Recent progress in cellulose biosynthesis

Satoshi Kimura, Tetsuo Kondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Cellulose comprises the major polymer of the plant cell wall. It consists of a set of parallel chains composed of glucans and these chains are highly oriented to form a structure known as a microfibril. The orientation of the microfibrils controls the extension of the direction of the plant cell. Extensive studies on the cellulose biosynthesis have been carried out for over three decades, and recently (1996) genes for cellulose biosynthesis in plants (CesA) were isolated. In the year 2002, a specific primer for cellulose biosynthesis reaction has been discovered and cellulose synthetic activity has been also confirmed by recombinant protein derived from the plant CesA gene. Furthermore, other proteins involved in cellulose biosynthesis besides CesA proteins were also proposed at the same time. One of these proteins, Korrigan cellulase, was suggested to act by removing sitosterol from the primer for biosynthesis reaction of cellulose. A membrane-bound sucrose synthase was also suggested to provide UDP-glucose as a substrate for cellulose biosynthesis. On the basis of these results, a new pathway for cellulose biosynthesis was proposed. Now, the research field of cellulose biosynthesis is facing a major turning point.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-302
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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