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FEBS Lett. 2007 May 25;581(12):2301-8. Epub 2007 Mar 22.

Molecular mechanisms of ammonium transport and accumulation in plants.

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Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen (ZMBP), Pflanzenphysiologie, Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


The integral membrane proteins of the ammonium transporter (AMT/Rh) family provide the major route for shuttling ammonium (NH(4)(+)/NH(3)) across bacterial, archaeal, fungal and plant membranes. These proteins are distantly related to the Rh (rhesus) glycoproteins, which are absent in higher plants, but are present in many species, including bacteria and mammals. It appears that the large nitrogen requirement of plants resulted in unique strategies to acquire, capture and/or release ammonium. The biological function of plant ammonium transporters will be discussed and compared to other AMT/Rh proteins.

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