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Plant Cell. 2002 Aug;14(8):1751-66.

A chloroplast phosphate transporter, PHT2;1, influences allocation of phosphate within the plant and phosphate-starvation responses.

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The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


The uptake and distribution of Pi in plants requires multiple Pi transport systems that must function in concert to maintain homeostasis throughout growth and development. The Pi transporter PHT2;1 of Arabidopsis shares similarity with members of the Pi transporter family, which includes Na(+)/Pi symporters of fungal and animal origin and H(+)/Pi symporters of bacterial origin. Sequence comparisons between proteins of this family revealed that plant members possess extended N termini, which share features with chloroplast transit peptides. Localization of a PHT2;1-green fluorescent protein fusion protein indicates that it is present in the chloroplast envelope. A Pi transport function for PHT2;1 was confirmed in yeast using a truncated version of the protein lacking its transit peptide, which allowed targeting to the plasma membrane. To assess the in vivo role of PHT2;1 in phosphorus metabolism, we identified a null mutant, pht2;1-1. Analysis of the mutant reveals that PHT2;1 activity affects Pi allocation within the plant and modulates Pi-starvation responses, including the expression of Pi-starvation response genes and the translocation of Pi within leaves.

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