In plants, the topological organization of membranes has mainly been attributed to the cell wall and the cytoskeleton. Additionally, few proteins, such as plant-specific remorins have been shown to function as protein and lipid organizers. Root nodule symbiosis requires continuous membrane re-arrangements, with bacteria being finally released from infection threads into membrane-confined symbiosomes. We found that mutations in the symbiosis-specific SYMREM1 gene result in highly disorganized perimicrobial membranes. AlphaFold modelling and biochemical analyses reveal that SYMREM1 oligomerizes into antiparallel dimers and may form a higher-order membrane scaffolding structure. This was experimentally confirmed when expressing this and other remorins in wall-less protoplasts is sufficient where they significantly alter and stabilize de novo membrane topologies ranging from membrane blebs to long membrane tubes with a central actin filament. Reciprocally, mechanically induced membrane indentations were equally stabilized by SYMREM1. Taken together we describe a plant-specific mechanism that allows the stabilization of large-scale membrane conformations independent of the cell wall.

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