TGases (transglutaminases) are a class of calcium-dependent enzymes that catalyse the interactions between acyl acceptor glutamyl residues and amine donors, potentially making cross-links between proteins. To assess the activity of apple (Malus domestica) pollen TGase on the functional properties of actin and tubulin, TGase was prepared from apple pollen by hydrophobic- interaction chromatography and assayed on actin and tubulin purified from the same cell type. The enzyme catalysed the incorporation of putrescine into the cytoskeleton monomers. When tested on actin filaments, pollen TGase induced the formation of high-molecular-mass aggregates of actin. Use of fluorescein–cadaverine showed that the labelled polyamine was incorporated into actin by pollen TGase, similar to with guinea pig liver TGase. The pollen TGase also reduced the enzyme activity and the binding of myosin to TGase-treated actin filaments. Polymerization of tubulin in the presence of pollen TGase also yielded the formation of high-molecular-mass aggregates. Furthermore, the pollen TGase also affected the binding of kinesin to microtubules and reduced the motility of microtubules along kinesin-coated slides. These results indicate that the pollen TGase can control different properties of the pollen tube cytoskeleton (including the ability of actin and tubulin to assemble and their interaction with motor proteins) and consequently regulate the development of pollen tubes.

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