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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Dec;9(6):595-600. Epub 2006 Sep 27.

Endomembrane proton pumps: connecting membrane and vesicle transport.

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  • 1ZMBP-Plant Physiology, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


pH-homeostasis in the endomembrane system requires the activity of proton-pumps. In animals, the progressive acidification of compartments along the endocytic and secretory pathways is critical for protein sorting and vesicle trafficking, and is achieved by the activity of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase). Plants have an additional endomembrane pump, the vacuolar H(+)-pyrophosphatase (V-PPase), and previous research was largely focused on the respective functions of the two pumps in secondary active transport across the tonoplast. Recent approaches, including reverse genetics, have not only provided evidence that both enzymes play unique and essential roles but have also highlighted the important functions of the two proton pumps in endocytic and secretory trafficking.

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