Delivery and final fusion of the secretory vesicles with the relevant target membrane are hierarchically organized and reciprocally interconnected multi-step processes involving not only specific protein-protein interactions, but also specific protein-phospholipid interactions. The exocyst was discovered as a tethering complex mediating initial encounter of arriving exocytic vesicles with the plasma membrane. The exocyst complex is regulated by Rab and Rho small GTPases, resulting in docking of exocytic vesicles to the plasma membrane (PM) and finally their fusion mediated by specific SNARE complexes. In model Opisthokont cells, the exocyst was shown to directly interact with both microtubule and microfilament cytoskeleton and related motor proteins as well as with the PM via phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate specific binding, which directly affects cortical cytoskeleton and PM dynamics. Here we summarize the current knowledge on exocyst-cytoskeleton-PM interactions in order to open a perspective for future research in this area in plant cells. © 2014 Synek, Sekereš and Žárský.
Synek, L., Sekereš, J., & Žárský, V. (2014). The exocyst at the interface between cytoskeleton and membranes in eukaryotic cells. Frontiers in Plant Science, 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2013.00543