Carbon partitioning to cellulose synthesis

Plant Mol Biol. 2001 Sep;47(1-2):29-51.


This article discusses the importance and implications of regulating carbon partitioning to cellulose synthesis, the characteristics of cells that serve as major sinks for cellulose deposition, and enzymes that participate in the conversion of supplied carbon to cellulose. Cotton fibers, which deposit almost pure cellulose into their secondary cell walls, are referred to as a primary model system. For sucrose synthase, we discuss its proposed role in channeling UDP-Glc to cellulose synthase during secondary wall deposition, its gene family, its manipulation in transgenic plants, and mechanisms that may regulate its association with sites of polysaccharide synthesis. For cellulose synthase, we discuss the organization of the gene family and how protein diversity could relate to control of carbon partitioning to cellulose synthesis. Other enzymes emphasized include UDP-Glc pyrophosphorylase and sucrose phosphate synthase. New data are included on phosphorylation of cotton fiber sucrose synthase, possible regulation by Ca2+ of sucrose synthase localization, electron microscopic immunolocalization of sucrose synthase in cotton fibers, and phylogenetic relationships between cellulose synthase proteins, including three new ones identified in differentiating tracheary elements of Zinnia elegans. We develop a model for metabolism related to cellulose synthesis that implicates the changing intracellular localization of sucrose synthase as a molecular switch between survival metabolism and growth and/or differentiation processes involving cellulose synthesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Carbon Dioxide / metabolism
  • Cellulose / biosynthesis*
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Plants / ultrastructure
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Carbon
  • Cellulose
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • sucrose synthase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF323039
  • GENBANK/AF323040
  • GENBANK/AF323041