Cytoskeleton-mediated templating of complex cellulose-scaffolded extracellular structure and its association with oikosins in the urochordate Oikopleura
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Oriented cellulose deposition is critical to plant patterning and models suggest microtubules constrain cellulose synthase movements through the plasma membrane. Though widespread in plants, urochordates are the only animals that synthesize cellulose. We characterized the distinctive cellulose microfibril scaffold of the larvacean house and its interaction with house structural proteins (oikosins). Targeted disruption of cytoskeletal elements, secretory pathways, and plasma membrane organization, suggested a working model for templating extracellular cellulose microfibrils from animal cells that shows both convergence and differences to plant models. Specialized cortical F-actin arrays template microfibril orientation and glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins in lipid rafts may act as scaffolding proteins in microfibril elongation. Microtubules deliver and maintain cellulose synthase complexes to specific cell membrane sites rather than orienting their movement through the membrane. Oikosins are incorporated into house compartments directly above their corresponding cellular field of expression and interact with the cellulose scaffold to a variable extent.