2012 Volume 29 Issue 1 Pages 51-56
Accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells triggers the transcriptional activation of ER-resident molecular chaperones and folding enzymes to maintain cellular homeostasis. This process is known as the ER stress response or the unfolded protein response. We have identified tunicamycin induced 1 (TIN1), a plant-specific ER stress-inducible Arabidopsis thaliana gene. The TIN1 protein is localized in the ER; however, its molecular function has yet to be clarified. In this study, we performed functional analysis of TIN1 in planta. RT-PCR analysis showed that TIN1 is highly expressed in pollen. Analysis using the β-glucuronidase reporter gene demonstrated that the TIN1 promoter is active throughout pollen development, peaking at the time of flowering and in an ovule of an open flower. Although a T-DNA insertion mutant of TIN1 grows normally under ambient laboratory conditions, abnormal pollen surface morphology was observed under a scanning electron microscope. Based on the current and previous observations, a possible physiological function of TIN1 during pollen development is discussed.