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Plasmodesmata (PD) are plant-specific channels connecting adjacent cells to mediate intercellular communication of molecules essential for plant development and defense. The typical PD are organized by the close apposition of the plasma membrane (PM), the desmotubule derived from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and spoke-like elements linking the two membranes. The plasmodesmal PM (PD-PM) is characterized by the formation of unique microdomains enriched with sphingolipids, sterols, and specific proteins, identified by lipidomics and proteomics. These components modulate PD to adapt to the dynamic changes of developmental processes and environmental stimuli. In this review, we focus on highlighting the functions of sphingolipid species in plasmodesmata, including membrane microdomain organization, architecture transformation, callose deposition and permeability control, and signaling regulation. We also briefly discuss the difference between sphingolipids and sterols, and we propose potential unresolved questions that are of help for further understanding the correspondence between plasmodesmal structure and function.


Yingying Zhang, Shuang Wang, Lu Wang, Xiaoyan Chang, Yongxiao Fan, Meiqing He, Dawei Yan. Sphingolipids at Plasmodesmata: Structural Components and Functional Modulators. International journal of molecular sciences. 2022 May 19;23(10)

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PMID: 35628487

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