Published by Blackwell Pub. on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies
FEBS Journal vol:280 issue:4 pages:979-993
Plant vacuoles are unique, multifunctional organelles among eukaryotes. Considerable new insights in plant vacuolar protein sorting have recently been obtained. The basic machinery of protein export from the ER to the Golgi and the classical route to the lytic vacuole (LV) and the protein storage vacuole (PSV) shows many similarities to vacuolar/lysosomal sorting in other eukaryotes. However, due to its unique functions in plant defense and as a storage compartment, some plant-specific entities and sorting determinants seem to exist. The alternative post-Golgi route, as found in animals and yeast, probably exists in plants as well. Likely, adaptor protein complex 3 (AP3) fulfils a central role in this route. A Golgi-independent route involving plant-specific ER bodies appears to provide sedentary organisms such as plants with extra flexibility to cope with changing environmental conditions.