The role of endoxyloglucan transferase in the organization of plant cell walls

Kazuhiko Nishitani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


The plant cell wall plays a central role in morphogenesis as well as responsiveness to environmental signals. Xyloglucans are the principal component of the plant cell wall matrix and serve as cross-links between cellulose microfibrils to form the cellulose-xyloglucan framework. Endoxyloglucan transferase (EXGT), which was isolated and characterized in 1992, is an enzyme that mediates molecular grafting reaction between xyloglucan molecules. Structural studies on cDNAs encoding EXGT and its related proteins have disclosed the ubiquitous presence in the plant kingdom of a large multigene family of xyloglucan-related proteins (XRPs). Each XRP functions as either hydrolase or transferase acting on xyloglucans and is considered to be responsible for rearrangement of the cellulose-xyloglucan framework, the processes essential for the construction, modification, and degradation of plant cell walls. Different XRP genes exhibit potentially different expression profiles with respect to tissue specificity and responsiveness to hormonal and mechanical signals. The molecular approach to individual XRP genes will open a new path for exploring the controlling mechanisms by which the plant cell wall is constructed and reformed during plant growth and development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-206
Number of pages50
JournalInternational Review of Cytology
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell wall
  • Cellulose
  • Endoxyloglucan transferase (EXGT)
  • Molecular grafting
  • Plant hormone
  • Protein (XRP)
  • Xyloglucan
  • Xyloglucan-related

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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