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Mol Cells. 2010 Jun;29(6):551-8. doi: 10.1007/s10059-010-0069-0. Epub 2010 May 22.

Zinc deficiency-inducible OsZIP8 encodes a plasma membrane-localized zinc transporter in rice.

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  • 1Integrative Biosciences and Biotechnology, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, 790-784, Korea.


Zinc is an essential micronutrient for several physiological and biochemical processes. To investigate its transport in rice, we characterized OsZIP8, a rice ZIP (Zrt, Irt-like Protein) gene that is strongly up-regulated in shoots and roots under Zn deficiency. OsZIP8 could complement the growth defect of Zn-uptake yeast mutant. The OsZIP8-GFP fusion proteins were localized to the plasma membrane, suggesting that OsZIP8 is a plasma membrane zinc transporter in rice. Activation and overexpression of this gene disturbed the zinc distribution in rice plants, resulting in lower levels in shoots and mature seeds, but an increase in the roots. Field-grown transgenic plants were shorter than the WT. Under treatment with excess zinc, transgenics contained less zinc in their shoots but accumulated more in the roots. Altogether, these results demonstrate that OsZIP8 is a zinc transporter that functions in Zn uptake and distribution. Furthermore, zinc homeostasis is important to the proper growth and development of rice.

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