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J Exp Bot. 2011 Apr;62(7):2363-70. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erq386. Epub 2010 Nov 29.

A molecular framework for coupling cellular volume and osmotic solute transport control.

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Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Molecular, Cellular and Systems Biology, Bower Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.


Eukaryotic cells expand using vesicle traffic to increase membrane surface area. Expansion in walled eukaryotes is driven by turgor pressure which depends fundamentally on the uptake and accumulation of inorganic ions. Thus, ion uptake and vesicle traffic must be controlled coordinately for growth. How this coordination is achieved is still poorly understood, yet is so elemental to life that resolving the underlying mechanisms will have profound implications for our understanding of cell proliferation, development, and pathogenesis, and will find applications in addressing the mineral and water use by plants in the face of global environmental change. Recent discoveries of interactions between trafficking and ion transport proteins now open the door to an entirely new approach to understanding this coordination. Some of the advances to date in identifying key protein partners in the model plant Arabidopsis and in yeast at membranes vital for cell volume and turgor control are outlined here. Additionally, new evidence is provided of a wider participation among Arabidopsis Kv-like K(+) channels in selective interaction with the vesicle-trafficking protein SYP121. These advances suggest some common paradigms that will help guide further exploration of the underlying connection between ion transport and membrane traffic and should transform our understanding of cellular homeostasis in eukaryotes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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