Microtubules (MTs) and actin filaments (F-actin) function cooperatively to regulate plant cell morphogenesis. However, the mechanisms underlying the crosstalk between these two cytoskeletal systems, particularly in cell shape control, remain largely unknown. Here, we show that introduction of the MyTH4-FERM tandem into KCBP (Kinesin-like Calmodulin-Binding Protein) during evolution conferred novel functions. The MyTH4 domain and the FERM domain in the N-terminal tail of KCBP physically bind to MTs and F-actin, respectively. During trichome morphogenesis, KCBP distributes in a specific cortical gradient, and concentrates at the branching sites and the apexes of elongating branches, which lack MTs but have cortical F-actin. Further live-cell imaging and genetic analyses revealed that KCBP acts as a hub integrating MTs and actin filaments to assemble the required cytoskeletal configuration for the unique, polarized diffuse growth pattern during trichome cell morphogenesis. Our findings provide significant insights into the mechanisms underlying cytoskeletal regulation of cell shape determination.
- Sheila McCormick, University of California-Berkeley & USDA Agricultural Research Service, United States
© 2015, Tian et al.
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