Sesamin is a furofuran-type lignan that is found abundantly in seeds of Sesamum indicum (sesame) and has been widely accepted as a dietary supplement with positive effects on human health. The biological activity of sesamin in human cells and organs has been analysed extensively, although comparatively few studies show biological functions for sesamin in planta. Herein we screened sesamin-binding proteins (SBP) from sesame seedling extracts using sesamin-immobilized nano-beads. In subsequent peptide mass fingerprinting analyses, we identified a SBP, Steroleosin B, which is one of the membrane proteins found in oil bodies. In addition, pull-down assays and saturation transfer difference-nuclear magnetic resonance (STD-NMR) experiments demonstrated that sesamin binds directly to recombinant Steroleosin B in vitro. Finally, ectopic accumulations of sesamin and Steroleosin B in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants induced severe growth defects including suppression of leaf expansion and root elongation. Collectively, these results indicate that sesamin influences tissue development in the presence of Steroleosin B.
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