Author(s): Rea PA, Li ZS, Lu YP, Drozdowicz YM, Martinoia E, Rea PA, Li ZS, Lu YP, Drozdowicz YM, Martinoia E
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Abstract While the concept of H+-coupling has dominated studies of energy-dependent organic solute transport in plants for over two decades, recent studies have demonstrated the existence of a group of organic solute transporters, belonging to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) superfamily, that are directly energized by MgATP rather than by a transmembrane H+-electrochemical potential difference. Originally identified in microbial and animal cells, the ABC superfamily is one of the largest and most widespread protein families known. Competent in the transport of a broad range of substances including sugars, peptides, alkaloids, inorganic anions, and lipids, all ABC transporters are constituted of one or two copies each of an integral membrane sector and cytosolically oriented ATP-binding domain. To date, two major subclasses, the multidrug resistance-associated proteins (MRPs) and multidrug resistance proteins (MDRs) (so named because of the phenotypes conferred by their animal prototypes), have been identified molecularly in plants. However, only the MRPs have been defined functionally. This review therefore focuses on the functional capabilities, energetics, organization, and regulation of the plant MRPs. Otherwise known as GS-X pumps, or glutathione-conjugate or multispecific organic anion Mg2+-ATPases, the MRPs are considered to participate in the transport of exogenous and endogenous amphipathic anions and glutathionated compounds from the cytosol into the vacuole. Encoded by a multigene family and possessing a unique domain organization, the types of processes that likely converge and depend on plant MRPs include herbicide detoxification, cell pigmentation, the alleviation of oxidative damage, and the storage of antimicrobial compounds. Additional functional capabilities might include channel regulation or activity, and/or the transport of heavy metal chelates. The identification of the MRPs, in particular, and the demonstration of a central role for ABC transporters, in general, in plant function not only provide fresh insights into the molecular basis of energy-dependent solute transport but also offer the prospect for manipulating and investigating many fundamental processes that have hitherto evaded analysis at the transport level.
This article was published in Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research