EG Allwood, RG Anthony, AP Smertenko, S Reichelt, BK Drobak, JH Doonan, AG Weeds, PJ Hussey
Pollen tube growth is dependent on a dynamic actin cytoskeleton, suggesting that actin-regulating proteins are involved. We have examined the regulation of the lily pollen-specific actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) LlADF1. Its actin binding and depolymerizing activity is pH sensitive, inhibited by certain phosphoinositides, but not controlled by phosphorylation. Compared with its F-actin binding properties, its low activity in depolymerization assays has been used to explain why pollen ADF decorates F-actin in pollen grains. This low activity is incompatible with a role in increasing actin dynamics necessary to promote pollen tube growth. We have identified a plant homolog of actin-interacting protein, AIP1, which enhances the depolymerization of F-actin in the presence of LlADF1 by approximately 60%. Both pollen ADF and pollen AIP1 bind F-actin in pollen grains but are mainly cytoplasmic in pollen tubes. Our results suggest that together these proteins remodel actin filaments as pollen grains enter and exit dormancy.