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New Phytol. 2008;177(4):889-98. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Functional analysis of the Arabidopsis PHT4 family of intracellular phosphate transporters.

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1
Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

Abstract

The transport of phosphate (Pi) between subcellular compartments is central to metabolic regulation. Although some of the transporters involved in controlling the intracellular distribution of Pi have been identified in plants, others are predicted from genetic, biochemical and bioinformatics studies. Heterologous expression in yeast, and gene expression and localization in plants were used to characterize all six members of an Arabidopsis thaliana membrane transporter family designated here as PHT4. PHT4 proteins share similarity with SLC17/type I Pi transporters, a diverse group of animal proteins involved in the transport of Pi, organic anions and chloride. All of the PHT4 proteins mediate Pi transport in yeast with high specificity. Bioinformatic analysis and localization of PHT4-GFP fusion proteins indicate that five of the proteins are targeted to the plastid envelope, and the sixth resides in the Golgi apparatus. PHT4 genes are expressed in both roots and leaves, although two of the genes are expressed predominantly in leaves and one mostly in roots. These expression patterns, together with Pi transport activities and subcellular locations, suggest roles for PHT4 proteins in the transport of Pi between the cytosol and chloroplasts, heterotrophic plastids and the Golgi apparatus.

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