Comparative proteomic profiling of the choline transporter-like1 (CHER1) mutant provides insights into plasmodesmata composition of fully developed Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

Plant J. 2017 Nov;92(4):696-709. doi: 10.1111/tpj.13702. Epub 2017 Oct 6.


In plants, intercellular communication and exchange are highly dependent on cell wall bridging structures between adhering cells, so-called plasmodesmata (PD). In our previous genetic screen for PD-deficient Arabidopsis mutants, we described choline transporter-like 1 (CHER1) being important for PD genesis and maturation. Leaves of cher1 mutant plants have up to 10 times less PD, which do not develop to complex structures. Here we utilize the T-DNA insertion mutant cher1-4 and report a deep comparative proteomic workflow for the identification of cell-wall-embedded PD-associated proteins. Analyzing triplicates of cell-wall-enriched fractions in depth by fractionation and quantitative high-resolution mass spectrometry, we compared > 5000 proteins obtained from fully developed leaves. Comparative data analysis and subsequent filtering generated a list of 61 proteins being significantly more abundant in Col-0. This list was enriched for previously described PD-associated proteins. To validate PD association of so far uncharacterized proteins, subcellular localization analyses were carried out by confocal laser-scanning microscopy. This study confirmed the association of PD for three out of four selected candidates, indicating that the comparative approach indeed allowed identification of so far undescribed PD-associated proteins. Performing comparative cell wall proteomics of Nicotiana benthamiana tissue, we observed an increase in abundance of these three selected candidates during sink to source transition. Taken together, our comparative proteomic approach revealed a valuable data set of potential PD-associated proteins, which can be used as a resource to unravel the molecular composition of complex PD and to investigate their function in cell-to-cell communication.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; At1G22610; At1G51570; At3g15380; CHER1; MEE9; choline transporter-like 1; endoplasmic reticulum-body; plasmodesmata; proteomics.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / ultrastructure
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / ultrastructure
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / ultrastructure
  • Plasmodesmata / metabolism*
  • Plasmodesmata / ultrastructure
  • Proteomics*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • T-DNA
  • choline transporter-like1 protein, Arabidopsis