The actin cytoskeleton and signaling network during pollen tube tip growth

J Integr Plant Biol. 2010 Feb;52(2):131-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00922.x.


The organization and dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton play key roles in many aspects of plant cell development. The actin cytoskeleton responds to internal developmental cues and environmental signals and is involved in cell division, subcellular organelle movement, cell polarity and polar cell growth. The tip-growing pollen tubes provide an ideal model system to investigate fundamental mechanisms of underlying polarized cell growth. In this system, most signaling cascades required for tip growth, such as Ca(2+)-, small GTPases- and lipid-mediated signaling have been found to be involved in transmitting signals to a large group of actin-binding proteins. These actin-binding proteins subsequently regulate the structure of the actin network, as well as the rapid turnover of actin filaments (F-actin), thereby eventually controlling tip growth. The actin cytoskeleton acts as an integrator in which multiple signaling pathways converge, providing a general growth and regulatory mechanism that applies not only for tip growth but also for polarized diffuse growth in plants.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Pollen Tube / growth & development*
  • Pollen Tube / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Actins