University of Munich (LMU), Institute of Genetics, Großhaderner Str. 2-4, 82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany
Invasion of host cells by pathogenic or mutualistic microbes requires complex molecular dialogues that often determine host survival. Although several components of the underlying signaling cascades have recently been identified and characterized, our understanding of proteins that facilitate signal transduction or assemble signaling complexes is rather sparse. Our knowledge of plant-specific remorin proteins, annotated as proteins with unknown function, has recently advanced with respect to their involvement in host–microbe interactions. Current data demonstrating that a remorin protein restricts viral movement in tomato leaves and the importance of a symbiosis-specific remorin for bacterial infection of root nodules suggest that these proteins may serve such regulatory functions. Direct interactions of other remorins with a resistance protein in Arabidopsis thaliana, and differential phosphorylation upon perception of microbial-associated molecular patterns and during expression of bacterial effector proteins, strongly underline their roles in plant defense. Furthermore, the specific subcellular localization of remorins in plasma membrane microdomains now provides the opportunity to visualize membrane rafts in living plants cells. There, remorins may oligomerize and act as scaffold proteins during early signaling events. This review summarizes current knowledge of this protein family and the potential roles of remorins in membrane rafts.