Effects of brefeldin A and nordihydroguaiaretic acid on endomembrane dynamics and lipid synthesis in plant cells

FEBS Lett. 2002 May 8;518(1-3):88-92. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(02)02651-0.


Effects of brefeldin A (BFA) and nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) on endomembrane structures and lipid synthesis were compared in maize root cells and tobacco Bright Yellow-2 cells. Immunofluorescence and electron microscopy studies showed that NDGA altered the structure and distribution of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) within 1 h but not of the Golgi apparatus whereas, as shown previously, BFA altered that organization of the Golgi apparatus and, only subsequently, of the ER. Biochemical studies revealed that both drugs and especially BFA led to a strong inhibition of the phytosterol biosynthetic pathway: BFA led to accumulation of sterol precursors. The importance of phytosterols in membrane architecture and membrane trafficking is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brefeldin A / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / drug effects*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure
  • Golgi Apparatus / drug effects*
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Intracellular Membranes / drug effects
  • Intracellular Membranes / ultrastructure
  • Lipids / biosynthesis*
  • Masoprocol / pharmacology*
  • Phytosterols / biosynthesis
  • Plants / drug effects*
  • Tobacco / drug effects
  • Tobacco / metabolism
  • Tobacco / ultrastructure
  • Zea mays / drug effects
  • Zea mays / metabolism
  • Zea mays / ultrastructure


  • Lipids
  • Phytosterols
  • Brefeldin A
  • Masoprocol