Sitosterol-β-glucoside as Primer for Cellulose Synthesis in Plants

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Science  04 Jan 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5552, pp. 147-150
DOI: 10.1126/science.1064281

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Cellulose synthesis in plants requires β-1,4-glucan chain initiation, elongation, and termination. The process of chain elongation is likely to be distinct from the process of chain initiation. We demonstrate that a CesA glucosyltransferase initiates glucan polymerization by using sitosterol-β-glucoside (SG) as primer. Cotton fiber membranes synthesize sitosterol-cellodextrins (SCDs) from SG and uridine 5′-diphosphate–glucose (UDP-Glc) under conditions that also favor cellulose synthesis. The cellulase encoded by the Korrigan (Kor) gene, required for cellulose synthesis in plants, may function to cleave SG from the growing polymer chain.

  • * Present address: Plant Gene Expression Center, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany CA 94710–1198, USA.

  • Present address: National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, Kannondai 2-1-2, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan 305-8602.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed: E-mail: dpdelmer{at}

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