expression of Nt-Syr1 between tissues, as well as its location within the cell, using antisera raised against purified recombinant peptides corresponding to overlapping cytosolic domains of Nt-Syr1. The Nt-Syr1 epitope was strongly represented in roots and to lesser extents in stems, leaves and flowers of well-watered plants. Biochemical analysis and examination of immunogold labelling under the electron microscope indicated Nt-Syr1 to be located primarily at the plasma membrane. Expression of the protein in leaves and to a lesser extent in flowers and stems was transiently enhanced by ABA, but not by auxin, kinetin or gibberellic acid. Expression in leaves was promoted by salt stress and wounding, but not by cold. By contrast, Nt-Syr1 levels in the root were unaffected by ABA. In the leaves, enhanced expression of Nt-Syr1 by salt stress was not observed in aba1 mutant Nicotiana, which is deficient in ABA synthesis, and in plants carrying the Arabidopsis abi1 transgene that suppresses a number of ABA-evoked responses in these plants. However, an enhanced expression in response to wounding was observed, even in the mutant backgrounds. We conclude that Nt-Syr1 expression at the plasma membrane is important for its function and is subject to control by parallel, stress-related signalling pathways, both dependent on and independent of ABA. Nt-Syr1 may be associated with additional functions, especially in the roots, that are unrelated to ABA or stress responses in the plant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tobacco / drug effects
  • Tobacco / genetics
  • Tobacco / metabolism*
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins*


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Plant
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • Abscisic Acid