Journal of experimental botany

Clathrin-dependent and independent endocytic pathways in tobacco protoplasts revealed by labelling with charged nanogold.

PMID 18603619


Positively charged nanogold was used as a probe to trace the internalization of plasma membrane (PM) domains carrying negatively charged residues at an ultrastructural level. The probe revealed distinct endocytic pathways within tobacco protoplasts and allowed the morphology of the organelles involved in endocytosis to be characterized in great detail. Putative early endosomes with a tubulo-vesicular structure, similar to that observed in animal cells, are described and a new compartment, characterized by interconnected vesicles, was identified as a late endosome using the Arabidopsis anti-syntaxin family Syp-21 antibody. Endocytosis dissection using Brefeldin A (BFA), pulse chase, temperature- and energy-dependent experiments combined with quantitative analysis of nanogold particles in different compartments, suggested that recycling to the PM predominated with respect to degradation. Further experiments using ikarugamycin (IKA), an inhibitor of clathrin-dependent endocytosis, and negatively charged nanogold confirmed that distinct endocytic pathways coexist in tobacco protoplasts.