Remodeling the cytoskeleton for growth and form: an overview with some new views

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2003;54:691-722. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.54.031902.134818.


The cytoskeleton coordinates all aspects of growth in plant cells, including exocytosis of membrane and wall components during cell expansion. This review seeks to integrate current information about cytoskeletal components in plants and the role they play in generating cell form. Advances in genome analysis have fundamentally changed the nature of research strategies and generated an explosion of new information on the cytoskeleton-associated proteins, their regulation, and their role in signaling to the cytoskeleton. Some of these proteins appear novel to plants, but many have close homologues in other eukaryotic systems. It is becoming clear that the mechanisms behind cell growth are essentially similar across the growth continuum, which ranges from tip growth to diffuse expansion. Remodeling of the actin cytoskeleton at sites of exocytosis is an especially critical feature of polarized and may also contribute to axial growth. We evaluate the most recent work on the signaling mechanisms that continually remodel the actin cytoskeleton via the activation of actin-binding proteins (ABPs) and consider the role the microtubule cytoskeleton plays in this process.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology
  • Conserved Sequence
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Genome, Plant
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Microtubules / physiology
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Multigene Family
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Plants / anatomy & histology*
  • Plants / genetics


  • Actins
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Plant Proteins