SPIRAL1 encodes a plant-specific microtubule-localized protein required for directional control of rapidly expanding Arabidopsis cells

Plant Cell. 2004 May;16(5):1178-90. doi: 10.1105/tpc.017830. Epub 2004 Apr 14.


Highly organized interphase cortical microtubule (MT) arrays are essential for anisotropic growth of plant cells, yet little is known about the molecular mechanisms that establish and maintain the order of these arrays. The Arabidopsis thaliana spiral1 (spr1) mutant shows right-handed helical growth in roots and etiolated hypocotyls. Characterization of the mutant phenotypes suggested that SPR1 may control anisotropic cell expansion through MT-dependent processes. SPR1 was identified by map-based cloning and found to encode a small protein with unknown function. Proteins homologous to SPR1 occur specifically and ubiquitously in plants. Genetic complementation with green fluorescent protein fusion proteins indicated that the SPR1 protein colocalizes with cortical MTs and that both MT localization and cell expansion control are conferred by the conserved N- and C-terminal regions. Strong SPR1 expression was found in tissues undergoing rapid cell elongation. Plants overexpressing SPR1 showed enhanced resistance to an MT drug and increased hypocotyl elongation. These observations suggest that SPR1 is a plant-specific MT-localized protein required for the maintenance of growth anisotropy in rapidly elongating cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Glucuronidase / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • SPR1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glucuronidase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AW219464
  • GENBANK/AY464947
  • GENBANK/BE052696
  • GENBANK/BG321626
  • GENBANK/BI431085
  • GENBANK/BI787806
  • GENBANK/BM985496
  • GENBANK/CA758698
  • RefSeq/NM_102400
  • RefSeq/NM_105590
  • RefSeq/NM_111085
  • RefSeq/NM_118480
  • RefSeq/NM_121564