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  1. Abstract AP-1 and AP-2 adaptor protein complexes mediate clathrin-dependent trafficking at the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and the plasma membrane, respectively. Whereas AP-1 is required for trafficking to plasma membrane and vacuoles, AP-2 mediates endocytosis. These AP complexes consist of four subunits (adaptins): two large subunits (β1 and γ for AP-1 and β2 and α for AP-2), a medium subunit μ, and a small subunit σ. In general, adaptins are unique to each AP complex, with the exception of β subunits that are shared by AP-1 and AP-2 in some invertebrates. Here, we show that the two putative Arabidopsis thaliana AP1/2β adaptins co-assemble with both AP-1 and AP-2 subunits and regulate exocytosis and endocytosis in root cells, consistent with their dual localization at the TGN and plasma membrane. Deletion of both β adaptins is lethal in plants. We identified a critical role of β adaptins in pollen wall formation and reproduction, involving the regulation of membrane trafficking in the tapetum and pollen germination. In tapetal cells, β adaptins localize almost exclusively to the TGN and mediate exocytosis of the plasma membrane transporters such as ABCG9 and ABCG16. This study highlights the essential role of AP1/2β adaptins in plants and their specialized roles in specific cell types. 
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