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Plant Cell. 1999 Jun;11(6):1141-52.

ATP binding cassette modulators control abscisic acid-regulated slow anion channels in guard cells

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  • 1Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique Cadarache, Direction des Sciences du Vivant, Departement d'Ecophysiologie Vegetale et Microbiologie, Laboratoire des Echanges Membranaires et Signalisation, BP1-F13108, St. Paul-lez-Durance, France.


In animal cells, ATP binding cassette (ABC) proteins are a large family of transporters that includes the sulfonylurea receptor and the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). These two ABC proteins possess an ion channel activity and bind specific sulfonylureas, such as glibenclamide, but homologs have not been identified in plant cells. We recently have shown that there is an ABC protein in guard cells that is involved in the control of stomatal movements and guard cell outward K+ current. Because the CFTR, a chloride channel, is sensitive to glibenclamide and able to interact with K+ channels, we investigated its presence in guard cells. Potent CFTR inhibitors, such as glibenclamide and diphenylamine-2-carboxylic acid, triggered stomatal opening in darkness. The guard cell protoplast slow anion current that was recorded using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique was inhibited rapidly by glibenclamide in a dose-dependent manner; the concentration producing half-maximum inhibition was at 3 &mgr;M. Potassium channel openers, which bind to and act through the sulfonylurea receptor in animal cells, completely suppressed the stomatal opening induced by glibenclamide and recovered the glibenclamide-inhibited slow anion current. Abscisic acid is known to regulate slow anion channels and in our study was able to relieve glibenclamide inhibition of slow anion current. Moreover, in epidermal strip bioassays, the stomatal closure triggered by Ca2+ or abscisic acid was reversed by glibenclamide. These results suggest that the slow anion channel is an ABC protein or is tightly controlled by such a protein that interacts with the abscisic acid signal transduction pathway in guard cells.

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