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PHYSIOLOGY OF ION TRANSPORT ACROSS THE TONOPLAST OF HIGHER PLANTS.

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1
Departamento de Biologia Molecular de Plantas, Instituto de Biotecnologia, UNAM, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, 62271.

Abstract

The vacuole of plant cells plays an important role in the homeostasis of the cell. It is involved in the regulation of cytoplasmic pH, sequestration of toxic ions and xenobiotics, regulation of cell turgor, storage of amino acids, sugars and CO2 in the form of malate, and possibly as a source for elevating cytoplasmic calcium. All these activities are driven by two primary active transport mechanisms present in the vacuolar membrane (tonoplast). These two mechanisms employ high-energy metabolites to pump protons into the vacuole, establishing a proton electrochemical potential that mediates the transport of a diverse range of solutes. Within the past few years, great advances at the molecular and functional levels have been made on the characterization and identification of these mechanisms. The aim of this review is to summarize these studies in the context of the physiology of the plant cell.

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