Self-assembled polyhydroxy fatty acids vesicles: a mechanism for plant cutin synthesis

Bioessays. 2008 Mar;30(3):273-7. doi: 10.1002/bies.20716.


Despite its biological importance, the mechanism of formation of cutin, the polymeric matrix of plant cuticles, has not yet been fully clarified. Here, for the first time, we show the participation in the process of lipid vesicles formed by the self-assembly of endogenous polyhydroxy fatty acids. The accumulation and fusion of these vesicles (cutinsomes) at the outer part of epidermal cell wall is proposed as the mechanism for early cuticle formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry*
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Membrane Lipids / biosynthesis
  • Membrane Lipids / chemistry*
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Polymers / chemistry


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids
  • Membrane Lipids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Polymers
  • cutin