This work characterizes an anther/pollen-specific gene that encodes potential intermediate filament (IF)-binding glycoproteins in lily (Lilium longiflorum Thunb. cv. Snow Queen) anthers during the development and pollen germination. LLP13 is a single gene that encodes a polypeptide of 807 amino acids, and a calculated molecular mass of 91 kDa. The protein contains a predicted transmembrane domain at the N-terminus and a conserved domain of unknown function (DUF)593 at the C-terminal half of the polypeptide. Sequence analysis revealed that LLP13 shares significant identity (37-41 %) with two intermediate filament antigen-binding proteins, representing a unique subgroup of DUF593 domain proteins from known rice and Arabidopsis species. The expression of LLP13 gene is anther-specific, and the transcript accumulates only at the stage of pollen maturation. Both premature drying and abscisic acid (ABA) treatment of developing pollen indicated that LLP13 was not induced by desiccation and ABA, but by other developmental cues. Antiserum was raised against the overexpressed LLP13C fragment of the protein in Escherichia coli and affinity-purified antibodies were prepared. Immunoblot analyses revealed that the LLP13 protein was a heterogeneous, anther-specific glycoprotein that accumulated only at the stage of pollen maturation. The protein is not heat-soluble. The level of LLP13 protein remained for 24 h during germination in vitro. Overexpression of LLP13-GFP or GFP-LLP13 in lily pollen tubes caused severe inhibition of tube elongation. The LLP13 protein codistributed with mTalin in growing tubes, suggesting that it apparently decorates actin cytoskeleton and is likely a cytoskeleton-binding protein that binds with IFs that potentially exist in pollen tubes
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