. A class of dynamin-like GTPases involved in the generation of the tubular ER network. Cell. 2009 Aug 7;138(3):549-61. PubMed.

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  1. This work provides a fascinating suggestion of molecular conservation in the control of polarized cell growth in plant root hairs and mammalian neurons. Several plant biology labs, including my own, have studied Arabidopsis root hair development for many years with the hope that it would provide fundamental insights into mechanisms of regulated cell expansion in eukaryotes. It appears that this recent publication has validated this view, and it is reasonable to expect that the further combined analysis of the atlastin-1/RHD3 protein (and perhaps other related molecules) in both neurons and root hairs will be a fruitful approach.

  2. In 2006, after I read the function of Yop1 in ER membrane curvature, I believed that RHD3 and its homologs could play a primary role in the tubulation of the ER network, probably with a physical interaction with Yop1. Hu et al. provide a key evidence for what I believed.

    Yes, I always tells my students who are very much interested in a medical related career that the outgrowth of root hairs shares many similarity with outgrowth of neurites. With the advantage of genetics and a wealth of cell biology tools available in Arabidopsis, it is reasonable to expect that further research in RHD3 should shed light on the onset of the human disease HSP.

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