There are so called PIN proteins, or PIN-formed proteins, in plants. What does this acronym mean?

Wikipedia briefly explains the function of the protein but not the origin of the name. It's not explained even in the link-linked review paper, if I'm not missing something.


Like many genes and gene products, PIN proteins were named for a mutant phenotype and PIN is not actually an acronym; the source in your link does actually explain this (emphasis mine):

The significance and function of AtPIN1 was discovered through the phenotype generated by the loss-of-function mutation in the gene: mutant plants fail to develop floral organs properly and generate naked, pin-like inflorescences, which gave the name PIN-FORMED (PIN) to the family

Křeček, P., Skůpa, P., Libus, J., Naramoto, S., Tejos, R., Friml, J., & Zažímalová, E. (2009). The PIN-FORMED (PIN) protein family of auxin transporters. Genome biology, 10(12), 249.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. So it is explained there… (I was lazy to read more than the summary, then I've did just /\<[Pp][a-z]+(\s|-)[Ii][a-z]+(\s|-)[Nn][a-z]+/ regexp search). $\endgroup$ – mykhal Nov 3 '18 at 16:54
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    $\begingroup$ It begs the question: why was “PIN” all-caps at all? When something is all-caps, it makes people think it’s an acronym. I’m not a geneticist, or even a biologist, by training. So please enlighten me if there’s some rule in the field that justifies all-caps. $\endgroup$ – Kal Nov 4 '18 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ Explaining what actually is a “pin-like inflorescence” would be very helpful. $\endgroup$ – mykhal Jan 15 '19 at 8:26

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