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Plant J. 2000 Dec;24(6):869-82.

AtSUC3, a gene encoding a new Arabidopsis sucrose transporter, is expressed in cells adjacent to the vascular tissue and in a carpel cell layer.

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Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Lehrstuhl Botanik II--Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Staudtstrasse 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany.


The cDNA corresponding to the open reading frame T17M13.3 from Arabidopsis chromosome II was isolated and the encoded protein was characterized as a member of a subgroup of higher plant sucrose transporters. The AtSUC3 (Arabidopsis thaliana sucrose transporter 3) open reading frame encodes a protein with 594 amino acid residues, being 81 and 82 residues longer than the previously described Arabidopsis sucrose carriers AtSUC1 and AtSUC2. About 50 of these additional amino acids are part of an extended cytoplasmic loop separating the N-terminal from the C-terminal half of the protein. For functional characterization the AtSUC3 cDNA was expressed in baker's yeast. Substrate specificities, energy dependence and K(m) values of the recombinant protein were determined. Removal of the enlarged cytoplasmic loop and expression of the truncated cDNA caused no detectable change in the kinetic properties of the protein, suggesting a transport-independent function for this cytoplasmic domain. Immunolocalization with an AtSUC3-specific antiserum identified the protein in a cell layer separating the phloem from the mesophyll and in a single, subepidermal cell layer of the carpels that is important for pod dehiscence. These localizations suggest a possible role of AtSUC3 in the funnelling of sucrose from the mesophyll towards the phloem, and possibly in pod shatter.

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