Subcellular coordination of plant cell wall synthesis

Dev Cell. 2021 Apr 5;56(7):933-948. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2021.03.004. Epub 2021 Mar 23.


Organelles of the plant cell cooperate to synthesize and secrete a strong yet flexible polysaccharide-based extracellular matrix: the cell wall. Cell wall composition varies among plant species, across cell types within a plant, within different regions of a single cell wall, and in response to intrinsic or extrinsic signals. This diversity in cell wall makeup is underpinned by common cellular mechanisms for cell wall production. Cellulose synthase complexes function at the plasma membrane and deposit their product into the cell wall. Matrix polysaccharides are synthesized by a multitude of glycosyltransferases in hundreds of mobile Golgi stacks, and an extensive set of vesicle trafficking proteins govern secretion to the cell wall. In this review, we discuss the different subcellular locations at which cell wall synthesis occurs, review the molecular mechanisms that control cell wall biosynthesis, and examine how these are regulated in response to different perturbations to maintain cell wall homeostasis.

Keywords: Golgi apparatus; TGN; cell wall homeostasis; cell wall signaling; cellulose; matrix polysaccharides; plant cell biology; plant cell walls; secretion; trans-Golgi network.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / enzymology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Cell Wall / chemistry
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Endocytosis
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Glucosyltransferases / metabolism
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Plant Cells / enzymology
  • Plant Cells / metabolism*
  • Plant Cells / ultrastructure
  • Polysaccharides / biosynthesis


  • Polysaccharides
  • Glucosyltransferases
  • cellulose synthase