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A proteomic approach to analyzing responses of Arabidopsis thaliana root cells to different gravitational conditions using an agravitropic mutant, pin2 and its wild type

Chao Tan1, Hui Wang12, Yue Zhang1, Bin Qi1, Guoxin Xu1 and Huiqiong Zheng1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China

2 Institut für Biologie II Botanik, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Schänzlestress 1, Freiburg 79104, Germany

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Proteome Science 2011, 9:72  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-9-72

Published: 16 November 2011



Root gravitropsim has been proposed to require the coordinated, redistribution of the plant signaling molecule auxin within the root meristem, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unknown. PIN proteins are membrane transporters that mediate the efflux of auxin from cells. The PIN2 is important for the basipetal transport of auxin in roots and plays a critical role in the transmission of gravity signals perceived in the root cap to the root elongation zone. The loss of function pin2 mutant exhibits a gravity-insensitive root growth phenotype. By comparing the proteomes of wild type and the pin2 mutant root tips under different gravitational conditions, we hope to identify proteins involved in the gravity-related signal transduction.


To identify novel proteins involved in the gravity signal transduction pathway we have carried out a comparative proteomic analysis of Arabidopsis pin2 mutant and wild type (WT) roots subjected to different gravitational conditions. These conditions included horizontal (H) and vertical (V) clinorotation, hypergravity (G) and the stationary control (S). Analysis of silver-stained two-dimensional SDS-PAGE gels revealed 28 protein spots that showed significant expression changes in altered gravity (H or G) compared to control roots (V and S). Whereas the majority of these proteins exhibited similar expression patterns in WT and pin2 roots, a significant number displayed different patterns of response between WT and pin2 roots. The latter group included 11 protein spots in the H samples and two protein spots in the G samples that exhibited an altered expression exclusively in WT but not in pin2 roots. One of these proteins was identified as annexin2, which was induced in the root cap columella cells under altered gravitational conditions.


The most interesting observation in this study is that distinctly different patterns of protein expression were found in WT and pin2 mutant roots subjected to altered gravity conditions. The data also demonstrate that PIN2 mutation not only affects the basipetal transport of auxin to the elongation zone, but also results in an altered expression of proteins in the root columella.

proteomics; Annexin; clinorotation; hypergravity; Arabidopsis thaliana; pin2 mutant; root tip