Remorins - Exploring Their Mystery
Remorins are plant-specific proteins that comprise a multi-gene family in all land plants and serve as marker proteins for membrane domains. They are characterized by a conserved and canonical C-terminal and a highly divergent N-terminal region. Althoughe being first described almost 25 years ago, their cellular function still remains a mystery. We set off to unravel their molecular function.
Members of phylogenetic group II of the remorin protein family have only been detected in legumes and so more distantly related ones in polar tree and grape wine. This restricted evolutionary occurrence strongly implies functions during root nodule symbiosis (RNS). During this mutualistic plant-microbe interaction, bacteria are intracellularly hosted in newly developed organs, the root nodules. RNS does not only provide the opportunity to understand the molecular basis for biotrophic interactions but is of outstanding agronomical importance.
The genome of model plant Arabidopsis thaliana encodes 16 remorin genes that can be sub-divided into five phylogenetic groups. While some of these genes are only transcribed at low levels, members of the group I belong to the 10% most highly expressed genes in this plant. Differential regulation of these genes has been described during pathogenic plant-microbe interactions and hormone treatments. Since we love challenges we initiated a systematic approach to unravel their mystery.