Formin nanoclustering-mediated actin assembly during plant flagellin and DSF signaling

Cell Rep. 2021 Mar 30;34(13):108884. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108884.


Plants respond to bacterial infection acutely with actin remodeling during plant immune responses. The mechanisms by which bacterial virulence factors (VFs) modulate plant actin polymerization remain enigmatic. Here, we show that plant-type-I formin serves as the molecular sensor for actin remodeling in response to two bacterial VFs: Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (Xcc) diffusible signal factor (DSF), and pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flagellin in pattern-triggered immunity (PTI). Both VFs regulate actin assembly by tuning the clustering and nucleation activity of formin on the plasma membrane (PM) at the nano-sized scale. By being integrated within the cell-wall-PM-actin cytoskeleton (CW-PM-AC) continuum, the dynamic behavior and function of formins are highly dependent on each scaffold layer's composition within the CW-PM-AC continuum during both DSF and PTI signaling. Our results reveal a central mechanism for rapid actin remodeling during plant-bacteria interactions, in which bacterial signaling molecules fine tune plant formin nanoclustering in a host mechanical-structure-dependent manner.

Keywords: PAMP; PTI; actin nucleation; actin remodeling; diffusible signal factor; formin; nanoclustering; quorum sensing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Flagellin / metabolism*
  • Formins / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Models, Biological
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry*
  • Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Xanthomonas campestris / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Formins
  • Pathogen-Associated Molecular Pattern Molecules
  • Flagellin
  • Cellulose