Boutté Y, Grebe M
Cellular processes relying on sterol function in plants
Current Opinion in Plant Biology: 2009 12:705-713

Sterols are lipophilic membrane components essential for diverse cellular functions. The plant sterol biosynthesis pathway has largely been defined by biochemical approaches. Sterol function has been investigated by the pharmacological and genetic manipulation of sterol biosynthesis. However, mechanisms by which sterols influence cellular processes and targets of sterol function remain largely unknown. During the last two years, new Arabidopsis sterol biosynthesis mutants have been characterized. Their analysis has revealed the contributions of known and alternative routes of sterol biosynthesis to various cellular processes. Subcellular localization and trafficking of a sterol-binding protein have been investigated and first steps towards in vivo characterization of sterol-enriched membrane domains have been taken. Finally, mechanistic insight into the role of plant sterols during endocytosis and the establishment of cell polarity has been obtained.

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