ABSTRACT Plant cellulose synthases (CesAs) are the key enzymes necessary for cellulose biosynthesis. In Arabidopsis, two distinct groups of three CesAs each are necessary for cellulose synthesis during primary and secondary cell wall formation. It has also been suggested that such three CesAs interact with each other to form plasma-membrane bound rosette complexes that are functional during cellulose production. However, in vivo demonstration of such assemblies of three CesAs into rosettes has not been possible. We used yeast two-hybrid assays to demonstrate the possible interactions among several CesAs from Arabidopsis and aspen via their N-terminal zinc-binding domains (ZnBDs). While strong positive interactions were detected among ZnBDs from secondary wall associated CesAs of both Arabidopsis and aspen, the intergeneric interactions between Arabidopsis and aspen CesAs were weak. Moreover, in aspen, three primary wall associated CesA ZnBDs positively interacted with each other as well as with secondary CesAs. These results suggest that ZnBDs from either primary or secondary CesAs, and even from different plant species could interact but are perhaps insufficient for specificities of such interactions among CesAs. These observations suggest that some other more specific interacting regions might exist within CesAs. It is also possible that some hitherto unknown mechanism exists in plants for assembling the rosette complexes with different compositions of CesAs. Understanding how cellulose is synthesized will have a direct impact on utilization of lignocellulosic biomass for bioenergy production.
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