Cell walls are crucial for development, signal transduction, and disease resistance in plants. Cell walls are made of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and pectins. Xyloglucan (XG), the principal load-bearing hemicellulose of dicotyledonous plants, has a terminal fucosyl residue. A 60-kilodalton fucosyltransferase (FTase) that adds this residue was purified from pea epicotyls. Peptide sequence information from the pea FTase allowed the cloning of a homologous gene, AtFT1, from Arabidopsis. Antibodies raised against recombinant AtFTase immunoprecipitate FTase enzyme activity from solubilized Arabidopsis membrane proteins, and AtFT1 expressed in mammalian COS cells results in the presence of XG FTase activity in these cells.
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