The complex structures of arabinogalactan-proteins and the journey towards understanding function

Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Sep;47(1-2):161-76.


Arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) are a family of complex proteoglycans found in all higher plants. Although the precise function(s) of any single AGP is unknown, they are implicated in diverse developmental roles such as differentiation, cell-cell recognition, embryogenesis and programmed cell death. DNA sequencing projects have made possible the identification of the genes encoding a large number of putative AGP protein backbones. In contrast, our understanding of how AGPs undergo extensive post-translational modification is poor and it is important to understand these processes since they are likely to be critical for AGP function. Genes believed to be responsible for post-translational modification of an AGP protein backbone, include prolyl hydroxylases, glycosyl transferases, proteases and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchor synthesising enzymes. Here we examine models for proteoglycan function in animals and yeast to highlight possible strategies for determining the function(s) of individual AGPs in plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mucoproteins / genetics*
  • Mucoproteins / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Glycosylphosphatidylinositols
  • Mucoproteins
  • Plant Proteins
  • arabinogalactan proteins