Matching Patterns : Cellulose-Xylan Interactions.
Throughout tied molecular interactions cellulose and xylan polysaccharides in vascular plants, provide an architecture which is essential for secondary cell wall strength. Xylan is decorated with glucuronic acid residues or acetate groups. The regularity of these decorations with regard to their influence on the interaction of xylan with cellulose fibrils has been investigated using a mutated xylan-specific O-acetyl transferase in Arabidopsis thaliana. The solid-state NMR of the wild-type and the mutated cell walls indicates that the unpatterned xylan does not bind to cellulose in its conformation found in wild-type plants.
It is concluded that the even pattern of xylan substitutions seen across vascular plants
enables the interaction of xylan with hydrophilic faces of cellulose fibrils, and it is essential for the development of normal plant secondary cell walls.