Exocytosis and cell polarity in plants - exocyst and recycling domains

New Phytol. 2009;183(2):255-272. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2009.02880.x. Epub 2009 May 28.


In plants, exocytosis is a central mechanism of cell morphogenesis. We still know surprisingly little about some aspects of this process, starting with exocytotic vesicle formation, which may take place at the trans-Golgi network even without coat assistance, facilitated by the local regulation of membrane lipid organization. The RabA4b guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase), recruiting phosphatidylinositol-4-kinase to the trans-Golgi network, is a candidate vesicle formation organizer. However, in plant cells, there are obviously additional endosomal source compartments for secretory vesicles. The Rho/Rop GTPase regulatory module is central for the initiation of exocytotically active domains in plant cell cortex (activated cortical domains). Most plant cells exhibit several distinct plasma membrane domains, established and maintained by endocytosis-driven membrane recycling. We propose the concept of a 'recycling domain', uniting the activated cortical domain and the connected endosomal compartments, as a dynamic spatiotemporal entity. We have recently described the exocyst tethering complex in plant cells. As a result of the multiplicity of its putative Exo70 subunits, this complex may belong to core regulators of recycling domain organization, including the generation of multiple recycling domains within a single cell. The conventional textbook concept that the plant secretory pathway is largely constitutive is misleading.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Polarity*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Exocytosis*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Cells*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants / ultrastructure
  • Secretory Vesicles / ultrastructure


  • Plant Proteins