Cellulose synthases and synthesis in Arabidopsis

Mol Plant. 2011 Mar;4(2):199-211. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssq079. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


Plant cell walls are complex structures composed of high-molecular-weight polysaccharides, proteins, and lignins. Among the wall polysaccharides, cellulose, a hydrogen-bonded β-1,4-linked glucan microfibril, is the main load-bearing wall component and a key precursor for industrial applications. Cellulose is synthesized by large multi-meric cellulose synthase (CesA) complexes, tracking along cortical microtubules at the plasma membrane. The only known components of these complexes are the cellulose synthase proteins. Recent studies have identified tentative interaction partners for the CesAs and shown that the migratory patterns of the CesA complexes depend on phosphorylation status. These advances may become good platforms for expanding our knowledge about cellulose synthesis in the near future. In addition, our current understanding of cellulose chain polymerization in the context of the CesA complex is discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cellulose / biosynthesis*
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cellulose
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • cellulose synthase