Cellulose, the most abundant biopolymer on the planet, is synthesized at the plasma membrane of plant cells by the cellulose synthase complex (CSC). Cellulose is the primary load-bearing polysaccharide of plant cell walls and enables cell walls to maintain cellular shape and rigidity. The CSC is comprised of functionally distinct cellulose synthase A (CESA) proteins, which are responsible for synthesizing cellulose, and additional accessory proteins. Moreover, CESA-like (CSL) proteins are proposed to synthesize other essential non-cellulosic polysaccharides that comprise plant cell walls. The deposition of cell-wall polysaccharides is dynamically regulated in response to a variety of developmental and environmental stimuli, and post-translational phosphorylation has been proposed as one mechanism to mediate this dynamic regulation. In this review, we discuss CSC composition, the dynamics of CSCs in vivo, critical studies that highlight the post-translational control of CESAs and CSLs, and the receptor kinases implicated in plant cell-wall biosynthesis. Furthermore, we highlight the emerging importance of post-translational phosphorylation-based regulation of CSCs on the basis of current knowledge in the field.
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