ERMO3/MVP1/GOLD36 is involved in a cell type-specific mechanism for maintaining ER morphology in Arabidopsis thaliana

PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49103. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049103. Epub 2012 Nov 14.


The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) has a unique, network-like morphology. The ER structures are composed of tubules, cisternae, and three-way junctions. This morphology is highly conserved among eukaryotes, but the molecular mechanism that maintains ER morphology has not yet been elucidated. In addition, certain Brassicaceae plants develop a unique ER-derived organelle called the ER body. This organelle accumulates large amounts of PYK10, a β-glucosidase, but its physiological functions are still obscure. We aimed to identify a novel factor required for maintaining the morphology of the ER, including ER bodies, and employed a forward-genetic approach using transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana (GFP-h) with fluorescently-labeled ER. We isolated and investigated a mutant (designated endoplasmic reticulum morphology3, ermo3) with huge aggregates and abnormal punctate structures of ER. ERMO3 encodes a GDSL-lipase/esterase family protein, also known as MVP1. Here, we showed that, although ERMO3/MVP1/GOLD36 was expressed ubiquitously, the morphological defects of ermo3 were specifically seen in a certain type of cells where ER bodies developed. Coimmunoprecipitation analysis combined with mass spectrometry revealed that ERMO3/MVP1/GOLD36 interacts with the PYK10 complex, a huge protein complex that is thought to be important for ER body-related defense systems. We also found that the depletion of transcription factor NAI1, a master regulator for ER body formation, suppressed the formation of ER-aggregates in ermo3 cells, suggesting that NAI1 expression plays an important role in the abnormal aggregation of ER. Our results suggest that ERMO3/MVP1/GOLD36 is required for preventing ER and other organelles from abnormal aggregation and for maintaining proper ER morphology in a coordinated manner with NAI1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / genetics
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / genetics
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mutation
  • beta-Glucosidase / genetics
  • beta-Glucosidase / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • ERMO3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases
  • PYK10 protein, Arabidopsis
  • beta-Glucosidase

Grant support

This work was supported by Specially Promoted Research of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research to I.H.N. (number 22000014) and a research fellowship to R.T.N. (number 21001585) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and by the Global Center of Excellence Program “Formation of a Strategic Base for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Research: from Genome to Ecosystem” from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan (MEXT). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.