Plant glycoside hydrolases involved in cell wall polysaccharide degradation

Plant Physiol Biochem. Jul-Sep 2006;44(7-9):435-49. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2006.08.001. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


The cell wall plays a key role in controlling the size and shape of the plant cell during plant development and in the interactions of the plant with its environment. The cell wall structure is complex and contains various components such as polysaccharides, lignin and proteins whose composition and concentration change during plant development and growth. Many studies have revealed changes in cell walls which occur during cell division, expansion, and differentiation and in response to environmental stresses; i.e. pathogens or mechanical stress. Although many proteins and enzymes are necessary for the control of cell wall organization, little information is available concerning them. An important advance was made recently concerning cell wall organization as plant enzymes that belong to the superfamily of glycoside hydrolases and transglycosidases were identified and characterized; these enzymes are involved in the degradation of cell wall polysaccharides. Glycoside hydrolases have been characterized using molecular, genetic and biochemical approaches. Many genes encoding these enzymes have been identified and functional analysis of some of them has been performed. This review summarizes our current knowledge about plant glycoside hydrolases that participate in the degradation and reorganisation of cell wall polysaccharides in plants focussing particularly on those from Arabidopsis thaliana.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Glucans / metabolism*
  • Glycoside Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*


  • Glucans
  • Plant Proteins
  • Polysaccharides
  • Glycoside Hydrolases