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Plant J. 2008 Jan;53(2):287-99. Epub 2007 Nov 19.

Loss of the vacuolar cation channel, AtTPC1, does not impair Ca2+ signals induced by abiotic and biotic stresses.

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Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Stress and Developmental Biology, Weinberg 3, D-06120 Halle, Germany.


The putative two-pore Ca(2+) channel TPC1 has been suggested to be involved in responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. We show that AtTPC1 co-localizes with the K(+)-selective channel AtTPK1 in the vacuolar membrane. Loss of AtTPC1 abolished Ca(2+)-activated slow vacuolar (SV) currents, which were increased in AtTPC1-over-expressing Arabidopsis compared to the wild-type. A Ca(2+)-insensitive vacuolar cation channel, as yet uncharacterized, could be resolved in tpc1-2 knockout plants. The kinetics of ABA- and CO(2)-induced stomatal closure were similar in wild-type and tpc1-2 knockout plants, excluding a role of SV channels in guard-cell signalling in response to these physiological stimuli. ABA-, K(+)-, and Ca(2+)-dependent root growth phenotypes were not changed in tpc1-2 compared to wild-type plants. Given the permeability of SV channels to mono- and divalent cations, the question arises as to whether TPC1 in vivo represents a pathway for Ca(2+) entry into the cytosol. Ca(2+) responses as measured in aequorin-expressing wild-type, tpc1-2 knockout and TPC1-over-expressing plants disprove a contribution of TPC1 to any of the stimulus-induced Ca(2+) signals tested, including abiotic stresses (cold, hyperosmotic, salt and oxidative), elevation in extracellular Ca(2+) concentration and biotic factors (elf18, flg22). In good agreement, stimulus- and Ca(2+)-dependent gene activation was not affected by alterations in TPC1 expression. Together with our finding that the loss of TPC1 did not change the activity of hyperpolarization-activated Ca(2+)-permeable channels in the plasma membrane, we conclude that TPC1, under physiological conditions, functions as a vacuolar cation channel without a major impact on cytosolic Ca(2+) homeostasis.

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