Plant Cuticular Lipid Export Requires an ABC Transporter

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Science  22 Oct 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5696, pp. 702-704
DOI: 10.1126/science.1102331

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A waxy protective cuticle coats all primary aerial plant tissues. Its synthesis requires extensive export of lipids from epidermal cells to the plant surface. Arabidopsis cer5 mutants had reduced stem cuticular wax loads and accumulated sheetlike inclusions in the cytoplasm of wax-secreting cells. These inclusions represented abnormal deposits of cuticular wax and resembled inclusions found in a human disorder caused by a defective peroxisomal adenosine triphosphate binding cassette (ABC) transporter. We found that the CER5 gene encodes an ABC transporter localized in the plasma membrane of epidermal cells and conclude that it is required for wax export to the cuticle.

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