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Mol Microbiol. 1999 Jan;31(2):511-20.

Cloning of two genes encoding potassium transporters in Neurospora crassa and expression of the corresponding cDNAs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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Departamento de Biotecnología, Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.


Two Neurospora crassa genes, trk-1 and hak-1, encode K+ transporters that show sequence similarities to the TRK transporters described in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, and to the HAK transporters described in Schwanniomyces occidentalis and barley. The N. crassa TRK1 and HAK1 transporters expressed by the corresponding cDNAs in a trk1 delta trk2 delta mutant of S. cerevisiae exhibited a high affinity for Rb+ and K+. Northern blot analysis and comparison of the kinetic characteristics of the two transporters in the trk1 delta trk2 delta mutant with the kinetic characteristics of K+ uptake in N. crassa cells allowed TRK1 to be identified as the dominant K+ transporter and HAK1 as a transporter that is only expressed when the cells are K+ starved. The HAK1 transporter showed a high concentrative capacity and is identified as the K(+)-H+ symporter described in N. crassa, whereas TRK1 might be a K+ uniporter. Although the co-existence of K+ transporters of the TRK and HAK types in the same species had not been reported formerly, we discuss whether this co-existence may be the normal situation in soil fungi.

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