Isolation and characterization of multiple abundant lipid transfer protein isoforms in developing sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2008 Feb;46(2):127-39. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2007.10.003. Epub 2007 Oct 7.


Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is an important oilseed crop; approximately 50% of the seed dry weight is storage oil. In a previous report, developing sesame seed expressed sequence tags (ESTs) revealed that ESTs encoding lipid transfer protein (LTPs) were one of the most abundant groups of sesame ESTs. LTP functions in the transfer of wax or cutin monomers and in the defense response against pathogen attack. To study the biological role of the abundant LTP isoforms in developing seeds, 122 ESTs out of 3328 sesame ESTs were analyzed against Arabidopsis and rice proteome databases. LTP fraction, which was partially purified from developing sesame seeds, actively transferred fluorescent phospholipids and bound to fatty acids. Full-length cDNAs of five out of 21 LTP isoforms were isolated and named SiLTP1-SiLTP5. The predicted amino acid sequences of the five SiLTPs harbor typical characteristics of LTPs, including conserved arrangement of cysteine residues. Northern blot analysis revealed that the five SiLTP isoforms were most abundantly expressed in developing seeds, but were also detected in flower tissues. Also, SiLTP3 and SiLTP4 transcripts were expressed in leaves and seed-pot walls, respectively. In addition, SiLTP2 and SiLTP4 transcripts were significantly induced in 6-day-old sesame seedlings by application of NaCl, mannitol, and abscisic acid (ABA). Transient expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fusion constructs in Arabidopsis protoplasts revealed that SiLTP1 and SiLTP2 were secreted by different pathways. Taken together, the abundant LTPs in developing sesame seeds are involved in lipid transfer into the extracellular matrix. Possible biological roles of SiLTPs related to organ-specific expression and abiotic stresses are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics*
  • Carrier Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phospholipids / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / isolation & purification
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protoplasts / metabolism
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Seeds / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sesamum / genetics*
  • Sesamum / metabolism


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Phospholipids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • lipid transfer protein