In many types of plant cell, bundles of actin filaments (AFs) are generally involved in cytoplasmic streaming and the organization of transvacuolar strands. Actin cross-linking proteins are believed to arrange AFs into the bundles. In root hair cells of Hydrocharis dubia (Blume) Baker, a 135-kDa polypeptide cross-reacted with an antiserum against a 135-kDa actin-bundling protein (135-ABP), a villin homologue, isolated from lily pollen tubes. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that the 135-kDa polypeptide co-localized with AF bundles in the transvacuolar strand and in the subcortical region of the cells. Microinjection of antiserum against 135-ABP into living root hair cells induced the disappearance of the transvacuolar strand. Concomitantly, thick AF bundles in the transvacuolar strand dispersed into thin bundles. In the root hair cells, AFs showed uniform polarity in the bundles, which is consistent with the in-vitro activity of 135-ABP. These results suggest that villin is a factor responsible for bundling AFs in root hair cells as well as in pollen tubes, and that it plays a key role in determining the direction of cytoplasmic streaming in these cells.
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