Laying down the bricks: logistic aspects of cell wall biosynthesis

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2008 Dec;11(6):647-52. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Sep 23.


Plant cell wall polysaccharides are synthesised at the plasma membrane and in the Golgi apparatus. Current research efforts mainly try to address how these molecules are synthesised or modified. However, it is clear that polysaccharide synthesis in the two compartments needs to be carried out in a coordinated fashion, and that carbohydrates and proteins that are delivered from the Golgi to the cell surface have to undergo a range of modifications. Consequently, there appears to be a need for a fine-tuned system that coalesces signals from the wall, synthesis of carbohydrate-based molecules and vesicle shuttling. Several recent papers have scratched the surface for an initial understanding of these linked processes. For example, the impairment of the proton pumping activity in the trans-Golgi network, which is part of the cell's trafficking system, results in growth defects, changes in Golgi stack morphology and cellulose deficiency. An increased understanding of how cell wall synthesis is coordinated with the secretory machinery may facilitate avenues for modulating cell wall contents and therefore overall plant biomass.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Compartmentation
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / biosynthesis


  • Polysaccharides