Pectin methylesterases: cell wall enzymes with important roles in plant physiology

Trends Plant Sci. 2001 Sep;6(9):414-9. doi: 10.1016/s1360-1385(01)02045-3.


Pectin methylesterases catalyse the demethylesterification of cell wall polygalacturonans. In dicot plants, these ubiquitous cell wall enzymes are involved in important developmental processes including cellular adhesion and stem elongation. Here, I highlight recent studies that challenge the accepted views of the mechanism and function of pectin methylesterases, including the co-secretion of pectins and pectin methylesterases into the apoplasm, new action patterns of mature pectin methylesterases and a possible function of the pro regions of pectin methylesterases as intramolecular chaperones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Calcium / pharmacology
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / chemistry
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / physiology*
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / enzymology
  • Golgi Apparatus / chemistry
  • Golgi Apparatus / enzymology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology
  • Multigene Family
  • Pectins / chemistry
  • Pectins / metabolism*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Pectins
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • pectinesterase
  • Calcium