Inhibitors of myosin, but not actin, alter transport through Tradescantia plasmodesmata

Protoplasma. 2011 Jan;248(1):205-16. doi: 10.1007/s00709-010-0244-3. Epub 2010 Nov 27.


Actin and myosin are components of plasmodesmata, the cytoplasmic channels between plant cells, but their role in regulating these channels is unclear. Here, we investigated the role of myosin in regulating plasmodesmata in a well-studied, simple system comprising single filaments of cells which form stamen hairs in Tradescantia virginiana flowers. Effects of myosin inhibitors were assessed by analysing cell-to-cell movement of fluorescent tracers microinjected into treated cells. Incubation in the myosin inhibitor, 2,3-butanedione monoxime (BDM) or injection of anti-myosin antibodies increased cell-cell transport of fluorescent dextrans, while treatment with the myosin inhibitor N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) decreased cell-cell transport. Pretreatment with the callose synthesis inhibitor, deoxy-D: -glucose (DDG), enhanced transport induced by BDM treatment or injection of myosin antibodies but did not relieve NEM-induced reduction in transport. In contrast to the myosin inhibitors, cell-to-cell transport was unaffected by treatment with the actin polymerisation inhibitor, latrunculin B, after controlling for callose synthesis with DDG. Transport was increased following azide treatment, and reduced after injection of ATP, as in previous studies. We propose that myosin detachment from actin, induced by BDM, opens T. virginiana plasmodesmata whereas the firm attachment of myosin to actin, promoted by NEM, closes them.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Antibodies / pharmacology
  • Biological Transport
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Diacetyl / analogs & derivatives
  • Diacetyl / pharmacology
  • Flowers / metabolism*
  • Myosins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Myosins / immunology
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Permeability
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plasmodesmata / metabolism*
  • Thiazolidines / pharmacology
  • Tradescantia / metabolism*


  • Actins
  • Antibodies
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • Thiazolidines
  • diacetylmonoxime
  • Myosins
  • Diacetyl
  • latrunculin B
  • Calcium