An Arabidopsis thaliana arabinogalactan-protein (AGP31) and several cationic AGP fragments catalyse the boron bridging of rhamnogalacturonan-II

Dayan Sanhueza, Rifat Ara Begum, Cécile Albenne, Elisabeth Jamet, Stephen C. Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Rhamnogalacturonan-II (RG-II) is a complex pectic domain in plant primary cell walls. In vivo, most RG-II domains are covalently dimerised via borate diester bridges, essential for correct cell-wall assembly, but the dimerisation of pure RG-II monomers by boric acid in vitro is extremely slow. Cationic ‘chaperones’ can promote dimerisation, probably by overcoming the mutual repulsion between neighbouring anionic RG-II molecules. Highly effective artificial chaperones include Pb2+ and polyhistidine, but the proposed natural chaperones remained elusive. We have now tested cationic peptide fragments of several Arabidopsis thaliana arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) as candidates. Fragments of AGP17, 18, 19 and 31 were effective, typically at ~25 µg/ml (9–19 µM), promoting the boron bridging of 16–20 µM monomeric RG-II at pH 4.8 in vitro. Native AGP31 glycoprotein was also effective, and hexahistidine was moderately so. All chaperones tested interacted reversibly with RG-II and were not consumed during the reaction; thus they acted catalytically, and may constitute the first reported boron-acting enzyme activity, an RG-II borate diesterase. Many of the peptide chaperones became less effective catalysts at higher concentration, which we interpret as due to the formation of RG-II–peptide complexes with a net positive charge, as mutually repulsive as negatively charged pure RG-II molecules. The four unique AGPs studied here may serve an enzymic role in the living plant cell, acting on RG-II within Golgi cisternae and/or in the apoplast after secretion. In this way, RG-II and specific AGPs may contribute to cell-wall assembly and hence plant cell expansion and development.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberBCJ20220340
Pages (from-to)1967-1984
Number of pages18
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • arabidopsis thaliana
  • plant cell wall
  • rhamnogalacturonan II
  • borate diester bridges
  • pectic polysaccharide
  • arabinogalactan-proteins


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