A Mechanism for Sustained Cellulose Synthesis during Salt Stress

Cell. 2015 Sep 10;162(6):1353-64. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2015.08.028. Epub 2015 Sep 3.


Abiotic stress, such as salinity, drought, and cold, causes detrimental yield losses for all major plant crop species. Understanding mechanisms that improve plants' ability to produce biomass, which largely is constituted by the plant cell wall, is therefore of upmost importance for agricultural activities. Cellulose is a principal component of the cell wall and is synthesized by microtubule-guided cellulose synthase enzymes at the plasma membrane. Here, we identified two components of the cellulose synthase complex, which we call companion of cellulose synthase (CC) proteins. The cytoplasmic tails of these membrane proteins bind to microtubules and promote microtubule dynamics. This activity supports microtubule organization, cellulose synthase localization at the plasma membrane, and renders seedlings less sensitive to stress. Our findings offer a mechanistic model for how two molecular components, the CC proteins, sustain microtubule organization and cellulose synthase localization and thus aid plant biomass production during salt stress. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Biomass
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cellulose / biosynthesis*
  • Glucosyltransferases / genetics
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / chemistry
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Salinity
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CC1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • CC2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Cellulose
  • Glucosyltransferases