* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received March 4, 2009; Revision received June 5, 2009
Plant cell wall is an example of a widespread natural supramolecular structure: its components are considered to be the most abundant organic compounds renewable by living organisms. Plant cell wall includes numerous components, mainly polysaccharidic; its formation is largely based on carbohydrate–carbohydrate interactions. In contrast to the extracellular matrix of most other organisms, the plant cell compartment located outside the plasma membrane is so structured that has been named “wall”. The present review summarizes data on the mechanisms of formation of this supramolecular structure and considers major difficulties and results of research. Existing approaches to the study of interactions between polysaccharides during plant cell wall formation have been analyzed, including: (i) characterization of the structure of natural polysaccharide complexes obtained during cell wall fractionation; (ii) analysis of the interactions between polysaccharides “at mixing in a tube”; (iii) study of the interactions between isolated individual plant cell wall matrix polysaccharides and microfibrils formed by cellulose-synthesizing microorganisms; and (iv) investigation of cell wall formation and modification directly in plant objects. The key stages in formation of plant cell wall supramolecular structure are defined and characterized as follows: (i) formation of cellulose microfibrils; (ii) interactions between matrix polysaccharides within Golgi apparatus substructures; (iii) interaction between matrix polysaccharides, newly secreted outside the plasma membrane, and cellulose microfibrils during formation of the latter; (iv) packaging of the formed complexes and individual polysaccharides in cell wall layers; and (v) modification of deposited cell wall layers.
KEY WORDS: cell wall, supramolecular structure, cellulose microfibrils, cross-linking glycans, pectin substances, carbohydrate–carbohydrate interactions